Based upon my year's experience, I have these thoughts:
- First, my goal is to maintain the nrhdb resource online at the lowest possible cost. While it would be possible (though technically clunkier) for me to run the nrhdb on a Windows server, the EC2 prices for Linux versus Windows make it clear that the purchase and use of a Linux EC2 reserved instance is the most cost-effective choice.
- Second, the Amazon Web Services outage that occurred in April made me take a second look at the way that I manage my instance's data. I posted on this incident earlier this year. I now maintain a copy of my server's volume in another availability zone in the East region at all times and update the snapshot/volume every week or so. Although I could use EC2 API tools to automate this process, I'm still doing it manually using the AWS Management Console.
- I wound up changing my server OS during the year from Fedora to Amazon Linux (using the Amazon Linux AMI). Overall, my experience with this AMI has been positive - the Amazon Linux instance comes with fewer preinstalled packages and the ongoing installation of updates is very seamless.
- Finally, EC2 reserved instances are not only specific to an AWS region, but to an availability zone as well. Thus, you're locked into that AZ for the term period. Which can be a problem if, for example, there's an incident like the one that impacted the East region, but was centered in one availability zone.