Amazon Web Services rock. They really do.
I was first introduced to AWS about half a year ago, but only recently have I started to use them. I work at www.zshow.com where we use Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) for hosting all of our pictures. While exploring AWS, I also encountered EC2 (Elastic Computing Cloud) and was quite excited about the idea – it allows you to easily create virtual servers, at the equivalent of a 1.7GHz processor and 1.75GB RAM with a 250MB/s connectinon, and pay per hour of use. Possible uses are endless, as you basically get a virtual x86 machine that can do everything you wish.
Recently, I’ve started thinking about renting a game server for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars when it comes out. Then the other day, I thought that Amazon EC2 could be used to host a game server (along with TeamSpeak/Ventrillo, Web server, and whatever) and was eager to try it out. I googled it up and found some posts in blogs about how this could be done ( I wasn’t the first one to come up with that idea ). I gave it a go, and quite soon I had an ETQW server running. However, much to my discontent, Amazon is probably located at North America, thus I couldn’t get decent pings for an actual game server that I could use (250+). I still think that it should be quite usable for Americans though, and extremely cost-efficient for clan servers, mod teams and other people who wouldn’t like to have their servers on 24/7. In that case it is actually cheaper to just rent a server from some host.
I do recommend the Firefox EC2 Add-On anyone who would like to try it, as it makes usage of EC2 much easier, via a single GUI interface.
I really see much potential in AWS in general, and I also like the idea of using EC2 for game servers. I guess that if I lived in North America and had some time, I would have set up a website that sells on-demand game servers and uses EC2 as a backend.