Cheap (or Free) CF hosting in the cloud
Amazon recently released updated pricing on reserved ec2 instances. If you’ve been left high and dry by Go Daddy, or are simply looking for a cheaper alternative for hosting cfml applications it might be a good time to take a look at Amazon Web Services.
For a little more than a year, I have been running a number of personal sites on an ec2 micro instance. It is a linux based instance running railo/mysql/apache. I currently run 2 Mura sites, an instance of Mango Blog, 2 wordpress sites, and various low traffic bespoke cfml applications. I’ve been averaging around 1500 cfml requests/day, and at the end of a 2 year period my average monthly hosting cost will be approximately $4.50/month.
At the entry level, Amazon offers dedicated virtual servers (Micro Instances) that come with 613MB of memory and are burstable up to 2 EC2 Compute Units (One EC2 Compute Unit provides the equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon processor). The downside of using this type of instance is that you can be severely throttled for short amounts of time if you have sustained periods of high CPU utilization. (I hope to write about this more in depth in an upcoming post). This is an extremely cost effective option for non mission critical applications (personal sites, blogs, testing environments, etc.).
Amazon offers a full 12 months of hosting on a single micro instance for FREE. After that you are looking at between $14.60-$18.25/month to run a spot instance on demand. Prices vary based on the region you are running your instance in. Now back to reserved pricing… If you are planning to run your instance for at least 12 months, you can pay an up front fee of $62 that cuts your hourly pricing by 75% effectively dropping your monthly fee to $8.80. Throw in your free year and you’re down to $4.40 over a 2 year span. Other costs you might incur are minimal bandwidth charges, and $.10/GB/Mo for disk usage as Micro instances don’t include dedicated disk space. Prices for windows instances are higher, but still reasonable.
Overall, I’ve been extremely happy with my experience so far, the management tools that amazon provides are unmatched, and you have the ability to scale up almost infinitely if the need arises (for a price). If you are looking for a cost effective CF host, it’s definitely worth taking a look at.