Amazon Lightsail Tutorial – An Introduction
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Amazon Lightsail Tutorial
In this Amazon Lightsail Tutorial we will be discussing about a new Virtual Private Service called Amazon Lightsail, but before that let’s take an abstract overview on things.
Every business runs behind an idea, it is the key factor behind the success of any business. And also, the quicker you implement that idea, more successful your business will be.
Look at AWS, the leader in cloud computing. Of course, they are the leaders because they are awesome, but do you know they started their cloud journey way back in 2000’s when no competitor, literally no competitor was there to tackle them?
Today we have dozens of cloud providers to choose from, but AWS is still on top, why? Because they got a head start.
You, let’s talk about you now, you have an amazing idea, but then you are not equipped with all the knowledge and tools required to make it happen.
Say suppose you are a blogger, and you want to start your own blogging venture. But when you start exploring, you get to know there is this thing called MySQL which has to be installed and configured with your WordPress, which has to be installed on a web server, which costs a fortune!
Wait! You rented a server, good job!
Cool, so you just have to configure it now. You start learning stuff, configuring WordPress, connecting it to MySQL, configuring the DNS, along the way you lose interest because what you actually wanted to do was blogging, and you got stuck with managing servers!
But hey, cheer up! Our cloud computing leader is here to save you!
They came up with a service called AWS Lightsail.
What is Amazon Lightsail?
So, Amazon Lightsail is a VPS (Virtual Private Server) service which gives you templates to choose from, you can either choose a Plain OS or an OS with a pre-baked application, ready to be used with a click of a button.
Want more? The prices start at 5$ a month!
So, no need of worrying about the underlying infrastructure, just launch your application, and start building your idea, it’s that simple!
Who will use this service?
Let’s take the example forward, you were a blogger remember? So, you would need a WordPress configured system, for that you just have to choose the WordPress icon from the Create Instance dashboard, select the desired plan and you are good to go!
So basically if you want everything to be installed, configured automatically from the technical side, and also if your system does not require auto-scaling, this should be the thing for you!
What else is pre-configured or taken care by AWS?
So the moment you click on create instance button, the following steps are executed:
- Launch VM(Virtual Machine)
- Attach SSD(Solid State Drive)
- Manage IAM
- Create Security Groups
- Setup DNS
- Create Static IP
How is Amazon Lightsail different from other Automatic Services from AWS i.e. OpsWorks or Lambda or Beanstalk?
Let’s have a look:
- AutoScale: Well, first of all, the capacity is fixed in Lightsail, the only way you can increase the capacity is by changing your plan, therefore no auto-scaling in lightsail. Whereas in Beanstalk, OpsWorks etc. You can auto-scale the resources and you would be billed accordingly.
- Fixed Price: In LightSail you have a fixed price, in other services since auto-scaling is supported, you are billed according to your usage.
- Configuration: In OpsWorks you have complete control on the configuration of your system, you can configure layers, you can create stacks. Lightsail is not that complicated, you get a system, there is nothing to configure. Beanstalk on the other hand is all about code, you upload your application code, and it deploys the application for you. You don’t work with the underlying OS. AWS Lambda is just about the background tasks, you upload your code and it will start executing it for you.
So in a way, Lightsail is completely different.
So is it something that Amazon came up with?
Well, no. Unlike other services from AWS which are all original, AWS copied this service from one of its competitors, DigitalOcean.
DigitalOcean solely offers VPS service, and they have had tremendous growth in the past few years.
AWS saw this, and launched the exact service on their own platform.
DigitalOcean vs Amazon Lightsail
There is no difference when it comes to the pricing and configuration, both offer exactly the same system configuration for the same price.
Perhaps, the only difference is that Amazon Lightsail can be used along with your other AWS resources, which would not be possible if you were using DigitalOcean.
Let’s move on to the most attractive part of this service, the pricing.
There are basically 5 different system configurations to choose from, each with a different price.
The above configurations are offered at hourly rates, so depending on your need, you can start and stop an instance, you will be billed on the no. of hours.
And yes, you noticed it right, AWS has extended the free tier usage in Amazon Lightsail as well.
You can use the 5$ config for free, for the first month i.e. 720 hours! Go play!
You are all set now for your journey into Lightsail, let’s brief you up on how to launch your first Lightsail instance.
Moving along in this Amazon Lightsail Tutorial, let’s launch a WordPress configured instance in Amazon Lightsail
Step 1: Login to your AWS Management Console and select Amazon Lightsail.
Step 2: Click on the Create Instance button
Step 3: You can now select the required option, since we are launching a WordPress server, we’ll select the WordPress option in the templates.
Step 4: You can leave the SSH key pair to default and move ahead and choose an instance plan according to your needs, we will be selecting the free tier configuration.
Step 5: By default, N. Virginia region, will be selected for you since Amazon Lightsail is only available in that region, you can choose the desired Availability Zone though.
Step 6: You can rename your instance to something more appropriate, and at last click on create.
It will take some time for the machine to be up and running, once everything is done, on the main instance page, click on your instance, and copy-paste the public IP of your instance in a new tab.
Once you visit this IP the following page will appear.
Congratulations!! You have a WordPress machine at your service.
Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of this Amazon Lightsail Tutorial and we will get back to you.