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AWS Lightsail - A Hidden Gem!

Cloud platforms are awesome! Whether you’re a fan of Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), or even some of the smaller providers out there, the technology available to us now is amazing. There are literally thousands of different ways you can leverage all of these technologies and balance cost, performance, and security.


We were recently working on some projects in AWS where we have leveraged Serverless RDS for the database. We were needing to spin up some resources to run ETL with our favorite, Apache Hop http://hop.apache.org. There are different use-cases we could look at: 1. Run Hop Server on a constant running instance

2. Run a container that only ran batch ETL when needed

3. Run Hop Web on a constantly running instance


Up till now, we had traditionally looked at old school EC2 instances to run these on. The proper specifications are a t2.medium instance with 2 CPU, and 4GB of RAM. This specification would suffice for a general purpose ETL server. The cost of this EC2 instance would equate to around $30/month if we used on-demand pricing. Not a bad deal at all. But, there is a better way!


A decade ago, when I had a server hosting company, we used many different Virtual Private Servers to host our clients' websites, applications, etc. I also know that prices of these VPS offerings have come down a lot in the last few years. What I didn’t realize was that AWS offers these as well, in the form of Lightsail (https://lightsail.aws.amazon.com/). You can select a VPS with only an operating system, but there are also many offerings with “blueprints” so you can run full application stacks like LAMP, Wordpress, NGINX, Gitlab, and many more!





What’s great about these, is that you can also run one as a fully managed database server as well. There are blueprints for MySQL, and PostgreSQL:



But, the best thing about Lightsail is the cost! For a regular VPS instance, you can get the same spec of a t3.medium for $20/month Versus $30/month for Ec2. A 33% savings.



For a Database instance, like Postgres, you can get a decently priced server for $30 per month. An RDS Serverless instance would run north of $100 per month in comparison.



In summary, there are some pretty great VPS offerings with Lightsail. If you have a small application, or need to have data separation for your application or clients, consider Lightsail! As always, we would love to help you with your data analysis project or navigating all the great cloud options for your enterprise.


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