For those of you that don’t know what EC2 stands for, it is Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. Still wondering what it is? You are not alone, it’s not a very descriptive name.
Basically, you can start up your own server instance (or multiple instances) on Amazon’s network for anything you want to use it for (legally.) An instance is like a server. The cost is between $0.10 and $0.80 an hour, depending on how powerful you want your instance to be. You can start up new instances in a matter of minutes.
For example, let’s say my blog starts getting a ton of traffic because people finally realize how great it really is. As traffic grows, my little server probably won’t be able to handle the load and people would start getting a “server is currently unavailable” message. To handle this sudden burst in popularity I could start up 20 servers on EC2 in less than 5 minutes, switch my site over there and people wouldn’t get a “server is currently unavailable” message. Thus fulfilling the technological knowledge needs of millions of users every minute.
I had previously been doing some contract work for a few companies that were using EC2 and thought I should release the base server image I’ve been working on.
Here’s a link to the page describing my Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper) AMI