Test web sites with a variety of web browsers. No queues. No contacts. No pre-payments.
All this is possible through the magic of Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2). We have built a few virtual machines, installed several browsers on them, and you can use them for just the Amazon EC2 hourly fee, which is as low as 3 cents per hour for a micro-size instance. Billing is by the hour and charged to your credit card (by Amazon) at the end of each month.
Boot up one of these virtual machines and you will be running Microsoft Windows Server with several browsers.
We currently offer these Amazon Machine Images (AMIs):
|Created||Jan. 7, 2009||Jan. 7, 2009||Mar. 25, 2009||Mar. 25, 2009||Jul. 14, 2009||Mar. 21, 2011|
|Internet Explorer||6||6 with Developer Toolbar||7||8||8||9|
|Firefox||2 & 3||2 & 3||2 & 3||2 & 3||3.5||4.0|
|Opera||9||9||9||9||10 beta 1||11.01|
|Safari||3.1||3.1||4 public beta 528.16||4 public beta 528.16||4||5.0.4|
It will take 10-15 minutes to get everything in order but you only need to do this one time. You will need to have your credit card handy.
Now that you are set up with AWS and EC2, using the machine is a simple four step process. Click on each image to see it larger.
First, log into the AWS console. Following the red arrows, click on the EC2 tab, select the "US East" region, and click on "AMIs". Following the green arrows, make the following selections in the "Viewing" section: Public Image, Windows, and "htn" in the text box.
Second, select the machine image you want to use and click the Launch button. Follow through the dialog boxes to launch your instance. The larger instances boot faster and cost more but, for testing web sites, it probably does not matter which size you choose. As of March 2011, EC2 pricing includes micro instances @ $0.03/hour, small instances @ $0.12/hour, and medium instances @ $0.29/hour.
Very important: Wait 5-15 minutes before proceeding with the next step. The status of the instance will change from "pending" to "running" long before Windows is actually up and running and ready for you to log in. Small instances can take up to 15 minutes. Medium instances may be ready in as little as five minutes.
Third, check the availability of your instance by pulling down the Instance Actions menu and choosing Get System Log. If the log is blank (all black) then the instance is not ready. If the log shows, "Windows is Ready to use" then you can log into your instance.
Fourth, log into your instance by pulling down the Instance Actions menu, choosing Connect, and following the instructions. The username will be "Administrator" and the password will be "administrator".
When you are finished using your virtual machine, turn it off by pulling down the Instance Actions menu and choosing Terminate. You will keep incurring charges until you do this!