Definition

Amazon Lightsail

Contributor(s): David Carty

Amazon Lightsail is an Amazon cloud service that offers bundles of cloud compute power and memory for new or less experienced cloud users.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) packages memory, processing, storage and transfer into virtual machines (VMs) for customers to purchase, and then releases that compute capacity as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances. Amazon Lightsail derives its compute power from an EC2 instance and repackages it for customers who are new or inexperienced with cloud.

AWS designed the Lightsail service to make it simpler to understand and purchase rudimentary compute capacity. AWS also manages the infrastructure, which shares the same uptime and global regions and availability zones as EC2, and makes it available with a few mouse clicks.

Amazon Lightsail launches virtual private servers, which are VMs with individual operating systems but restricted access to physical server resources. A customer can choose from five Lightsail plans with the following characteristics:

  • Memory ranging from 512 MB to 8 GB;
  • Processors with one or two cores;
  • A solid-state drive with 20 to 80 GB of storage;
  • Data transfer allowances of 1 to 5 TB;
  • Prices from $5 to $80 per month.

Concepts and features of Amazon Lightsail,
including live demo.

Amazon Lightsail's five plans as well as its pricing model closely mirror that of DigitalOcean, which has many to speculate that Amazon designed it to compete with the cloud infrastructure provider.

All Lightsail plans include a static IP address, a management console, secure shell terminal access and key management, domain name server management, and server monitoring. Lightsail customers also have access to AWS tools.

Lightsail offers a variety of operating systems, applications and stacks so a customer can build a template. A developer uses the Lightsail command-line interface as an alternative to the console. Lightsail also provides a reference for application programming interfaces and documentation.

This was last updated in August 2017

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