There is a lot of documentation about running Amazon EC2 and if you are having trouble Amazon will quickly direct you to the forums for questions, however there isn’t really a resource from a Windows centric developer to other Windows gurus. As I 20 year Window veteran, I am going to try to fill that gap with a few blog posts entitled “Amazon EC2 for Windows The Basics”
For me EC2 is all about replacing servers with cloud computing and when I get rid of my old servers it is my Linux friends that take them. As Windows IT we always buy the latest and greatest servers and they seem super fast when we buy them. I get good mileage out of my servers, usually 5 to 10 years. However, when I go to sell them it seems that they only fetch $50. However, there is always some Linux geek ready to snatch it up and replace a Pentium 3 server he has in his basement. Doing so he brags: “I can run 500 web sites on this server” and off he goes into his cave. The point of this rabble: Windows needs more server horsepower then Linux and yes to their benefit Linux geeks can get more from less.
“When running a EC2 instance for Windows never choose the small type of instance”
When you go to launch an instance you are given a choice between small (m1.small, 1.7GB) and medium (c1.medium, 1.7GB)* . Choose the medium instance.
Medium instances boot faster, install faster, and run faster. It is not like the regular and premium gasoline at the gas station, medium instances are faster. You can compare it to a 4 cylinder automobile and a 6 cylinder. For me the savings in time is worth the price.
* These are the instance types at the time of writing, December 2009.