Q&A: What do people use Amazon EC2 for?

Question by : What do people use Amazon EC2 for?
What do you use Amazon EC2 for? Can you earn money somehow by sharing files (not even sure that’s what it’s for) or do you pay Amazon for some service? I’ve just began exploring cloud computing so please keep in mind that I know almost NOTHING about what it is, don’t get in too much detail. I just want to know what people use it for day-to-day and what potential it has for people who want to share files or servers or whatever. Thanks a lot

Best answer:

Answer by Ratchetr
EC2 lets you run 1 or more “computers” in the cloud. Suppose you want a server, a dedicated server, not a shared hosting service. You can go to BestBuy and buy a desktop machine, and try to make it a server. Ok for small ventures, but not for an real business. So maybe you would go to HP or Dell or someone and buy a rack mount server. You’ll spend a bunch of money, and a bunch of time setting that all up, right? But in the end you’ll have a server.

Or, you can fire up an EC2 instance. Instead of having a box with a monitor and a keyboard, you’ll have to connect to it using Remote Desktop if it’s Windows, or SSH if it’s linux. Instead of paying big bucks up front to BestBuy or Dell or HP, you’ll pay Amazon an hourly fee for running your machine.

You can only make money doing it if you already have an idea for making money if you have a server at your disposal. If you don’t have a money making idea, then no…you won’t make money. Amazon will. If you do have an idea for making money, then you would have to do the math to see if EC2 is more economical than the alternatives.

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