I want to move from a VPS to EC2. What are some quirks that I will have to deal with?

For example, I believe I will need to use EBS to store all my configuration files and data. But, how would I install packages onto EBS.

What are some resources that could guide me on how to use EC2 sort of like a VPS?


Your comment about wanting to "install packages to EBS" makes me think you don't have a grasp on the parts here yet.

EBS can be used both as an add on storage system and as a root file system for your instances. There are also ephemeral instances that use a temporary root file system copied from an image.

Either way, EC2 allows you to configure your root system and then make a new AMI based on your configuration. Even on ephemeral instances, you can install software, configure users, etc ... then bundle that into a new AMI so you have a permanent copy of your "starting point". Any time you do system administration and changed the system configs, you would want to re-bundle so you could start up where you left off the time time an instance became necessary. Using EBS root stores this is called snapshoting.


The quirks you're going to deal with really depend on what OS you're using, and what you're using it for. Remember, more details means better responses.

Yes, data and stuff is usually stored on an EBS volume with EC2, it allows you to keep versioned snapshots and easily resize storage space. As for installing packages (I assume you mean linux here), it's not that different from a VPS. You start the machine up, SSH in, and yum/apt-get install whatever you need, and it stays there until you shut the machine down. Now, if you're really going to be using it like a VPS, and wont be shutting it down, then you'll only need to choose your packages once, and forget about it.

If you do plan to shut it down and open a new instance however, you will lose everything on that instance store (that instance's hard drive, basically). Data and apps can easily be stored on a separate EBS volume, which is independent form the instance store, but I'm not sure how you would go about installing packages to what is basically a different drive.

As for resources to guide you, read the manual: http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/

Sorry if my answers are a bit general, but you didn't really give me a lot to work with. Got any more specific questions?

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