Amazon recently release a new product called CloudFormation. It’s basically an automated build out of several Amazon AWS products, driven by a simple XML file. One of the templates offered out of the box is for a complete WordPress install.
After following the wizard like instructions, I had a basic WordPress installation up and running in a matter of minutes. I played with several WordPress settings, saved changes, added posts and pages, and even modified the theme. Overall it was a painless experience.
I downloaded the template XML so I could modify for future needs, and tuned the server off after about 4 hours. Total charges were around $3. Of course that’s with little data transfer. One feature I haven’t been able to get working yet is WordPress MultiSite. I kept getting an error pointing to a location on the server that was throwing a 404 error. This could be a problem with a plugin. Further investigation is needed.
What I really liked was I could turn on a dev box for a demo or to work on a new site without having to setup a new web hosting. Not sure yet how feasible it would be to run the site 24/7, but for dev and test it would be great.