October 18th, 2009

Pricing out Amazon EC2

I'm looking at the possibility of moving my backgammon server to Amazon EC2 or some other virtual hosting service, rather than self-hosting, and I'm trying to estimate costs. I'd appreciate a sanity check from anyone who is familiar with EC2, or anyone who just wants to check my math.

A small reserved instance, which is more than adequate for my needs, costs $227.50/year to reserve, and $.03/hour to run. That's $490.30/year if I reserve it for one year, or $40.85/month.

Data transfer is $.10/GB in, and $.17/GB out. Based on a five-day sample, I'm doing about 34MB/hr in, and about 36MB/hr out. That's around 21GB/month in, for a cost of $2.10, and 26GB/month out, for a cost of $4.42. (note:.I'm using a 30-day month. It's close enough.) Bandwidth would be $6.52/month.

Disk space is $.10/GB/month, and $.10/million I/O requests. I'm currently using just under 30GB of disk space on the server, but a lot of that is wasted. Call it 30GB, for $3/month for storage. I/O requests are hard. Currently, iostat -d is reporting 20.8 transactions per second. 20.8 * 60 * 60 * 24 * 30 is about 54M I/O requests per month. That would be $5.40/month. Storage total $8.40/month.

Backing the server up to S3 is $.15/GB/month. That's $4.50/month. (It's actually probably a bit less than that, but we'll go with that number.)

So if I've done this right, it's $40.85 + 6.52 + 8.40 + 4.50, or just a hair over $60/month. For this I will get a reliable (virtual) server and connectivity with no real maintenance costs, with the tradeoff that I'm now paying for metered service on everything. Even if my estimates are off by 50%, that's still less than what I'm paying to keep the server here. A small EC2 instance has more horsepower than my current server, so that's not an issue.

Another alternative would be to go with another virtual hosting provider, but I have no idea what the market looks like right now. A quick web search turns up about 37 zillion providers that will offer me a VM at a reasonable price, but I have no good way to determine quality and reliability of any of them. Is there anyone in this space that is highly reputable?

Note that I'm looking for virtual server hosting, not web hosting.

Any thoughts from the geeks in the audience?

Weekend in review

Opera with doodlebugthug. It's always puzzled me that I have this incredible love of musicals, but I've never developed an appreciation for opera. Opera is really just a classical musical, right? I actually rather enjoyed it.

Saturday I went running, then got sucked into helping littletranquil wrangle mollena for her run for San Francisco Ms. Leather. There was quite a lot of erranding and organizing and assembling and dressing and polishing, but it all paid off. Mo handled the contest with both grace and panache, and she is now Ms. San Francisco Leather 2009. She is incredibly deserving of the honor, and I expect that she will make a very strong showing at International Ms. Leather next year. I was about to say that watching her win was almost as good as winning myself, but actually it's better-- I don't have to do any of the work that goes with it.

After we got her packed and cleared out of the club, littletranquil, gayathri, Kat and I hauled her over to Wicked Grounds so that she could hold court and continue the celebration. It was my first trip over there, and the space is really great. I hope they can make it work out over the long term.

I also saw the recent ex for the first time since we parted ways. I expected no drama and nothing negative, and that's exactly what we got. We've chatted quite a bit since the breakup-- probably more than before-- we just haven't been in the same place until now.

Sunday has been a day of catching up on things, working, and playing poker. I did manage to fit in a bike ride, and once again managed not to kill myself. Note that I managed to both run and bike this weekend-- this is terribly bizarre behavior for me, but it's also good behavior. I'm not stressing over how much of any particular activity I do, but I'm trying to exercise at least every other day and more if I can.

I also bought plane tickets for my annual thanksgiving trip, which looks about like this:

Nov 20: SF -> NY
Nov 23: NY -> London (arriving Nov 24)

From London, I'll either hop a train or a plane to Glasgow, probably a plane since I'll already be at Heathrow. I think I'll spend two nights in Glasgow, then hop a train back to London for a few days. Finally:

Nov 29: London -> SF

If I can fit in a day in Paris I'll probably do so, but it's looking pretty unlikely.