- Amazon EC2 only runs Windows 2003 (As of 10/24/2009). Most people are used to a better desktop experience provided by Windows 7, Vista, or Windows 2008 and the Windows 2003 Windows 2003 desktop will feel old to them.
- When you terminate your Amazon EC2 instance (which stops the meter) EC2 deletes the underlying hard drive and everything that you have saved to that drive unless you take the time to bundle the AMI and register it. This really is a drawback, since bundling and registering the AMI (operating system hard drive) can take up to 15 minutes. If you never terminate the instance you can work on it indefinitely, however the meter never stops running.
- Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) is the only way to work with the EC2 computer like a desktop and there are things that RDC doesn’t handle like a desktop computer. You can’t stream video, watch movies, and the updates when browsing appear clunky. There are no burning CDs, watching DVDs, or playing video games.
- EC2 instances do not turn on very fast, sometimes up to ten minutes. The idea that you have a computer that you turn on and off, and only pay for when you used is romantic, however with a ten minute turn on time, you start to wonder why you turn it off.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
It is tempting to think that you could have a configured Windows desktop computer on Amazon EC2 that you turned on whenever you like paying 12.5 cents an hour, then turned off and have it cost you nothing but storage of the hard drive. This computer you could use as a configured desktop with all your favorite applications installed to check email, do work and that you could access anywhere. However, Amazon EC2 isn’t set up that way; in fact it would be very hard to work day to day on an EC2 machine unless you left it turned on constantly. Here are the reasons that Amazon EC2 doesn’t make a good desktop environment: