Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (http://aws.amazon.com/)
With AWS you can requisition compute power, storage, and other services–gaining access to a suite of elastic IT infrastructure services as your business demands them. With AWS you have the flexibility to choose whichever development platform or programming model makes the most sense for the problems you’re trying to solve. You pay only for what you use, with no up-front expenses or long-term commitments, making AWS the most cost-effective way to deliver your application to your customers and clients.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2 (http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/)
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. Amazon EC2 presents a true virtual computing environment, allowing you to use web service interfaces to launch instances with a variety of operating systems, load them with your custom application environment, manage your network’s access permissions, and run your image using as many or few systems as you desire.
Amazon Simple Storage Service or S3 (http://aws.amazon.com/s3/)
Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
USGIN is interested in making it possible for surveys and geologists with widely varied IT-capabilities to provide their data in an online, interoperable format. The Amazon Web Services framework gives us a platform on which a geologist can provide geoscience data services at a low cost-of-entry. One of our goals is to build a USGIN Amazon Machine Image (or AMI) that can be used by anyone to launch a EC2 instance that can be used as a web server. This image will use custom-chosen applications, and provide some minimal configurations which are necessary to help get data online. Once an instance is launched, it becomes a "virtual server" that the geologist has complete control to further customize and to serve their own data.