What is your experience with Amazon EC2 cloud hosting service?

a) setting up and configuring the service b) maintenance c) speed / latency d) reliability?

Amazon did experience some major outages lately, but from what I read, it is still the most advanced hosting service available. Do you agree?

How does it compare to Rackspace?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Stephen Ostermiller Dec 15 '13 at 8:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Amazon experienced a major outage, but all things considering that outage was pretty limited compared to the media attention that it got. Far from everyone was affected, and if your business demanded high availability it should have been designed around a single instance failing in a single availability zone.

  1. If you are familiar with Linux, it is as easy as configuring any other web server from scratch.
  2. Maintenance is significantly less. AWS is a managed solution; you look after your software and data, they look after the infrastructure and data centre.
  3. EC2 processing speed is as they promise, and is burstable. You can choose how much CPU you want access to. Latency is very good; you take advantage of a very well peered network. Extra services such as cloudfront can significantly reduce the latency for your visitors.
  4. With regards to reliability, we have been using it for nearly a year in mission critical applications and have had no issues; compared with other services we have used before, this is the most reliable. You can set up your use of AWS in such a way that it fails over between data centres, so that even a data-centre wide outage would not affect your application.

Compared with all other services, AWS is easily the most advanced cloud computing environment available.

I cannot compare it with Rackspace, but for non-highend applications, it may simply be a matter of preference.

AWS has a free tier which I encourage you to try if you are curious.

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