This morning I followed this fantastic document by Dave, and in less than 30 minutes I had my virtual server up and running in Amazon’s cloud.
Of course I knew it could be done, but I had never really found the time (and the courage) to try doing it until I got to this page which provides all answers in a simple step by step guide.
I think that the fact that a regular user can start his own server in the cloud has some of very relevant consequences.
I was exposed to the concept of “desktop web server” by Dave back in the Frontier and then Radio days. I have always thought that being able to run your own server on your own computer is a very powerful concept.
Since back then “our own computer” was the personal computer we were working on, it made sense to run server software on it. Unfortunately a personal computer quite often is not the ideal environment to run server stuff which needs maintenance, support, backup, and all the stuff that system administrators do.
But now, everybody can own any number of virtual computers in the cloud and run all kind of services. Easy, cheap, powerful, safe and somebody else is making sure that all system work. Brilliant.
The other very interesting concept of this experiment is that I didn’t start just a random Windows server on EC2. I started Dave’s server, with the software and services that Dave had installed on them, and this, of course, can make software distribution and entirely different business.