To host a service on Amazon's EC2, you need an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). Either you create your own, or you simply pick one from the list of pre-configured images. In the past, our Yaler instances were hosted on the popular Alestic images, i.e. on the AMI of a third party provider. But lately Amazon announced the general availability of their own Amazon Linux AMI, which is
designed to provide a stable, secure, and high performance execution environment for applications running on Amazon EC2.
A core advantage in our case is the pre-installed Java runtime. The small footprint of the image is also a benefit, as by minimizing the number of non-critical packages you reduce exposure to potential security vulnerabilities. So we swiftly updated our automated deployment scripts to use the Amazon Linux AMI. The scripts allow us to start an entire new cluster in less than three minutes and lets us provide you with a truly flexible service.