Hey I'm Lee. My blog was put up to house my strange thoughts, ramblings, nuggets of information I can refer back to and document my learning curves on new dev stuff and fitness regimes.

All thoughts and comments on here are my own, and in no way reflect my employer - I also take no responsibility for spelling, grammar, terminology, accuracy of facts etc... So read at your own risk!

Wow Amazon EC2 Is Expensive For Start Ups

Just like a sheep, I have been very keen on having a play with the cloud computing ‘buzz’ that everyone seems to be throwing around.  I have heard only great things about using cloud computing to host your applications, things like “Great for start ups”, “Inexpensive way of developers launching their new apps”, “Completely scalable” and so on. 

I currently have two dedicated Win2003 servers with 1&1, basic models with only 1GB of ram and a pretty useless processor.  But you get unlimited bandwidth, and use of their mail server which is pretty good but the problem comes if you start to max one out you’re stuffed!  Its either get another server, or try to find the best way of spreading the load across both servers.  My thoughts were that I would have a play with EC2 and if I can get it setup, I’d look at switching some smaller sites over to my EC2 instance run it for a month and if all went well look at keeping a single 1&1 server and a single EC2 instance knowing I can easily give my EC2 instance more resources if needed. [more]

This was all great, I Googled around and found a brilliant screen cast by John Sheehan on how to create a Windows instance on EC2.  Then I went over to Amazon just to double check the pricing


I was/am a bit shell shocked with how expensive using Amazon EC2 is!  I wanted a machine with about 3GB of ram, which meant I would have to opt for a ‘Large’ instance according to their documentation.  After a bit of working out, based on using a European region, how much traffic my smaller server currently consumes it would mean I would have to pay around £289 per month!!

  • £259 per month for the instance
  • £30 per month in data transfer

If I look at this compared to the current 1&1 offers – I can get a better spec server for approx £85 per month (With their current special offer, or £109.99pm without the deal) and with unlimited traffic?  Now I realise I would be in a 6 to 12 month contract if I took the 1&1 offer, but seriously… Using EC2 would mean an extra £200+ per month!!

Amazon EC2 does have some pro’s, but the buzz they have generated around it is a bit false in my opinion.  Its not great for start ups and its not an inexpensive way of developers lunching/testing new applications. 

I’ll have a look at Azure now, but suspect it will be just as if not more expensive than EC2… But we will see!

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