Spreading the word: Amazon Web Services.

Spreading the word: Amazon Web Services.

I’m slowly starting my third year of university and slowly preparing for my final year project. A few days ago, when doing some research on what to do exactly for my FYP I have found accidentally web page describing AWS. I have seen it before on other blogs here and there but actually never checked it out!
Simply, this is great, well, could be better, and by saying better I mean free 🙂 but still, it’s great.
I didn’t have a chance to try them all but the one, which I think is the most popular, called S3 which stands for Simple Storage Service, is really good one!
You pay for almost everything but in my opinion the service is really really cheap even for a student like me! You have to pay for transfers in and out, for storage and for simple requests like LIST, DELETE etc. but for example 1000 of them cost 0.01$ which is really nice. Best of all, no setup fees, no fixed costs, it’s pure pay as you go service!

I will write here a very simple step by step tutorial on how to set everything up for S3 just to show more or less how simple it is but actually better and much more detailed tutorial is available on amazon web site. You can have a look at small video tutorial prepared by brightcove.com @ http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=769277068&channel=770166766

To get started you would need:
1. Good will
2. Some files to transfer
3. Credit card
4. Little time
5. Client application for managing your files somehow.

This tutorial will be very short as I will skip the first 4 steps :).
After you register for any of the services on amazon web site you can have a look at tutorials and developer resources. There is a wide choice of languages and api’s to choose from and many examples on how to use them. I had a look at Java ones and I have to say that even writing your own client with a little programming experience cannot be difficult.
Of course you can write the client yourself to make the most of the amazon web services with your appication but for the purpose of this tutorial you can simply use firefox plugin and transfer your files in a simple way over http to or from the amazon servers.
You can find the plugin at: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3247
Install the plugin and restart firefox. When you are registered, amazon will send you an email with links to the web site with your special set of keys which you have to use to connect to your service. Enter this keys into the box after clicking ‘Manage Accounts’ button on your left hand side and you are ready to go!

For more details especially about the code examples and api’s check the amazon web site!
Highly recommended!
PS. I will get back to you if I realize that I have not read the terms carefully and I will have to pay for it more than I expect 😉

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