Welcome to this webinar about one of AWS’s newest services, Amazon Lightsail. We launched Lightsail in the end of November in Andy Jassy’s keynote at re:Invent. My name is George Elissaios (brief bio). I’m joined today by Emily Kruger who runs product marketing for Lightsail and Gabriel Gosselin, one of the engineers on our Lightsail team.
Here’s a look at what we will talk about today. The first half of this webinar will be an overview of Lightsail, including how it is packaged and priced and what projects are best to use it for. Then we will move into a more technical section exploring the Lightsail API and ways you can extend and scale your application, including two short demos. If you have questions during the presentation, please type them into the Q&A box. We have several members of the Lightsail team here to answer your questions over chat. The last 10 min of the presentation is reserved for Q&A. We will pick a handful of the best questions from the chat Q&A to answer for all attendees. Let’s get started!
(CLICK) Use notes from re:Invent
When we were designing Lightsail we tried to simplify the steps to get an instance up and running as much as possible. If you look at this diagram, you can see many of the steps you need to take to launch an EC2 instance. These steps give you a lot of control and flexibility, but they also take time and require that you know your way around the AWS console. (CLICK) With Lightsail, all of these steps are “under the hood” so to speak – they run in the background for you. This means that all you need to do is click the ”Create Instance” button and your VPS spins up in your console and you are ready to get going with your project.
Use notes from the re:Invent preso. George hand off to Emily.
When we built Lightsail we didn’t only want to make your instances easy to launch and manage, but we also wanted you to feel confident about how much it was going to cost you each month. We understand that predictable pricing is important to many customers, particularly when you are just launching a new project and don’t know how much resources it will consume. We created 5 pre-configured plans, each including a set amount of computing power, storage, memory, and data transfer. The smallest plan starts at only $5 per month, and the plans scale up to $80 per month for a fairly powerful server.
George told you a few slides back all the things included in your plan – and it’s a lot. But we also want to be transparent about a few charges that could be extra. When we first launched Lightsail, we saw some chatter online about where are the ”gotchas” and this really surprised us. We designed Lightsail plan to be a fixed cost you can count on each month. In order to do this, we took a look across the millions of customers using AWS and all the resources they were consuming for instances of comparable size to those in our plans. We are confident that for almost all users, the resources included in a given Lightsail plan will be enough and there will be no reason to be concerned about overages. At the same time, we want to avoid abuse of Lightsail plans and waste of resources, so we created overages for a couple of the resources. These safeguards also help us keep our prices very low for all our Lightsail customers, by keeping our costs fixed as well. So, here are the 4 ways you could spend extra with Lightsail. First, is data transfer. It’s very important to note here that this is data transfer OUT of your instance. For the smallest Lightsail plan, 1TB of data transfer is included in the plan. 1 TB is a lot of data. Unless you are running an incredibly popular or media heavy application, it would be extremely hard to exceed this amount of data transfer out. Next, we have unattached IP addresses. You get one free static IP with each of your instances, and Lightsail only supports 1 IP per instance from a technical perspective. This means you should really never have an unattached IP. At AWS we are committed to preserving IPv4 addresses, so if you happen to have an unattached IP address we will charge you for it. The way around this charge is easy – just destroy any unattached IP address. It’s only 2 clicks in the console. Third, DNS queries. Similar to data transfer we have included a massive amount of DNS queries each month with your plan – 3 million a month. If your site becomes popular enough that you exceed 3 million queries, you can buy a million more for 40 cents. This is just us passing on these costs so that we can keep the cost of Lightsail low for all our other users. Finally, snapshots. Snapshots aren’t an overage, but an additional service you can use with your Lightsail instances. Snapshots use additional storage space, so we charge you a very low rate of 5 cents per GB per month to host this for you. You choose if you use snapshotting or not and how many snapshots you keep. This was rather long winded because we want you to understand and feel confident in your monthly plan price. Our data shows that that almost none of you will run up against any of the plan limits.
Our goal with Lightsail as we have been saying all along, is to keep it simple. As a result, that probably means that Lightsail is not the product to use if you are running applications or software using hundreds of services, software using huge amounts of computing power, like big data or scientific applications, or websites and apps that stream a lot of movies or other media. That’s what EC2 and the broader AWS platform is for. And you get access to the AWS console and all its power when you sign up for a Lightsail account. But Lightsail is designed for a large range of use cases that millions of our customers and future customers need everyday. You can use Lightsail to host websites and web apps, including those that use popular content management systems like WordPress, Joompla or Drupal. You can use it to run your online store with Magento or your ecommerce platform of choice. Outside of production environments, Lightsail is also perfect to spin up dev environments quickly for testing code out. Finally, like any server, you can use it to run software for your small business, like finance or collaboration suites.
To make it even easier, Lightsail comes with a range of Operating system and application templates to make fast and easy to get started. In case you don’t have all these logos memorized, I’ll list them out for you. In operating systems we currently support Ubuntu and Amazon Linux. For Application platforms we have wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and Redmine. And we offer a range of development stacking, including LAMP, Nginx or LEMP, MEAN, Node.js, and Gitlabs.
Now you should have a really good overview of Lightsail, so let’s dive into some of the more advanced features. Lightsail has it’s own API and command line interface that allows you to do everything you can do in the console AND MORE, Use the API to manage your resources, including create, start, stop, and destroy. You can peer your Lightsail instances to your AWS VPC to connect other AWS resources - more on that in a few slides. We also already have customers using the API to build out their own features for Lightsail. You can do this too with calls that let you automate instance management or extend Lightsail with new functionality. If you want to try it out today, we have API examples for a few functions you can’t do in the Lightsail API. For instance, we have an API that lets you create new instances from a snapshot – this is a good way to be able to resize your lightsail instance if you’ve outgrown your original plan. If you want to make sure your instances are always backed up, you can set up automatic snapshotting using calls to Lambda. Gabriel is going to walk you through a demo of automatic snapshotting so you can see our API in action.
Before Gabriel gets started, we wanted to list out how to get started with the API. You first need to create an access key in the AWS console. Gabriel will show you how to do it, and we also have step by step instructions in our Lightsail documentation. Then you install the CLI and SDK on your machine. Read the API docs to familiarize yourself with the calls and get started coding. Gabriel, let’s show them how it works.
That was awesome, thank you Gabriel. Let’s talk a little bit more about how you can grow your application on Lightsail. Beyond using the API (which is one great way to add to and automate your instances) here are 3 other ideas. First, you can scale out your application by connecting multiple Lightsail instances together. This allows you to distribute workloads and have servers play dedicated roles, for instance just as a web server, database server or a email server. You also might want to add extra protection against outages or other events that could bring down your app by replicating it across multiple datacenters. You can do this in Lightsail by creating copies of your Lightsail instance in different availability zones. Finally, you can add features and capabilities outside of Lightsail by connecting your instance to resources running in your AWS console. For many AWS services, you can connect to Lightsail through the Amazon private network using VPC peering. For AWS services that don’t use VPC, you still can access them in the AWS console. Many of these services will connect to Lightsail over the internet, even if they don’t use Amazon’s private network.
Here is a subset of AWS services that you can connect through VPC peering or through the internet using your AWS account. Next, Gabriel is going to demo an application that uses both a Lightsail instance and an AWS managed database – called relational database service or RDS. These two resources connect via VPC.
In order to connect to RDS from Lightsail, you need to first enable VPC peering in your Lightsail account. You can find a switch to turn it on in your Lightsail account settings. Lightsail will connect to your default VPC in your Amazon account. If you don’t have a VPC created in your AWS account, you will want to create one first. Next you create your database in RDS using the AWS console and point it to your Lightsail application. That’s it! Gabriel is going to show us how this works.
Thanks Gabriel! As you can see, you can run quite sophisticated applications on Lightsail by connecting to the AWS platform. We want you to try out Lightsail for yourself and see what awesome applications you can get running. You can use our small Lightsail plan free for one month – or 750 hours. We let you split this time up however you want. Run 1 instance all month or run 10 instances for 75 hours each. Your choice! You can go to our website at AmazonLightsail.com and follow the link to sign up. If you are already an AWS customer, you just use your existing AWS username and password to log in and get started. Everyone else, you will need to first sign up for an AWS account.
Thank you everyone! We hope you learned a lot about Lightsail and how it makes it easy to run your website, web apps and more on AWS. We’re now going to open the floor to questions, so please go ahead and type them into the Q&A window in your webinar console. We’ll try to answer as many as we can in the next 10 min.
What is Lightsail?
Pricing and plans
Top use cases
Using the Lightsail API
Lightsail: the easiest way to get started on AWS
Bundled compute, storage, networking
Fully configured server
Low, predictable price
Intuitive Lightsail console
Access to AWS services
Tailored API & CLI
Launch a VPS instance with one click
Under the hood
What does your Lightsail plan include?
CPU core(s) SSD block
Access to AWS
Networking & data transfer
1 Static IP
Intuitive management console
SSH key management
Access to AWS services
What could cost extra?
Data Transfer OUT beyond
plan threshold ($0.09/GB)
Unattached IP addresses
DNS queries in excess of 3
Lightsail supports many popular use cases
Websites Web Apps eCommerce
Choose from a dozen preconfigured instances
Use the Lightsail API
Create and manage resources
Automate instance management
Extend Lightsail functionality
Create instances from snapshot
Resize instance to a larger plan
Set up automatic snapshotting
Using the Lightsail API:
Get started in a few simple steps:
1. Create an access key
2. Install the CLI and SDK
3. Review the API docs
Extend your application with Lightsail
Connect multiple Lightsail instances
Build applications with distributed workloads
Run instances across multiple availability zones
Add features and capabilities
Access AWS services using VPC peering and the
Connect with VPC peering
Managed databases (RDS)
Compute instance (EC2)
Data warehouse (Redshift)
Big data - Hadoop (EMR)
In memory data store/cache
Connect from AWS account
Object storage (S3)
AWS Database (DynamoDB)
Serverless compute (Lambda)
Email service (SES)
Message queuing (SQS)
Connect popular AWS services to Lightsail
Adding managed databases (RDS)
Get started in a few simple steps:
1. Enable VPC peering in Lightsail
2. Create your database in the AWS console
3. Point to your database from your Lightsail application
Try Lightsail free for 1 month
Free trial includes one $5 plan
for 750 hours in your first month