Amazon Lightsail

Categories: aws, Cloud, unix

You might have heard of Amazon Webservices (AWS), the market leader in cloud services.

Typically, when it comes to an enterprise, the compute option that is generally chosen is EC2, or Elastic Cloud Compute.

This gives you greater control and customization options, and for a beginner who is planning to host a small server on the cloud, sometimes overwhelming!

That’s where another offering from Amazon, the Amazon Lightsail, starts to make a lot of sense!

Here you get a very clean interface, and offered a choice of Virtual Machines, with pre-configured applications or just the operating system. What makes this offering really great is the pricing. Unlike EC2 where each of the services is billed separately, in Lightsail, you have a fixed pricing for a given configuration.  And there are no surprises on the network bandwidth billing as well. Each of the instances comes with a bundled data transfer bandwidth.

So how do we start?

Step 1

Login to AWS console and choose Lightsail

Step 2

Click on create an instance and choose if you need one with an installed and configured application or the plain OS.

Step 3

You then have the choice of adding a launch script for any specific customizations required. There is also an option to Change the SSH pair, I chose the default and downloaded my private key.

Step 4

Choose the instance, based on your requirement. For my use case, the smallest one would do, and therefore chose the $3.5 plan. The first month is free and if you chose some specific regions, like Mumbai, remember that the data transfer allowances are really half!

Finally review and click on Create Instance, and in under a minute you should have your instance ready to connect.

The three orange vertical dots on the top right corner has more options which will help you manage the instance, like changing the configuration, stopping and restarting the machine etc.

By default, the instance gets assigned a dynamic IP address, and you have an option to assign a static IP address from the networking tab. By default the instance will have ports 80 and 22 open, and if you need to add custom ports that can also be added from the Networking tab.

Connecting to the server

Now that the server is running, the easiest method to connect is to click on the big orange button “Connect Using SSH”. This will open up a new webpage and give you console access.

This opens up a new browser window,

The other method for you techies is to use an SSH client like Putty. If you have heard of Putty, guess you will know how to connect, else there are a number of online articles to help.

In the next post, we will explore how to setup a custom RTMP server to help you simulcast your stream to multiple platforms.

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