Learning to Use EC2
For the last year, I’ve really want to learn about Amazon EC2 and how I might use it to run test servers. The biggest problem was I’m a hands-on learner who likes step by step tutorials and I hadn’t found one that I thought was particularly helpful.
I’d played with EC2 a bit this spring but couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to keep my data once the machine was powered down. The solution is something called EBS (Elastic Block Storage). Using this, EC2, and S3 in combination you can do some pretty cool things.
This week I’ve really gotten a chance to play and I found a great blog post that walked me through how to install and run a Drupal site on EC2. Without this post I’m positive it would have taken me WAY longer to figure this out.
The short version of my story is that I was able to follow the instructions pretty closely to setup myself a test space. I even made my own AMI! It isn’t perfect and I probably need to rebuild it a bit more but I’ve got the basics down. I want to get it just right before I move some of my testing to it. Plus I have to get one setup that will run Rails. So I can test things like Blacklight and Library A la Carte.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve been able to achieve. I’m hoping to eventually get all the software that is part of the open source applications book installed on a single AMI that I can startup and do demos from.