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Sridevi Edupuganti
Jun 30, 2020

Looking for cost effective solutions for small scale applications and hosting simple websites? Here is our recommendation….

Amazon Lightsail

Overview

Lightsail can be substantially cheaper than firing up EC2 instances for small scale applications where  developers can develop simple programs, run their code, to store the data, for small businesses, to build simple web-based applications or websites, for learning purpose, doing PoCs, and other users who need a simple virtual private server (VPS) solution.

Lightsail is pre-configured server with features to allow an application with basic requirements to run with a just a few clicks. It provides developers compute(vCPUs), Memory (RAM), Storage (SSD based disks), and networking capabilities to deploy and manage websites and web applications in the cloud.

It includes everything you need to launch your project quickly (as below) for a low, predictable monthly price.

Fixed price

  • A virtual machine
  • SSD-based storage
  • Free Data transfer
  • DNS management (3 domain zones per account)
  • Static IP  (5 per account)

Pricing

Lightsail has

  • Memory ranging from 512 MB to 32GB
  • Processors ranging from 1 or 8 cores
  • Data transfer ranging from 1 to 7 TB.

Beware

Please pay close attention to the

  • Price variation between Linux and Windows servers
  • Difference in data transfer plan allowance for Asia Pacific region mentioned in this section
  • Additional costs for few services (if used)

For Linux:

For Windows:

Data transfer allowances: Asia Pacific (Mumbai & Sydney)

Plans in the Mumbai and Sydney Regions include lower data transfer allowances than other regions.

Pricing per month$3.50 USD$5 USD$10 USD$20 USD$40 USD$80 USD$160 USD
Data transfer0.5 TB1 TB1.5 TB2 TB2.5 TB3 TB3.5 TB

Additional costs

Certain services incur additional costs when used

  • Load balancer ($18 USD per month),
  • Snapshots       ($ 0.05 USD GB/month)

Key Takeaways

  • The subscription is free for the first month where you get 750 hours of free usage of the 512 MB Lightsail plan. You can use your 750 hours of usage across as many instances as you like. For example, you can run a single Lightsail instance for a whole month, or 10 Lightsail instances for 75 hours.
  • Your Lightsail instances are charged when they’re in the running state. Please be aware they are charged even in the stopped state. So, if your instances are only needed during certain times of the day, you can delete them once the task gets completed, before which create a final snapshot, then create the instances from those snapshots again as and when needed. The  data and state will persist.
  • Lightsail integrates with other AWS resources viz.AWS database, messaging, and content distribution services via a secure connection.
  • Both data transfer in and data transfer out of your instance count toward your data transfer allowance. Each Lightsail instance includes up to 5 TB of internet data transfer allowance. Which is not the case with regular EC2 instances.
  • Lightsail supports Application templates which include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Ghost, Magento, Redmine, LAMP, Nginx (LEMP), MEAN, Node.js, Django, and more.
  • It offers a range of operating system viz. Amazon Linux, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu – and 2 Windows Server versions – 2012 R2 and 2016.
  • You can avail AWS high availability plan, which includes extra instances for redundancy or failovers. Encryption etc.

Conclusion

Lightsail is a great choice to build your staging servers and experiment/explore with all the new features of your products before deploying it live and to develop simple web applications, hosting WordPress blogs, API servers. To build large scale enterprise applications you may have to consider other compute services.

Sridevi Edupuganti

Sridevi Edupuganti

Sridevi Edupuganti is a creative & results-driven technology leader, with over 21 years of experience in driving vision across IT Infrastructure, Cloud Migration, Security, Strategy Implementation, Project Management, Service Delivery, Pre-sales, and People Management across various verticals. She has several certifications, accolades, and awards to her credit.

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