[teknoids] Amazon AWS question

Norwood, Randy randy.norwood at ttu.edu
Wed Apr 17 16:49:53 EDT 2013

I'd like to hear from any university/law school customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS), particularly those at public institutions. I'm trying to implement a very modest AWS solution and am finding that there are few if any institutional users of AWS at my university. Also, according to our purchasing person, Amazon is difficult to deal with due to the university's sales tax exempt status. So, my question is mainly about how best to work with AWS from a procurement perspective.

The technical background is as follows. I use AWS for offsite backup and storage at home. Using my personal AWS account, I've also created several EC2 Windows server instances for various personal and work-related purposes, one of which is to have an offsite system for checking whether our electronic databases and journals are accessible from off campus, whether EZproxy is working properly, etc. I'd like to formalize this function, and have the law library pay for it. Our e-resources librarian could then just RDP to the EC2 VM, start up Firefox or IE, and check access as if she were a normal offsite user. Up until now, she's had to do that at home on her own time. Other uses are checking website responsiveness and behavior, propagation of DNS changes, etc. For this type of use case, a free low-powered "micro" instance is sufficient. It's free for the first year, after which it's $14/month.

So, the question from our purchasing person is how to make arrangements to pay for it, even during the time when it's free. And if AWS turns out to be unfeasible, can anyone recommend alternatives?


Randy Norwood
Programmer/Analyst III
Texas Tech University School of Law Library
randy.norwood at ttu.edu<mailto:randy.norwood at ttu.edu>

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