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What is AWS Lightsail? Amazon EC2 vs. Amazon Lightsail

In this blog, we will be discussing a virtual private service called Amazon Lightsail and how is it different from another Cloud service called Amazon EC2 but before that let us take an abstract view on things.

What is Amazon Lightsail?

Amazon Lightsail is a virtual private service that gives you templates to choose from. You may either choose a blank OS or an operating system pre-baked with applications and ready to use with the click of a button.

Every business runs behind an idea and this is the key factor of success for any businesses worldwide. The quicker you implement the idea; the better it would be for your business.

It is a leader in the cloud computing that started its journey in the 2000s when there was no competition. Today, we have a range of services to choose from, but still AWS is on the top. You must be wondering, why? It made a head start in the cloud world with the best range of tools and services. Two of its amazing services are Amazon EC2 and Amazon Lightsail.

Here, in this post, we will focus more on Amazon Lightsail cloud service. If you want to learn about what is AWS EC2 Instance and how to change AWS EC2 instance settings then click on the links go through the respective blogs in detail

Now, to begin with, let’s say, you are a blogger & have an amazing business idea but when you started exploring, you realize that WordPress should be connected with the MySQL server.

So when you start configuring it for the server, you get engaged to multiple activities like WordPress configuration, configuring MySQL for WordPress, DNS configuration etc. Along the way, you realize that you are diverted from the actual idea of blogging and got badly stuck with the server management operations. So now don’t panic here. There are many AWS cloud services to save you. Using Lightsail service here is suggested. Amazon Lightsail costs you $5 a month. You don’t have to worry about the underlying infrastructure, just launch your application and start building your idea directly.

It helps to jumpstart your project that includes almost everything like DNS configuration, data transfer, static IP, data storage, security groups etc. The best part is that everything can be availed at very affordable prices.

Read: Difference Between Google Cloud, AWS & Microsoft Azure Cloud

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Features of Amazon Lightsail Virtual Private Service

Let us have a look at features of Amazon Lightsail virtual private cloud service ahead.

Features of Amazon Lightsail

1). Easy and Fast

Lightsail helps you to deploy a virtual private server quickly with a few clicks. It offers pre-configured templates for the Linux distribution, application, or CMS systems like WordPress, Magento etc. With the Lightsail’s intuitive management console, you may run server or associated services easily.

2). Built on AWS

Lightsail virtual private servers run on the highly trusted and reliable AWS cloud infrastructure that is used by millions of customers worldwide. It means your apps are powered by the best infrastructure with Lightsail implementation and used by top Companies like Netflix, General Electric, And Capital One etc.

3). Grows with your Business

With Lightsail, you may grow or scale your applications over the time. As soon as your application needs advanced features like managed databases, CDNs (content delivery networks), dozens of other features, you may quickly get connect with your Lightsail-hosted applications.

4). Low Predictable Costs

Lightsail offers plans that include everything you need to deploy a virtual private server like the virtual private machine, storage or networking etc. The subscription starts at $5 per month. When your business grows, it becomes easier to trade up more resources based on the requirements.

5). Free Subscription

The $5 Lightsail subscription is free for one month (Max 750 hours). For this purpose, you should log in to Lightsail Console with your AWS account to try it today.

Read: AWS & DevOps- The Powerful Tech Trend of 2019

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How to use Amazon Lightsail?

You were a blogger, remember and you need a WordPress configured system for your blogging venture, Right? If yes, you just have to choose the WordPress icon from the Create Instance Dashboard. Then, just select the desired plan and you are ready to go. Basically, you are just required to install and configure everything automatically from the technical point of view. Rest all the things are taken care of by the AWS?

  • Launch Virtual Machine (VM)
  • Attach Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Manage the IAM
  • Generate security groups
  • Setup the DNS
  • Create the static IP

AWS Lightsail Pricing

$5/Month $10/Month $20/Month $40/Month $80/Month
$0.007 / Hour $0.013 / Hour $0.027 / Hour $0.054 / Hour $0.108 / Hour
512 MB RAM 1 vCPU 20 GB SSD 1TB Data Transfer 1 GB RAM 1 vCPU 30 GB SSD 2TB Data Transfer 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU 40 GB SSD 3TB Data Transfer 4GB RAM 2 vCPU 60 GB SSD 4TB Data Transfer 8GB RAM 2 vCPU 80 GB SSD 5TB Data Transfer

Here are five different system configurations to choose from a particular plan as given above. These configurations are offered at hourly rates. Based on your needs, it is easy to start and stop an instance. You will be billed based on the number of hours. If you have noticed carefully, Aws has extended the free-tier usage in the amazon Lightsail as well. For $5 subscription, you can use this configuration free for the first month.

Amazon EC2 vs AWS Lightsail

Both cloud services can be differentiated based on multiple parameters that are discussed below.

A). Pricing

Each Lightsail instant includes a set of different services like EC2 for compute, EBS for storage, and Route S3 for DNS queries and SSL encryption for security management. The biggest difference between both cloud services, EC2 and Lightsail can be understood in terms of prices. Each Lightsail instance includes one to 5 TB of internet data transfer allowance whereas, for EC2 instance, an enterprise may have to pay $90 per TB. So, Lightsail is much affordable when compared to Amazon EC2 instances.

B). Suitability

If there is some application that requires a minimum number of configuration options then Lightsail is the best choice in that case. If there is some application that requires a highly configurable environment or high CPU performance consistently like video encoding or analytics then Lightsail might not be ideal in that case. You should opt for Amazon EC2 instances to manage these types of applications.

C). Pre-configured Templates

It takes time to spin up a server through Menu Interface. Lightsail includes multiple virtual images and Developers have the flexibility to choose a pre-configured template with SSD storage, DNS configuration management options, and a static IP address. The package may run on Linux AMI or ubuntu both and it includes a variety of developer stacks too like LAMP, LEMP, MEAN or Node.js etc. Further, Lightsail can be configured with popular apps like Drupal, Magento, Joomla, WordPress etc. AWS has secure shell capabilities that enable server setup without worrying about key management or browser plug-ins.

D). API integration

Any Lightsail instance is not possible to access directly through the AWS Management Console. For this purpose, Developers should set up Virtual Private Cloud to access more advanced features associated with other services. Developers can integrate Lightsail with a variety of APIs for more advanced functionalities, such as:

Read: What Is Amazon DynamoDB? How Does It Work?
  • Get a complete list of machine configurations
  • Generate multiple Lightsail instances together.
  • Get a list of all available Lightsail instances.
  • Get complete details for a particular Lightsail instance.
  • Generate a snapshot of the instance.
  • Generate an instance from the snapshot.

E). Pricing for Instances

It is possible to stop and start an instance in both cloud services either EC2 or Lightsail. In practice, AWS still charges for Lightsail instance when an instance is stopped. At the same time, AWS does not charge anything for EC2 instance when it is stopped. The only solution is to take the backup of the instance and delete it from the Lightsail history. Enterprises should also pay fees to keep a static IP address in use. They need to pay $.005 per hour or $3.60 per month extra to maintain the web server continuity.

For each account, there are some limitations defined like each account is limited to 20 Lightsail instances, 5 static IPs, 3 DNS zones etc. So, you have to keep these facts in mind when planning to but instances for your next application.

Which one to opt?

When we look at the process, Lightsail costs are built on the top of EC2. Enterprises can save money when plan the compute, storage, and networking requirements with EC2. Further, AWS offers the best tools and services to backup or spin up or down EC2 servers. But Lightsail can be the best choice for individual or departmental apps that run for a longer time span.

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Demo for Lightsail instance configuration

Moving toward the end of the blog, let us discuss how to launch a WordPress configured instance in Amazon Lightsail.

  • First of all, Login to the AWS Management Console, and select the Amazon Lightsail.
  • Now, click on the Create Instance button.
  • You may choose the desired option, Here, we will launch a WordPress server, so we will choose the WordPress option in templates.
  • Leave the SSH key pair to default and choose the appropriate instance plan based on your requirements. Let us select the free-tier configuration here.
  • Don’t forget to select the availability zone to use the instance plan. By default, New Virginia region is selected.
  • You can rename your instance something appropriate and click on Create option in the end.
  • It takes some time for the machine to be running and set up the instance. Once everything is done successfully, click on your instance, copy-paste the static IP address to a new tab.
  • Once you enter the IP, the following page appears in front of you.

WordPress machine

 Congratulations! You have a WordPress machine at your service now.

So, that’s it, guys! Lightsail is a brand-new service from AWS that you need to know. Also, you may have a look to know about best AWS interview Questions and Answers to prepare yourself for the next job interview. For more details, join our AWS certification program and get trained right away.

Read: What is AWS Fargate? Amazon EC2 vs. Amazon Fargate

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