Data erasure method: Longbow

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Old Man Yells At Cloud

The time has finally come: I was served an eviction notice from my colo host, so I have moved my server and web sites over to AWS.

Many of you have already begun composing a comment starting with, "Instead of Amazon, you know what you oughta do" and -- thank you but no, please stop. It is done. I solicited your opinions on this a year ago, you had your chance.

You can be helpful in the following ways:

  1. Tell me if you notice anything broken or acting weird on either or The switch involved upgrading from CentOS 6 to 7, Apache 2.2 to 2.4, and literally every other piece of software, plus sending email from a new IP address, so it's bound to be weird for a while.

  2. I have been led to believe (by this thing) that if I pay for a year up front, my price goes down almost by half. I'd like to do that, but I can't figure out how. Apparently it's not simply a billing option, but somehow tied to an instance? Or scalpers? Please tell me what buttons to press to give them my money but less of it.

  3. If you have suggestions of simple ways to optimize my new setup for price and/or performance, let me know. Emphasis on simple rather than completely re-engineer decades of history.


I have a single instance, r5a.2xlarge (8 CPUs, 64 GB RAM), CentOS 7, us-east-2b, plus a 2TB EBS sc1 encrypted "cold storage" volume. I am running my own httpd, mysqld, postfix and a zillion cron jobs on this instance, and serving my web sites out of EC2 using the EBS volume as just a drive, not serving from its own pseudo-web site. Outbound bandwidth is probably somewhere between 1 and 2TB/month.

Please note that:

  • Any solution that involves any URL changing is unacceptable. "Just leave behind 301 redirects to the new URLs" is unacceptable.

  • If you're going to suggest, "Just run five more layers of proxies and CDNs in front of it", that suggestion needs to come with numbers on how much that's going to cost, and how much that's going to save, before it's a real suggestion. Because I can't tell.

  • I understand that you all think that I should be running 30 different instances that aren't up all the time, instead of one monolithic one pretending to be a real computer. But there is almost nothing that any of my cron jobs do that is sufficiently standalone that that makes any sense to me. I can't wrap my brain around that and I don't have the time or desire to rewrite literally everything.


  1. I have an "Elastic IP" that is the A record of my web sites. Apparently I'm paying $14/month for it. Someone said, "Oh, be aware that they just go and change those on you sometimes". This can't possibly be true, right? If so, what exactly am I paying for?

  2. I'm in us-east-2b because that was cheapest. This seems weird, since all of my customers are in San Francisco. Should I care? I'm guessing I shouldn't care.

  3. Am I correct in assuming that my 2TB EBS volume is never going to "fail"? I don't really have to worry about making AWS "snapshots" of it if I don't want to? (They seem to charge $107 for a 5% change/month snapshot of the 2TB drive! That's a lot of money for a slow-assed Time Machine. It's twice the price of the 2TB drive itself, so that pricing makes no sense.)

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