Amazon is clearly the right answer for most people’s cloud services. But when you are developing software and just need a small server to do some testing, their smallest instances was about 6 times more expensive than competitive offerings. As a result, a lot of developers also had a rackspace or slicehost account. Now that AWS has announced their new ‘micro’ instance, most of us can get back to the simplicity of using a single cloud.
The new ‘micro’ install actually is not that small. It has a decent amount of RAM at 613MB. That’s much more than most small VPSs from other vendors that only have 128MB or 256MB. Also, while it has one ECU (compute unit), it can burst up to two ECUs. Again, not bad compared to other vendor’s basic offering. Finally, one different is that the ‘micro’ does not include much hard disk space so you will need to add a EBS volume. If you can live with a small 10GB EBS, that will only add another $1 per month (remember we are talking about test / development servers).
So for now, I’m back to using AWS for my test servers. It will be interesting if Rackspace and others respond to Amazon’s aggressive move.