My first EC2 experience

I started playing around Amazon EC2 today. After hearing cloud this and cloud that all day long for the past few months, I decided to get some experience with cloud computing myself. Unfortunately, Amazon Web Services aren’t as casual user friendly as I had hoped. Here are just a few thoughts on EC2 after 24 hours of use.

Elasticfox to the rescue. Elasticfox is a must have for the trial EC2 user. All the functionality of EC2 is right at your finger tips in a single Firefox extension. As a side note, I also found S3Fox as well so I can see what Jungle Disk is doing behind the scenes and manage my buckets.

The base Windows images are fairly worthless outside of testing SQL Server 2005. Installing Windows components is a pain. Amazon has an article on how to do it, which being the casual user I am, I chose not to read.

I attempted to bundle an AMI after installing SQL Server SP1, but it required a shutdown, which is apparently different than an image terminate. I lost interest after that. I will probably play around some more tomorrow.

What’s the final word? I tried it out and it cost me about $5. It might be useful, but getting everything setup the way I would like is going to take a decent amount more time. It wasn’t the super easy to test things development environment I was hoping for though. Maybe $50 will get me there.