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I'm about to host a huge interactive web-application on Amazon EC2, which can involve heavy traffic and thus, heavy database traffic.

So I chose to use EC2 instances for the PHP core, and RDS for the database.

Please share some experiences and opinions on different Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) available to choose from when launching an instance (since there is allot of them), specifically when it comes to hosting heavy web-applications.

I want my core EC2 instances to be running only Apache, since RDS will take care of the databases, and I want them secure, fast, stable.

2 - How can I start with a blank minimal linux installation, and then take care of the rest myself ?

3 - Anyone has any experience with the Basic Amazon Linux AMI Beta ?

Thanks, Gjore

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'd go with whatever flavor of Linux you like, but I'd recommend an image with an EBS root partition for persistence. If you're dishing up alot of static files, I've heard that throughput is better on S3 buckets vs. EBS, but I can't find the numbers right now to back that up.

The nice thing is, you can light up a machine (I can setup a new EBS-backed instance with an elastic IP in less than 3 minutes with the ec2-tools), start testing it out, and tear it down if you don't like it, costing you maybe a buck or two to have it up for a couple of days.

Once you're satisfied with your performance, you can bundle your own image to make adding additional Web server instances for testing or redundancy a very simple procedure.

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I'm using S3 & CloudFront for ALL files other than the core PHP files. Can you give me more info on making your own EC2 images? – Tom Feb 17 '11 at 0:10
The term is called "bundling". Google "how to bundle amazon ec2" for more information. – gravyface Feb 17 '11 at 0:31
I looked around the net, but one thing that bothers me - can I bundle my own image on my local desktop linux installation? Most of the methods I saw utilize a running EC2 to build a new image... – Tom Feb 17 '11 at 1:29
Ok I found it:… :) – Tom Feb 17 '11 at 1:36
You can create an AMI image from a vmdk (VMWare virtual disk image). – gravyface Feb 17 '11 at 1:36

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