Amazon Web Services – Free Tier

August 11, 2014 By 0 Comments

So, a little while ago, I signed up to use Amazon Web Services. Pretty simply; they were offering a “Free Tier” option, which gives you a year of having one of the more basic VPS available. Basic here simply meaning it’s a little more low-power than some of the other options. 1 Processor Core, and 600MB RAM, though I note that now they have increased this to 1GB RAM with the T2.Micro instances – Not bad for a freebie!

The way it works, is that you get allocated 750 hours per month for you to split between “Micro” instances as you see fit. This means you can have a Windows and Linux machine at the same time for half the month, or one then the other, or a single machine constantly on, etc. Think of it like a Pay As You Go phone. Once you exceed your allowance, you pay based on what you use.

Anyways, for a little while, I’ve had an Ubuntu Server running on there (Selections are available between Ubuntu, SuSE, Red Hat, an Amazon-specific linux variant, and Windows Servers 2003 through 2012 inclusive) host a few websites, including this one. Considering they’re all relatively low traffic, the free tier handles it without a problem. I have it set up to run nginx, PHP and MySQL, although I can also run other languages through nginx addons if I choose. This is setup as a web server first and foremost, and will continue to be so. One of the problems with my old server was it ran a lot of things all at once; so when something like the Minecraft server had one of it’s memory leaks, everything went down. Now that’s not the case.

In an upcoming post, I’ll guide you through the setup for turning the free-tier amazon server (or any Ubuntu server) into a reliable webserver for small sites (though the process is the same for larger sites; you simply need to select a more powerful VPS, or increase the limits; but it will cost for that), but in the meantime, considering the first year is free, I would highly recommend signing up and having a bit of a play with what’s on offer, if you haven’t already