Got going w/ Amazon EC2 instances last week. ElasticFox certainly made for a nice gui admin tool. Few bugs, but overall good. The only thing that kills me is Amazon’s decision to not offer a 64bit small instance (or a medium 32 bit instance w/ 4GB of ram.). I know they are doing it to get people to pay more money for the more expensive 64 bit instances. The 32 bit are supposed to be there to test out your work first. However, if I customize my bundle a lot in 32bit mode and then need more performance offered in the 64 bit instances, I am screwed. I have to do all the effort of setting up a brand new 64bit instance, including installing and configuring all the necessary software. This really defeats the purpose of being able to test ideas cheaply in 32bit small instances.
Small instance: $90/month for purely ec2 payment. (not storage, bandwith, io, etc)
Medium instance: $360/month
That’s a factor of 4. Not much for a business, but a lot of money for a solo programmer experimenting. Also, it can turn into a lot for a small business if the solution involves clustering.
Overall, a good experience getting started.