It’s been over a full three months of running of AWS IaaS and with two consecutive months remaining largely the same deployment. (I’ll get to the third month later).
As you can see I’m on the free tier for RDS (database) and being charged for more or less everything else. It’s working out to be slightly more expensive than a monthly plan from Linode but AWS does include handy (chargeable) features like snapshots for backup on EBD volumes (disks attached to EC2 instances) and RDS. The snapshots are charged by their size rather than the number of snapshots.
The cost would also depend on the traffic as well so it will vary from person to person but these are the good guide.
After the first year though the charges skyrockets to 50% more than Linode. Yes it’s slicker and the VM is separate to the Database but at 50% increase you may as well spin up another Linode and get dedicated images for both and have more compute power running them.
Looking at some of the AWS competitors the billing scheme is very similar which would make it prohibitive and expensive for individual to SOHO sized companies. The main benefit would be if the architecture required high resilience and scalability.
Maintaining the servers have been fairly similar to any other server. The instances require updates and restarts are required for kernel changes. The big difference was the backup strategy. AWS has online snapshot functionality for both EC2 EBD volumes as well as RDS. This meant backs could be held in AWS and restored using the web interface.
It’s becoming obvious that cloud and specifically AWS has been priced and placed for where scalability is a big part but it does not replace the VPS model. AWS costs can vary a lot depending on utilisation and network traffic where as VPS are the fixed cost model and additional resources can be purchased if necessary.