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I originally posted this on stackoverflow.com and it was suggested serverfault.com might be a better place to ask this question. So here goes:

I'm trying to determine which Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to use as my Virtual Server in Amazon's EC2. For now, I'll need to choose an AMI that complies with the AWS Free Usage Tier. I want to deploy a Java app that I've been developing using Eclipse on Windows XP, Tomcat 7 and MySQL 5.5.

I'm aware that I can choose the Basic 32-bit Amazon Linux AMI. Then I'd manually install Tomcat and MySQL (does MySQL get installed on the image or separately on an Elastic Block Store (EBS)?).

Here's the rub, I'm a bit of a Linux noob. I can start Tomcat and tail the logs and such on Linux but I'm not familiar with the install process for Tomcat and MySQL on Linux and commands like sudo and chmod. I'm happy to get more hands on with Linux but I'm short on time right now.

Are there AMI's that already have Tomcat and MySQL bundled? The Request Instance Wizard shows 805 Community AMI's that are Free Tier Eligible. 51 of the Free Tier Eligible AMI's have "Tomcat" in their name.

I'm willing to consider using Elastic Beanstalk but my research thus far hasn't found any discussion of using MySQL with Beanstalk. The discussions all seem to use Amazon's SimpleDB.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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put on hold as off-topic by Michael Hampton yesterday

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In case anyone is interested, i've been testing BitNami's TomcatStack AMI for Amazon EC2 and so it's been working out well. I confirmed that you can use this AMI with a Micro instance and it should qualify for the AWS Free Usage Tier. –  Justin Aug 8 '11 at 14:14

2 Answers 2

If Elastic Beanstalk (EB) suits your needs, then use it - it will save time. It makes it really easy to deploy web apps, and takes away the need to decide and configure things that don't really matter if you're not concerned about the details (like which AMI). Use the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse to make it even easier to deploy your code.

EB is for hosting your web app only - it doesn't host the database. But you can use it with RDS or any other database that is reachable (e.g. another free-tier EC2 instance). Just configure your web app to connect to the RDS instance via its endpoint. Make sure your deployment includes any MySql drivers needed to connect so then you don't need to worry about anything being installed on the AMI.

Otherwise if you don't want to go down the EB path, just choose a Windows Server base AMI with the micro instance type for free tier and install Java, Tomcat and MySql onto it. You don't need Linux for these if you don't want it and are more familiar with Windows.

does MySQL get installed on the image or separately on an Elastic Block Store (EBS)?

EBS volumes just appear as extra disks on an EC2 instance, so when you install MySQL on a secondary disk (e.g. D:/E: for Windows or /dev/sdb mount for Linux) it is on an EBS volume.

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I think it is depend upon your application.I prefer a 64 bit m1 large instance.You can scale the server as the need arises.

What kind of application you are going to deploy ? How much traffic you are expecting these all matters.

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A large instance won't fit in the free tier. –  ceejayoz Sep 20 '11 at 11:29

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