Using the Server
Whether I use Connect Method 1 or Connect Method 2, I can log into my own real computer running in the cloud and have complete root level control over the machine! The machine is a full working (virtual) server with a CPU, Hard Drive, Memory, and a Network Interface.
Using some basic Linux commands, I was able to determine my cloud computer is running on an Intel Zeon 2.66GHz CPU with 1.7GB or RAM and 10GB or hard drive space, shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8: cpuinfo command result for the cloud server
In addition to the above hardware specs, my machine has full network access. From the command line of my cloud computer, I can ping other devices and network addresses, verifying I have Internet access. The IP on my cloud computer is 10.202.254.48 /23, which is a private IP address. For an additional fee, though, I can assign a public IP address to my cloud computer.
One of the main functions of a LAMP server is to host web pages. The AWS LAMP cloud computer is pre-configured with Apache, MySQL, and Perl running. I don't claim to be an expert on Apache, MySQL, and Perl, but a simple test is to browse to my cloud computer's DNS and see if I get a web page.
Indeed, browsing to http:// ec2-184-72-207-244.compute-1.amazonaws.com gave me the web page shown in Figure 9, which displayed the various status and version information about the software and configurations running on my cloud computer.
Figure 9: default AWS cloud server web page
If I were a web designer, I would now be able to start customizing my cloud web server. I could add or modify web pages as desired. Using scp (secure copy protocol), I could upload web pages to run on my cloud computer.
There you have it, I set up a cloud computer on Amazon's network. I used the basic options, which are best for development and test purposes. As such, I only scratched the surface of the products available on AWS, which include Computing Services (EC2), Content Delivery, Databases, E-Commerce (FWS), Messaging (SQS), Monitoring, Private Cloud, Payment Services (FPS), Storage (S3), Support, Web Servers, and Workforce solutions.
All told, running this machine for a little less than 24 hours cost $1.49. Note, however, that I used very little bandwidth, which is charged on an as-used basis. Since I didn't need to continue to run the machine, I selected terminate from the AWS console. This deleted my cloud computer to stop all future charges. Since I'm not really using the machine, I had no need to keep it running.
Had I done any work or configuration on my cloud computer, I could have copied and saved my configurations for future use. When the time comes for future use, I simply need to fire up another instance and reload my configurations.
My goal was to document the steps to get started with cloud computing. I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated by the whole concept of cloud computing. In the end, though, it really was quite simple.