Amazon finally gets static IPs

Amazon has finally launched two features that have prevented its EC2 service from really taking on conventional web hosts: Static IPs (aka Elastic IPs) and "Availability Zones."

The "Elastic IPs" come with a little "Amazon special sauce" and can be re-assigned to your EC2 instances programatically on the fly. There are some initial limits, currently you can only request up to 5 "Elastic IPs" per account.

"Availability Zones" allow you to specificy the (abstract) location of the physical machine that will host your virtual instance. You can for example specify that your two ec2 instances should be created in two separate datacenters, geographically separate enough to satisfy disaster recovery plans...etc

RightScale, a company that provides a management interface (written in Ruby on Rails) to Amazons infastructure has a good blog post on the new changes here: "Setting up a fault tolerant site using amazons availability zones".