Cheapest personal cloud

written on Thursday, October 18, 2012

Amazon prices products aggressively. They have used it to dominate the online sales arena and the continuous price drops they have been making on their cloud computing product makes for some very cheap virtual servers.

Consider the cheapest option available. A Linux based Micro Instance. Reserved for 3 years with the Heavy Utilization profile [1].

Annual rate: $43.80 = $0.005 x 24 x 364 Upfront cost: $33.33 = $100 / 3 years

Annually that is $77.13, or $6.43 monthly.

These are weird machines though. They are deliberately crippled by Amazon and are intended for applications that burst for very short periods (less than 10 seconds) and otherwise stay below 20% cpu utilization. If they exceed these limits they get throttled to 10% of max CPU.

This does not stop them from being excellent personal cloud servers.

I use one for,

I do have an entirely separate instance running my postgres server. It wasn't entirely necessary but since it contains client's data it seemed conceptually simpler to divide them.

The creation of these machines should be scripted. They should be considered the disposable product of a script. Refresh them once a week so that you know that your machine creation script is always fresh and ready to go. Bit rot can set in pretty quickly if you make small modifications like that all the time.

It takes a certain discipline to always replicate any change you make on the remote machine into the script but it is well worth it in the long run.

In the interest of sharing I'm putting the abstractable portions of my machine creation scripts up on github in a package called kubrick.

So $6.50 a month for a bundle of services that would cost upwards of $50? $100? if bought from the individual companies that have sprung up to provide them. Right now it seems that Amazon Web Services is providing the cheapest personal cloud platform out there.

[1]The light / medium / heavy utilization thing confuses people. It has nothing to do with machine resource (CPU, memory IOPS) usage. Heavy utilization is the cheapest option if you plan on running the server constantly.

This entry was tagged AWS, Cloud and Python