Amazon changes its perspective slightly with Amazon Lightsail service, in the hopes of targeting developers deploying small projects, and bringing them within the AWS ecosystem.
But that does not mean that Lightsail skimped on features — you do get the complete package.
Only in a more affordable and simplified way.
As we learned in our introduction to Amazon Lightsail article, this is a service from the company that allows customers to launch virtual private servers, and then build their web applications or websites on top of it using the integrated tools and services that are on offer.
We’ll take a look at them below.
The idea behind Lightsail is allowing users the ability to spin up their VPS within minutes, and then get to building their projects without tinkering with details like VPC, subnets, security groups — in other words, choosing every last configuration detail of thee server they are going to launch.
But behind this simplification still lies the power and robust feature set that the AWS cloud is known for.
At least, some of the feature set of the popular EC2 service has made its way to Lightsail, albeit with a dramatically simplified console, seamless provision of resources, and even connectivity with certain AWS services within the same account.
Below is a list of the features you can expect to see when you sign up for a Lightsail account:
You get an automatically provisioned virtual private server of your choosing with Lightsail, with SSD based storage, data transfer, DNS management, and a static IP address all offered as a package. No more putting everything together yourself.
Lightsail allows you to deploy a virtual private server with just a few clicks using preconfigured templates for your favorite operating system, Linux distribution, application or dev stack. All the popular ones are here, including WordPress, Magneto, LAMP and more, meaning you go from 0 to 100 within minutes.
You can easily connect to your VPS over SSH. No longer are you worry about copying and pasting its URL into the terminal. Lightsail provides a web based option for connecting via SSH, or you can bring your own SSH client like Putty to the party.
Since Lightsail servers run on the AWS network, you get the complete peace of mind and security that Amazon Web Services is renowned for. Configuring the details of your network is easy with Lightsail, and you can customize everything from your IP address and DNS to firewall and more.
Lightsail is available worldwide, and Amazon offers the service in 10 global regions and availability zones, so that your app or website can be where it needs to be. All the major locations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia are covered.
Amazon has really streamlined the whole service, with dedicated management panels for a specific VPS that show the metrics and charts for CPU utilization, incoming and outgoing traffic, and status, all from a convenient user interface.
Just like the service itself, Lightsail pricing has been kept as simple as possible. You can get started for free the first month if you choose the most basic package, and can scale up your plan as and when needed with more memory, processor, storage or transfers.
Although only Linux was available for most of the first year, Amazon very recently added the Windows option for Lightsail users. Need to run your programs and applications on Microsoft’s operating system? Simply get a plan, and get everything set up for you, including licensing.
Management becomes a lot easier on Lightsail, thanks to snapshots, which you can use to clone your server or backup and protect your data. With a minimal per month cost, you can archive or duplicate your servers at will.
Lightsail does not exist in a vacuum, it is very much a part of the broader AWS platform. This means that you can easily extend the capabilities of your Lightsail server by connecting it to popular AWS services like managed database, CDN, and more.