Benefits of having your development environment on AWS EC2

In Web development – there are a number of ways to create your own working environment. Some people like to have all code locally, but every day more and more developers are choosing to work in the cloud. With cloud services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) – it is very easy to create a machine, that will make your workspace accessible anywhere. In this post, we will show you how to create and setup EC2 instance for working on your code online.

There are several benefits in having your development environment in the cloud:

> There is a minimal setup needed on your own machine to work on your code. No fuss with breaking and recreating your project when you need to reinstall/upgrade your system. Also, you don’t need a powerful machine for your dev anymore as you’re don’t have to run any servers on it.

Ability to create snapshots and easily recreate your machine if something is broken – how many times you were trying out some new library or trying some new feature on your Apache/nginx server but it was breaking things and you’ve ended up recreating your environment from scratch? With EC2, you can just create a machine snapshot before ground-breaking changes, and recreate machine from it if needed.

You’re in a development stage – and you want to create your production environment easily? Just create a snapshot of your machine and create a new one from it. You’ll get a mirror of your dev environment that you can easily configure to work as a production. Every next code update after that can be done with git easily, but this step will give you a jump start.

> Easily accessible for all members of your team. All can work on the same machine, you can even create separate environments for each member and for your dev/test environments on the same server. That will allow you to have consistent server parameters for all. No more problems with machines incompatibility between team members.

Above applies also to differences between developer and production environments. For example, if you code your project in PHP or Python, your machine runs on Windows and your test/production server runs on Linux, then you might end up fighting fires caused by incompatibilities between your code on different systems as not everything works the same on both for this technologies. With one type of machine for all team members – problems like that are gone.

Free tier – if you’re just starting your journey with AWS – you’re eligible to Free Tier which effectively gives you a dev server for free.

And because in dev world, not everything can be straightforward, there might be some shortcomings. This solution might not be suitable for all technology stacks. For example ASP.NET/Java projects that need some bigger horsepower to compile might be still better to keep on your own machine. You can still have your test/stage environment on AWS where you will drop compiled libraries and run it from there.

If you operate on a bit bigger budget and you don’t want to carry your dev machine around, then one of the options is to create your dev environment for this kind of project on a bigger EC2 instance and setup your environment there, and connect to it with RDS or TeamViewer and still be able to work with it remotely.

Every year cloud ecosystems become more and more friendly to developers and also robust. There is no need anymore to host your own server, especially if you start your developer adventure. And because of a competition between main cloud services providers, it’s also getting cheaper and cheaper!


CloudRanger offer a simple DevOps automation solution to make it easy to manage backups & servers on AWS cloud. Using CloudRanger, you can easily backup your RDS and EC2 instances as well as EBS volumes with snapshots and AMIs.

With an easy to use interface, managing your routine AWS tasks is simple and effective. CloudRanger saves your team time and hassle, making the day-to-day management of your AWS resources easier and more automated. CloudRanger can also help you save on your EC2 costs by starting/stopping non-production instances automatically when you need them.


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