In this post, we will understand AWS Lightsail, its significance and how it can be used to create interesting features in applications.
The idea behind building any application is to make the business better in every aspect. Whenever an idea is identified, the ultimate goal is to implement it in the best possible way. But what if we get lost in irrelevant/unimportant processes while trying to implement the idea? This is where Lightsail comes into the picture.
Amazon Lightsail is a service that provides virtual private offerings/services, which offer a variety of templates to choose from. It is also known as a virtual machine or a virtual private server, which basically offers all characteristics of a server/computing machine but can’t be physically seen.
The template here refers to a wide variety of basic structures which ranges from bare-bones OS to an operating system that comes with pre-equipped applications which are ready to be used with the mere click of a button.
The cloud service, Lightsail, provides facilities that include required infrastructure, cost-effective nature of maintaining and managing the application, scalability and easy-to-setup options.
In simple words, it can be visualized as the simpler or scaled down version of Amazon Elastic Compute (EC2). This is because of the differences in requirements of both EC2 and Lightsail.
For example- EC2 requires fine-tuning such as configuring network interface, assigning security group to users, placing the application in a virtual private cloud, choosing the right machine image and much more. All of these are not required by Lightsail.
When an instance of a Lightsail is created, it doesn’t need to be maintained by servers like other applications. It is easy to set up an instance and operate it, which means developers, AWS enthusiasts, and smaller teams can easily concentrate on bringing their ideas into life instead of worrying about minor technicalities or how to go about implementing a specific feature to bring the idea into working.
It gives a kick-start in bringing your ideas into life, by providing features like DNS configuration, static IP, storage of data, assigning security groups, transfer of data and much more.
When an application is built using Lightsail instance and is connected to a Lightsail managed database, database administration is an easy process, which makes it more efficient, and helps provide common maintenance operations and security operations. Data can be backed up to a snapshot, and this data can be of a specific point in time, right before a failure or when it is in a specific state. When a database is created using a Lightsail instance, it can be managed with the help of AWS CLI, API, and SDK.
When the amount of traffic to your application increases, it can be scaled-up and redundant data can be incorporated into the database with the help of load balancers. Load balancers, as the name suggests, distributes the incoming requests to multiple instances of Lightsail, making it available in many Availability Zones. The instances can be removed or added as and when required, without disturbing the all-round flow of the service. It is as simple as attaching the Lightsail instance to the load balancer, and then configuring the HTTPS with the help of an SSL/TLS certificate so as to handle encrypted requests.
The service regularly keeps a check on the instance, thereby constantly monitoring the error codes, latency, and response time.
Session persistence can be enabled, thereby storing session information in the user’s browser. With the help of this, the user can pick up from where they left in the previous session.
When the number of requests that are sent to the service rise all of a sudden at specific points in time, load balancer can be used to distribute the traffic to multiple instances of Lightsail. This way, load balancer makes sure that the application is available for most of the time. It also provides fault tolerance, because of which even if one of the instances fails (or the Lightsail managed database fails), there is a back-up due to which the application continues to work normally.
Since data is stored on SSDs (block storage), it is automatically replicated in multiple Availability Zones, thereby protecting the application from component failures. This way, it is mostly available, and long-lasting.
Using SSDs gives a striking balance between good performance and being cost-effective.
Following are the steps to set up a Lightsail instance:
1. In the Lightsail homepage, click on the menu next to your newly-createdLightsail instance’s name.
Now, click “Connect” and the following will be visible
2. Click on ‘Connect’.
3. Type commands on the CLI and manage the Lightsail instance easily.
In this post, we understood the significance of Lightsail, where it can be used, and how it is different in comparison to EC2.