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The Amazon EC2 Installfest

By Solomon Chang

Extensible Cloud Computing (AKA EC2) provides a fast, easy way to provision (that is, rent) Amazon's hardware so that you have a fully functioning server with a public IP on the internet. It has proven invaluable for quickly setting up Linux box with the usual services, without dealing with the hassle of shopping for a rackmount computer, assembling it, and then haggling with a data center to house your new rackmount. With EC2, all the data center management responsibility lies with Amazon.

The EC2 Installfest will help you start an Amazon account, an provision and instance that belongs to you and you alone. Granted, it is not free, and you do need a credit card, but the instances start very cheap, at 8 cents an hour (approximately 56 dollars a month). You can put your website on this instance the very same day, or if you prefer to save money, you can delete them outright at the end of the installfest. Conversely, you can start provisioning more instances, if you decide to get serious and need to start clustering or sharding or replicating information...

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