Deploying an Amazon Lightsail Virtual Private Server on a Canadian Datacenter

In the past, I found that AWS was not easy or cost effective for deploying a simple cloud based solutions for popular applications such as WordPress… that is until now. Enter Amazon Lightsail, which abstracts away some of the AWS overhead, along with fixed pricing to rival most VPS providers. But to succeed, some technical chops, and investment in understanding the AWS ecosystem is still very much required.

Canadian Datacenter

As an added bonus for Government and Public sectors, Amazon AWS currently offers two choices to deploy your instances in the Canadian region. This is important because you could (at an additional cost) make use of a load balancer, or create a failover for your mission-critical applications.

Scalability and Agility

I think the scalability and agility that comes with using modern solutions like Amazon Lightsail is paramount. Because without an efficient way to manage your infrastructure or technology stack, then you’re probably spending too much maintaining it, and not enough time building a great product for your users.

As web applications evolve, they become costly to scale if you didn’t plan for that growth upfront. For that reason, choosing the flexibility of the AWS ecosystem, makes perfect financial and business sense for large and small teams alike.

Why not use EC2 Instead

Lightsail instances in fact are EC2 instances, from the t2 class of burstable instances. Meaning, you don’t have to manually choose an EC2 instance, S3 storage, and RDS database… it’s all abstracted away for one fixed price. But it still remains transferable to EC2, S3, RDS, etc. Amazon Lightsail just bundles it all together for you.

Getting Started, or not

It’s really not as straight forward as clicking a button like some other VPS and hosting providers offer. But the flexibility and tools of the AWS ecosystem at your fingertips sure make it into an interesting offering. I would recommend comfort level with the command line, and lots of patience as you’ll need it for some of the required manual configuration.

Required Configuration

Besides setting up an AWS account, and sorting out your billing details. The following needs to bet set up from within the management console. Please note, that if you aren’t also comfortable with setting up your own Email server, or any of the other configuration below, then Amazon Lightsail may not be the best solution for you.

  • Static IP
  • Networking configuration (Domain Name)
  • SSL certificate
  • Email Server
  • Load Balancer (optional)
  • Region Selection
  • Create an Instance or more
  • Automated Backups (optional)
  • SSH tunnel to access phpMyAdmin (if you need to manage your DB)
  • Remove the Bitnami branding via a terminal command

Once that’s done, the rest is a breeze! 🙂

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