Amazon Web Services - any good?

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simonmlewis
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Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by simonmlewis »

Hi there

We are looking at transferring a ton of websites over to AWS very soon. At the moment we use Plesk or cPanel.
What might be the drawbacks of this AWS service that sounds really really good indeed?

One of our sites turns over around 2.2TB of HTTP traffic per month.

The others combined probably turn over the same or more.

They are all PHP and MySQL.

Thanks.
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Celauran
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by Celauran »

They can be very expensive and are a bit of a bear to set up, but they're also pretty easy to scale with your needs.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by simonmlewis »

A bear? in what way? is their front end not easy like the two front ends I mentioned?
For 2.2TB it looks to be around $230 a month.... or do I have that wrong?
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Celauran
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by Celauran »

Give this a read: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/gettingstart ... intro.html

Setting up the EC2, RDS, Route 53 (you may not need this), the security zones/layers, the firewall, etc... it takes a while and may not be super easy your first few times.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by simonmlewis »

So you don't just select what you want, we have to setup the firewall, email, security layers etc?
It's not just pre-done?
We figured we would create the account, start setting up the database and emails, and FTP account, and off we go. Is it not that straight forward?
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Weirdan
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by Weirdan »

No, with aws you're basically managing you own (virtual) servers/networks/etc.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by requinix »

Ditto to all that. If you just want to use a Plesk or cPanel interface for your servers then AWS is not the right choice.

Specific cloud terms may be helpful here. They form a hierarchy ranging from (virtualized) bare metal to software packages:
1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) gives you access to machines, firewalls, storage... lots of hardware. You manage it like a sysadmin. AWS is mostly IaaS.
2. Platform as a service (PaaS) hides some of the underlying hardware and gives you operating systems and databases and servers and more "higher-level" concepts than the hardware. You manage it like a DBA or webmaster. I hear that Azure is fairly good at being PaaS.
3. Software as a service (SaaS) lets you configure what software you want to run without deciding how or where it runs. You manage it like an end-user.

You're looking for PaaS or SaaS.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by simonmlewis »

Hi. We did get AWS. And those I work with choose EC2. But I am completely lost, and looking at all avenues for support.
As I said, I am use to Plesk and cPanel. So seeing PuTTY screens is very beyond me. I assumed there would be options for mySQL, PHP, Mail etc. So how do we get from having an "Instance" to a GUI screen to manage a website(s)?
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by Celauran »

The reality is you're going to need to get somewhat familiar with the command line. The good news is that if you've got EC2, RDS, IAM, and the like setup already, the hard part is done. Without knowing which distribution you've chosen to work with, I can't point you to specific instructions, but the gist is you'll want to set up Apache, PHP + whatever modules you need, and MySQL client and server. If you're used to phpMyAdmin, that's available too. Installing software in Linux is generally quite simple: yum install foo on RedHat-based distributions, and apt-get install foo on Debian-based distributions. In either case, Digital Ocean likely has some good tutorials to get you up and running quickly.

How to Install LAMP on Ubuntu 16.04
How to Install LAMP on CentOS 7

Those links should get you most of the way there. If you need more AWS-specific help, refer back to the huge help thread I linked to above. It's an A-Z guide.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by simonmlewis »

I've been reading through Stage One of setting up the Security, and something really worries
Decide who requires access to your instance; for example, a single computer or all the computers on a network that you trust. For this tutorial, you can use the public IP address of your computer, which you can get using a service. For example, AWS provides the following service: http://checkip.amazonaws.com. To locate another service that provides your IP address, use the search phrase "what is my IP address".

If you are connecting through an ISP or from behind your firewall without a static IP address, you need to find out the range of IP addresses used by client computers. If you don't know this address range, you can use 0.0.0.0/0 for this tutorial. However, this is unsafe for production environments because it allows everyone to access your instance using SSH.
I work from home, so my IP - if I have to restart my router, would change. Thus, in theory, locking me out of all our accounts instantly!

So .... what do I do ... ??
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by Celauran »

simonmlewis wrote:I work from home, so my IP - if I have to restart my router, would change.
Maybe. I would check with your ISP. My IP hasn't changed in years.

If your assumption is correct -- or if you need the flexibility to be able to work from other locations -- you can opt not to restrict incoming IPs, configure sshd to disallow logins to root, disallow passwords, and only permit logins using known key pairs. You could even have sshd listen on a different port if you like. Security through obscurity isn't really security at all, but not listening on port 22 will keep your logs cleaner.

Obviously, you'd want to implement the above behaviour in steps lest you find yourself locked out. Restricting password access should be the last step.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by Celauran »

Actually, I believe AWS forces you to connect to SSH by public key anyhow, so much of my previous post is not necessary.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by simonmlewis »

I am praying that after all these steps, there is an actual GUI to manage the websites from.
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Celauran
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by Celauran »

GUI to manage what, specifically? GUIs are not typically used on servers or in deployment in general.
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Re: Amazon Web Services - any good?

Post by simonmlewis »

To pop into phpmyadmin, to add email accounts, to setup Cron Jobs, manage mail forwarding, change FTP passwords, and add new websites....
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