Since 2006 Amazon has been very successful in rolling out new features and add-ons to its ever expanding suite of Web Services, and this week has been no exception.
In their latest newsletter, Amazon announced three new updates to their EC2 service. Firstly the ability to connect directly to server instances from within their web console. Secondly a new m1.medium instance type to fill the gap between the current m1.small and m1.large offerings and finally the ability to run any server instance using a 64bit AMI.
The most significant of these 3 updates for us is the fact that all EC2 server types can now be run off a 64bit AMI.
A good number of our clients often start out with a single server solution. Typically this has meant sticking them on an m1.small instance type, which used to only be available via a 32bit AMI.
This is all well and good but the difficulty arises when they either outgrow their solution or they simply have timely spikes in traffic which require more server grunt. In order to upgrade them to a larger, 64bit based instance we’d have to fire up a new server, move any EBS volumes over and re-configure any DNS/Elastic IPS.
That doesn’t really sound like the end of the world....and in reality the work involved isn’t that bad compared to running physical hardware...however, Amazon already has a facility for swapping between instance types....the only problem is you can't swap between 32bit and 64bit instance types (for obvious reasons!).
Now, after this great update, we don’t have to worry about these issues any more. Instead, all of our new servers (our first one is already live!) will be running off our custom 64bit Ubuntu AMIs and we can happily re-size them without the extra hassle of migrating between two machines! Happy Days!
Keep going with the updates Amazon....good stuff!!