EC2: now having actually played with it a *little*...

So, in place of my previous bloviation on the subject, unfettered by the weight of experience, a couple of somewhat-more-tempered comments follow:
  • Using the command-line tools is slow. They're shifting gigs of data around at the touch of a button, but hey, it's a UX thing.
  • In terms of actual tools, the options seem to be:
    • Go with the command-line tools and a bunch of bash scripts
    • Go with a (generally) half-baked third-party API, with its own idiosyncrasies built in, and the traditional lack of documentation OSS projects feel they can get away with.
    • (My inevitable option) download the WSDLs & use something to generate your own API in whatever language. Regenerate it whenever the API changes.
  • This choice is especially acute since I'm not intending, ultimately, to have to do anything by hand - so programming things properly to start with seems like the only sensible option.
  • Consistent IO on EBS is apparently not an option. This is something I think Amazon should fix toute suite, because things like RackSpace (maybe) and NewServers (h.t. etbe) seem to be to stomping all over the EBS I/O figures. In a different context, James Hamilton says "it makes no sense to allow a lower cost component impose constraints on the optimization of a higher cost component", and assuming that the servers are the expensive part, this is what (IMHO) may make using RDBMSs on EC2 a bit of a PIA long-term.

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