I wanted to share with the world a cautionary story related to my by @softwaredoug that reminded me that while Amazon AWS is amazing, its also best used in situations where your needs are extremely variable. Its the natural gas powerplant versus coal powerplant of hosting providers.
I looked at our bill out of curiosity. I was using AWS RDS (Relational Database Service) for the Quepid database. It took up a large chunk of the AWS bill:
RDS $721.32 EC2 $688.17 Route53 $3.01
I had been using RDS for all kinds of stuff – a testing scratch database, my dev site database, etc. Plus I happily clicked “next” -> “next” etc when setting this up. Which of course massively over provisions for what I need.
(So naturally I face-palmed myself when I saw that billing data! Head down in shame, etc etc)
Ive since scaled RDS usage back so that it only hosts the Quepid production data with all the appropriate/default backup and availability bells & whistles turned on. Its provisioned more appropriately. The cost should be much more reasonable.
Just a cautionary tale before dorking around with AWS services. It makes me want to consider other cloud/hosting options. It makes me pine for the days of very cheap shared LAMP hosting like these far cheaper prices: http://www.pair.com/services/web_hosting/
We are big fans of AWS, and recommend it frequently to our clients, but its good to remember that for basic constant loads, there are many other cheaper solutions out there.