I mentioned this in a comment over on John M Willis ESM Blog. I thought it deserved a post all to itself because I think it’s important.
One anxiety I have with hosting my websites is the bill I need to pay each month. There are many many hosting options out there, all with their own particular risk characteristics.
With the advent of on-demand cloud offerings like Amazon EC2 there are lot of new options.
Terry Slattery has some suggestions as to how you can use Amazon’s cloud computing offerings in implementing network management
The big selling point with cloud computing is that computing capacity grows and shrinks depending upon the load being put upon it. You typically only pay for CPU (by the hour) and storage (by the month) you actually use.
If your website enjoys a sudden surge in traffic, by appearing on the front page of slashdot for instance, then extra servers will be provisioned automatically. Once the peak load passes and more normal traffic levels return, the extra servers are automatically de-provisioned.