How to take Amazon EC2 for a test-drive


Become An Insider

Sign up now and get free access to hundreds of Insider articles, guides, reviews, interviews, blogs, and other premium content from the best tech brands on the Internet: CIO, CSO, Computerworld, InfoWorld, IT World and Network World Learn more.

With a few simple steps, you can stand up a capable virtual Linux server using Amazon Web Services in minutes. Best of all, it's free for a whole year

Just about everyone I know in IT has gotten the dreaded phone call from a friend or acquaintance that begins: "Can you help me fix my computer?" If the person on the the line is persistent enough, the result always seems to be a late night drinking beer and cleaning spyware off a PC that was manufactured during the Clinton era.

Earlier this week, however, I got a more interesting query -- one that may be a sign of the times. A friend wanted to set up a customized forum and image-sharing website for a group he's associated with and wasn't sure where to host it. I could have pointed him to any number of Web hosting companies, but he had a few requirements that indicated he might need a server he could fully control. The kicker: It had to be cheap -- really, really cheap.

That last requirement ruled out just about every option except a cloud-based solution. I had used's EC2 before, but mostly to poke around and see what it looked like, never to actually work on a project. I figured we'd give it a try.

Getting started with Amazon EC2

To continue reading, please begin the free registration process or sign in to your Insider account by entering your email address:
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
View Comments
You Might Like
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies