Set up AWS so you control your services and their costs

Any cloud service, whether it is a website, a complex business system or an API is implemented by one or more servers connected to the Internet. Many developers and hosting services keep control of these services which makes it potentially difficult for you to scale up your services, add more developers or change your arrangements.

Hosting services also frequently add your service to an existing server that may already be providing many other services for other clients. This invariably means variable performance and additional secuirty risks (although with quality services, these risks are small). Having your own server is almost always preferable and, these days, it is inexpensive.

At PWC we generally recommend that you use a service such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) to keep as much ownership as possible in your own hands. AWS can support any cloud application from a fairly small website right up to a service on the scale of Amazon or Google. To cover this huge range, AWS supplies a bewildering array of web services but, don't worry, we will select the ones appropriate to your need.

It takes less than ten minutes to set up your own AWS account with us added so that we can set up the initial servers and related elements to get your application up and running online:

  1. Click on and sign in (you can use an existing Amazon account if you have one, or create a new one).
  2. Use this guide to create a user for us to use. You can use any reasonable name but we suggest you use something simple and memorable such as 'pwc'.
  3. Click on the user row you have created and you should see the groups/permissions/security credentials in a panel. Select 'permissions' and choose "Attach user Policy".
  4. Click on the use row again and set a password so we can login.
  5. In the window that opens, select "Power User Access" and apply the policy.
  6. Download the access credentials and supply
    • the AWS account URL (you can get this from the dashboard - something like,
    • the user password you defined and
    • the credentials file
    to us so that we can access the account as the user you have created in order to set up your services.

This gives us the ability to create the things that are needed but not to add or alter users. Thus you can remove our access if you ever need to (you wont, but it's nice to know you can) and, more importantly you can change permissions and add other users in future as the need arises.

That is all you need to do. Total server costs depend upon usage but will typically be anything from zero to $30pcm during development.

We can start work with just an IP address but it will probably be more convenient if we use a domain name from the start. We can supply one of our placeholders or we can help you associate any domain you wish with the server. The instructions for this vary depending upon your domain registrar.

We will guide you through using AWS as necessary so you can minimise operational costs and keep control over your services running your software.


anon 7 years, 6 months ago

Why do you need to add a user each time on AWS?

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Paul Whipp 7 years, 3 months ago

The user is needed so that we can set up the necessary AWS services (typically an EC2 server and an elastic IP address to begin with).

You could just supply your login details but then you would not have any control over what we could access and do.

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