EC2 Oh EC2 How I Wish I Knew More About You

I have spent the better part of Sunday afternoon trying to decide what the future of hosting holds for me.

I haven’t made any decisions yet, but I am leaning towards EC2 over just about anything else. My problem is that I often find myself hosting a bunch of small scale static sites as well as high performance Rails applications. This means that Engine Yard Solo really isn’t for me unless I want to drop down into Rack which is a big possibility. I need the ability to roll out an apache host for a little site. Maybe even something with php… am I trying to do too much? Also, how many sites can fit on an instance? I know that a high performance application will need it’s own instance or more, but can I host multiple sites on a single instance?

My only beef is that I feel like I shouldn’t go with Solo. As much as I love Engine Yard and what they have built, I feel like I can figure EC2 out myself with Chef and roll my own custom solution that will suit my needs and in the end be much cheaper. My problem isn’t that I don’t like paying for quality services because I do, my problem is that I feel like I am coping out by not trying it myself.

However, I have a little problem… I seem to do this a lot. A few months ago I was pretty close to writing my own blogging engine since I wasn’t happy with everything out there, my buddy Nick talked some sense into me, but at the end of the day I was really considering it. Now I am stuck wondering if I am doing the same thing again with hosting. Am I making this more complicated than it should or has to be? Maybe it’s worth spending more money per month if it means never having to dive into EC2 logs etc… But there is some part of me that always wants to have control of what I am paying for / deploying. I feel like I should learn EC2 because it will only get more popular as time goes on and I don’t want to regret not putting the time in now to learn it.

Does anyone have any opinions on this? Has anyone been in the same situation?

I am planning on calling Engine Yard tomorrow or Tuesday and talk with them about some of my options and how flexible their Solo packages are. It’s all really up in the air right now. I feel like I must sleep on it.

Thanks for listening, I will make sure to post again after I talk to Engine Yard and take a look at ec2onrails, chef/ec2 etc. For the moment, I am at Linode, Slicehost, University of Toronto etc… my hosting is all over the place. I am really looking to consolidate.

Thanks again,