Q: What is Amazon Lightsail?
Amazon Lightsail is the easiest way to get started with AWS for developers, small businesses, students, and other users who need a simple virtual private server (VPS) solution. Lightsail provides developers compute, storage, and networking capacity and capabilities to deploy and manage websites and web applications in the cloud. Lightsail includes everything you need to launch your project quickly – a virtual machine, SSD-based storage, data transfer, DNS management, and a static IP – for a low, predictable monthly price.
Q: What can I do with Lightsail?
You can get preconfigured virtual private server plans that include everything to easily deploy and manage your application. Lightsail is best suited to projects that require a few virtual private servers and users who prefer a simple management interface. Common use cases for Lightsail include running websites, web applications, blogs, e-commerce sites, simple software, and more.
Q: What is a Lightsail plan?
Also referred to as a bundle, a Lightsail plan includes a virtual server with a fixed amount of memory (RAM) and compute (vCPUs), SSD-based storage (disks), and a free data transfer allowance. Lightsail plans also offer static IP addresses (5 per account) and DNS management (3 domain zones per account). Lightsail plans are charged on an hourly, on-demand basis, so you only pay for a plan when you're using it.
Q: What is a Lightsail instance?
A Lightsail instance is a virtual private server (VPS) that lives in the AWS Cloud. Use your Lightsail instances to store your data, run your code, and build web-based applications or websites. Your instances can connect to each other and to other AWS resources through both public (Internet) and private (VPC) networking. You can create, manage, and connect easily to instances right from the Lightsail console.
Q: What software can I run on my instance?
Lightsail offers a range of operating system and application templates that are automatically installed when you create a new Lightsail instance. Application templates include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Ghost, Magento, Redmine, LAMP, Nginx (LEMP), MEAN, Node.js, Django, and more.
You can install additional software on your instances by using the in-browser SSH or your own SSH client.
Q: How do I create a Lightsail instance?
After logging in to Lightsail, you can use the Lightsail console, command line interface (CLI), or API to create and manage instances.
The first time you log in to the console, choose Create Instance. The create instance page is where you can choose the software, location, and name for your instance. Once you choose Create, your new instance will spin up automatically within minutes.
Q: Does Lightsail offer an API?
Q: How do I sign up for Lightsail?
To start using Lightsail, choose Get Started and log in. You use your Amazon Web Services account to access Lightsail; if you don't already have one, you'll be prompted to create one.
Q: How do Lightsail instances perform?
Lightsail instances are specifically engineered by AWS for web servers, developer environments, and small database use cases. Such workloads don't use the full CPU often or consistently, but occasionally need a performance burst. Lightsail uses burstable performance instances that provide a baseline level of CPU performance with the additional ability to burst above the baseline. This design enables you to get the performance you need, when you need it, while protecting you from the variable performance or other common side effects that you might typically experience from over-subscription in other environments. For more information on burstable performance, go here.
If you need highly configurable environments and instances with consistently high CPU performance for applications such as video encoding or HPC applications, we recommend you use Amazon EC2.
Q: How do I connect to a Lightsail instance?
Lightsail offers a 1-click secure connection to your instance's terminal right from your browser, supporting SSH access for Linux/Unix-based instances and RDP access for Windows-based instances. To use 1-click connections, launch your instance management screens, click Connect using SSH or Connect using RDP, and a new browser window opens and automatically connects to your instance.
If you prefer to connect to your Linux/Unix-based instance using your own client, Lightsail will do the SSH key storing and management work for you, and provide you with a secure key to use in your SSH client.
Q: How do I use IPs in Lightsail?
Each Lightsail instance automatically gets a private IP address and a public IP address. You can use the private IP to transmit data between Lightsail instances and AWS resources privately, for free. You can use the public IP to connect to your instance from the Internet, such as through a registered domain name or through an SSH or RDP connection from your local computer. You can also attach a static IP to the instance, which substitutes the public IP with an IP address that doesn't change even if the instance is stopped and started.
Q: What is a static IP?
A static IP is a fixed, public IP that is dedicated to your Lightsail account. You can assign a static IP to an instance, replacing its public IP. If you decide to replace your instance with another one, you can reassign the static IP to the new instance. In this way, you don't have to reconfigure any external systems (like DNS records) to point to a new IP every time you want to replace your instance.
Q: What are DNS records?
DNS is a globally distributed service that translates human readable names like www.example.com into numeric IP addresses, like 192.0.2.1 that computers use to connect to each other. With Lightsail, you can easily map your registered domain names such as photos.example.com to the public IPs of your Lightsail instances. In this way, when users type human readable names like example.com into their browsers, Lightsail automatically translates the address into the IP of the instance you want to direct your users to. Each of these translations is referred to as a DNS query.
It's important to know that in order to use a domain in Lightsail, you must first register it. You can register new domains using Amazon Route 53, or your preferred DNS registrar.
Q: Can I manage firewall settings for my instance?
Yes. You can control the data traffic for your instances by using the Lightsail firewall. From the Lightsail console, you can set rules about which ports of your instance are publicly accessible for different types of traffic.
Q: What are snapshots?
Snapshots are point-in-time backups of instances, databases, or block storage disks. You can create a snapshot of your resources at any time, or you can enable automatic snapshots on instances and disks to have Lightsail create snapshots for you. You can use snapshots as baselines to create new resources or to back up your data. A snapshot contains all of the data that is needed to restore your resource (from the moment when the snapshot was taken). When you restore a resource by creating it from a snapshot, the new resource begins as an exact replica of the original resource that was used to create the snapshot.
You can manually take snapshots of your Lightsail instances, disks, and databases, or you can use automatic snapshots to instruct Lightsail to take daily snapshots of your instances and disks automatically. For more information, see Snapshots in Amazon Lightsail.
Q: What are automatic snapshots?
Automatic snapshots are a way to schedule daily snapshots of your Linux/Unix instances in Amazon Lightsail. You can pick a time of the day, and Lightsail will automatically take a snapshot for you each day at the time you chose and always keep your seven most recent automatic snapshots. Enabling snapshots is free – you only pay for the actual storage used by your snapshots.
Q: What are the differences between manual snapshots and automatic snapshots?
Automatic snapshots cannot be tagged or exported directly to Amazon EC2. However, automatic snapshots can be copied and converted into manual snapshots. To copy an automatic snapshot into a manual one, choose Keep from the automatic snapshot’s context menu to copy it as a manual snapshot.
Q: How can I back up my instances?
If you want to back up your data, you can use the Lightsail console or API to take a snapshot of your instance. If there is a failure or bad code deployment, you can later use your instance snapshot to create a brand new instance. We recommend stopping your instance temporarily when taking a snapshot, to ensure your data is complete and not corrupted in any way.
Q: What is the difference between stopping and deleting my instance?
When you stop your instance, it is powered down at its current state and is available for you to start again at any time. Stopping your instance will release its public IP, so it is recommended that you use static IPs for instances that must retain the same IP after they stop.
When you delete your instance, you are performing a destructive action. Unless you have taken an instance snapshot, all of your instance data will be lost and you cannot recover it again. The instance's public and private IPs will also be released. If you were using a static IP with that instance, the static IP is detached, but remains in your account.
Q: Can I upgrade my plan?
Yes. You can take a snapshot of your instance, and use the API to launch a new, larger size instance. You can launch new instances from snapshot using the Lightsail console or the CLI. Find instructions on how to use the CLI here.
Q: How can I connect Lightsail instances to other resources in my AWS account?
You can connect your Lightsail instances to VPC resources in your AWS account privately, by using VPC peering. Just choose Enable VPC peering on your Lightsail account page, and Lightsail does the work for you. Once VPC peering is enabled, you can address other AWS resources in your default AWS VPC by using their private IPs. Find instructions here.
Note that you need to have a default VPC set up in your AWS account in order for VPC peering with Lightsail to work. AWS accounts created before December 2013 do not have a default VPC, and you will need to set one up. Find out more about setting up your default VPC here.
Q: In which regions is Lightsail available?
Lightsail is currently available in all the Availability Zones in the following AWS Regions:
US East (N. Virginia)
US East (Ohio)
US West (Oregon)
Asia Pacific (Mumbai)
Asia Pacific (Singapore)
Asia Pacific (Sydney)
Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
Asia Pacific (Seoul)
Q: What are Availability Zones?
Availability Zones are collections of data centers that run on physically distinct, independent infrastructure and are engineered to be highly reliable. Common points of failure such as generators and cooling equipment are not shared between Availability Zones. Additionally, Availability Zones are physically separate, so that even extremely uncommon disasters such as fires, tornados, or flooding can affect only a single Availability Zone.
Q: What are the Lightsail service quotas?
For the latest Lightsail service quotas, including which quotas can be increased, see the Lightsail service quotas in the AWS General Reference. If you need to increase a quota, please open a case with customer service.
Q: How can I get more help?
We're here for you. Quick Assist in Lightsail offers immediate helpful tips about your actions in the console. From the Lightsail console, you can also access a library of getting started guides, overviews, and how-to topics. And if you want to use the API or CLI, Lightsail has a full API reference for all supported programming languages. You can also use Lightsail support resources:
- If you have an issue with your account or billing, contact customer service online. You get free 24x7 access with your Lightsail account.
- If you have a general question about how to use Lightsail, search the Lightsail documentation and support forums.
Additionally, AWS Support offers an array of paid plans to cover your individual needs.
Q: What operating systems can I use with Amazon Lightsail?
Lightsail currently supports 6 Linux or Unix-like distributions – Amazon Linux, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu – and 2 Windows Server versions – 2012 R2 and 2016.
Q: What are tags?
A tag is a label that you assign to a Lightsail resource. Each tag consists of a key and a value, both of which you define. A tag value is optional, so you can choose to create “key-only” tags for filtering resources in the Lightsail console.
Q: What can I use tags to do in Lightsail?
Tags have multiple use cases - they enable you to group and filter your resources in the Lightsail console and API, track and organize your costs in your bill, and regulate who can see or modify your resources through access management rules. By tagging your resources you can:
- Organize - use the Lightsail console and API filters to view and manage resources based on their tags you have assigned them. This is useful when you have many resources of the same type—you can quickly identify a specific resource based on the tags you've assigned to it.
- Cost-allocate - track and allocate costs across different projects or users by tagging your resources and creating “cost allocation tags” in the billing console. For instance, you can split out your bill and understand your costs by project or by client.
- Manage access - control how users with access to your AWS account can edit, create, and delete Lightsail resources by using AWS Identity and Access Management policies. This allows you to more easily collaborate with others without needing to give them full access to your Lightsail resources.
Q: What resources can be tagged?
Lightsail current supports tagging for the following resources:
- Instances (Linux and Windows)
- Block storage disks
- Load balancers
- DNS zones
- Instance, disk, and database snapshots
Manual snapshots also support tags and are automatically given the same tags as the source resource. You can edit these tags when you use a snapshot to create a new instance, disk, or database.
Q: How can I tag my Lightsail snapshots?
The Lightsail console automatically tags manual snapshots with the same tags as its parent resource. However, tags are not automatically copied over from a resource to its automatic snapshots. If you use the Lightsail API to create a snapshot, you can choose the tags for the snapshot yourself.
Important: Database snapshots tags are not currently included in billing reports (cost allocation tags).
Q: What is the difference between key-value and key-only Tags?
Lightsail tags are key-value pairs, allowing you to organize resources such as instances across different categories, e.g. project:Blog, project:Game, project:Test. This allows you full conttol across all use cases such as resource organization, bill reporting, and access management. The Lightsail console also allows you to tag your resources with key-only tags for quick filtering in the console.
Q: Does Amazon Lightsail support monitoring and alerting?
Yes. With Amazon Lightsail you can collect metrics on various resources, including instances, load balancers and databases. For any individual resource you can setup to two alarms thresholds for each metric. If the alarm threshold is breached you will receive a notification in the Lightsail console, and, optionally, you can choose to receive an email message and/or SMS message. There is no additional charge for the alerting and monitoring feature in Lightsail, however, you may incur charges from your mobile carrier for SMS messaging.
Billing and account management
Q: What do Lightsail plans cost?
Lightsail plans are billed on an on-demand hourly rate, so you pay only for what you use. For every Lightsail plan you use, we charge you the fixed hourly price, up to the maximum monthly plan cost. The least expensive Lightsail plan starts at $0.0047 USD/hour ($3.50 USD/month). Lightsail plans that include a Windows Server license start at $0.01075 USD/hour ($8 USD/month).
Q: When am I getting charged for a plan?
Your Lightsail instances are charged only when they're in the running or stopped state. If you delete your Lightsail instance before the end of the month, we only charge you a prorated cost, based on the total number of hours that you used your Lightsail instance. For example, if you use the least expensive Lightsail plan for 100 hours in a month, you will be charged 47 cents (100*0.0047).
Q: What do Lightsail static IPs cost?
They're free in Lightsail, as long as you are using them! You don't pay for a static IP if it is attached to an instance. Public IPs are a scarce resource and Lightsail is committed to helping to use them efficiently, so we charge a small $0.005 USD/hour fee for static IPs not attached to an instance for more than 1 hour.
Q: What does data transfer cost?
Your plan includes a free data transfer allowance. Both data transfer in and data transfer out of your instance count toward your data transfer allowance. For Lightsail content delivery network (CDN) distributions, only data transfer out of your distribution counts toward your allowance.
If you exceed your data transfer allowance, you will only get charged for data transfer OUT from a Lightsail instance to the Internet or to AWS resources using the public IP address of the instance. Both data transfer IN to Lightsail instances and data transfer OUT from a Lightsail instance when using the instance’s private IP address are free beyond your data transfer allowance. For Lightsail CDN distributions, all data transfer out of your distribution will incur a charge once you exceed your distribution data transfer allowance.
Q: What is my data transfer plan allowance?
Every single Lightsail plan also includes a healthy amount of free IN and OUT data transfer. For example, using the cheapest Lightsail instance bundle you can send and receive up to 1 TB of data to the Internet within the month, at no extra charge.
Q: How does my data transfer allowance work?
Any type of data transfer you consume is covered by your Lightsail plan and counted towards your data transfer allowance. As long as your instance’s data transfer is below the plan allowance, you do not incur any data transfer charges. Your data transfer allowance will reset every month, and you can consume it whenever you need within the month. If you delete your instance before the month ends and create another one, data transfer allowance is shared between the two instances.
Q: What if I exceed my data transfer plan allowance?
We have designed our data transfer plans so that the vast majority of our customers will be fully covered by their allowance and not incur any additional charges. Even if you exceed your data instance transfer allowance, some types of data transfer are free. Data transfer IN to Lightsail instances is always free. Data transfer OUT from a Lightsail instance to another Lightsail instance or AWS resource in the same Region is also free if private IP addresses are used.
Q: What types of data transfer do I get charged for?
When you exceed the monthly free data transfer allowance of your instance plan, you will get charged for data transfer OUT from a Lightsail instance to the Internet or to another AWS Region or to AWS resources in the same Region when using public IP addresses. The charge for these types of data transfer above the free allowance is as follows:
- US East (N. Virginia): $0.09 USD/GB
- US East (Ohio): $0.09 USD/GB
- US West (Oregon): $0.09 USD/GB
- Canada (Central): $0.09 USD/GB
- Europe (Frankfurt): $0.09 USD/GB
- Europe (Ireland): $0.09 USD/GB
- Europe (London): $0.09 USD/GB
- Europe (Paris): $0.09 USD/GB
- Asia Pacific (Mumbai): $0.13 USD/GB
- Asia Pacific (Singapore): $0.12 USD/GB
- Asia Pacific (Sydney): $0.17 USD/GB
- Asia Pacific (Tokyo): $0.14 USD/GB
- Asia Pacific (Seoul): $0.13 USD/GB
Instances created in different Availability Zones can communicate between zones privately and for free, and are much less likely to be impaired concurrently. Availability Zones enable you to build highly available applications and websites without increasing the cost of data transfer or compromising your application's security.
When you exceed the data transfer allowance of your Lightsail CDN distribution plan, you are charged for all data transfer OUT. The charge for data transfer above your distribution’s allowance is different from Lightsail instances and is as follows:
- Asia Pacific: $0.13 USD/GB
- Australia: $0.17 USD/GB
- Canada: $0.09 USD/GB
- Europe: $0.09 USD/GB
- India: $0.13 USD/GB
- Japan: $0.14 USD/GB
- Middle East: $0.11 USD/GB
- South Africa: $0.11 USD/GB
- South America: $0.11 USD/GB
- United States: $0.09 USD/GB
Q: How do my instance data transfer plan allowances vary by Region?
All AWS Regions have the same data transfer plan allowance as listed on amazonlightsail.com and amazonlightsail.com/pricing, with the exception of the Asia Pacific (Mumbai) and the Asia Pacific (Sydney) Regions. In these two AWS Regions, the data transfer plan allowance is as follows:
- 512 MB plan: 500 GB
- 1 GB plan: 1 TB
- 2 GB plan: 1.5 TB
- 4 GB plan: 2 TB
- 8 GB plan: 2.5 TB
- 16 GB plan: 3 TB
- 32 GB plan: 3.5 TB
Q: How does my data transfer allowance work with my load balancers?
Your load balancer does not consume your data transfer allowance. Traffic between the load balancer and the target instances or distributions is metered and counts toward your data transfer allowance for your instances or distributions, in the same way that traffic in from and out to the internet is counted toward your data transfer allowance for Lightsail instances that are not behind a load balancer. Traffic into and out of your load balancer to the internet is not calculated toward the data transfer allowance for your instances.
Q: What does Lightsail DNS management cost?
DNS management is free within Lightsail. You can create up to 3 DNS zones and as many records as you want for each DNS zone. You also get a monthly allowance of 3 million DNS queries per month to your zones. Beyond your first 3 million queries in a month, you are charged $0.40 USD/million DNS queries.
Q: What do Lightsail snapshots cost?
Lightsail snapshots cost $0.05 USD/GB-month for both instance snapshots and for disk snapshots. This means if you take a snapshot of your 30 GB SSD instance and keep it for a month, you pay $1.50 USD at the end of the month.
When you take multiple successive snapshots of the same instance, Lightsail automatically cost-optimizes your snapshots. For each new snapshot you take, you're changed only for the part of the instance that changed. In the example above, if your instance only changes by 2 GB, your second instance snapshot costs only $0.10 USD per month.
Q: What does Lightsail block storage cost?
Lightsail Block storage costs $0.10 USD per GB per month.
Q: What do Lightsail load balancers cost?
Lightsail load balancers cost $18 per month.
Q: What does certificate management cost?
Lightsail certificates and certificate management are free with use of a Lightsail load balancer.
Q: Can I try Lightsail for free?
Yes! Whether you're an existing or new AWS customer, you get 750 hours of free usage of the 512 MB Lightsail plan for free. You also can try Lightsail plans that include a Windows Server license for free using the same plan size.
You can use your 750 hours of usage across as many instances as you like. For example, you can run a single Lightsail instance for a whole month, or 10 Lightsail instances for 75 hours. The free trial offer is only applicable to usage within the first calendar month from when you sign up to use Lightsail.
Q: How can I manage my AWS account?
Lightsail is an AWS service and runs on the AWS trusted and proven cloud infrastructure. You use the same AWS account and credentials to log in to Lightsail and the AWS Management Console.
You can manage your AWS account, including changing your AWS account password, user name, contact information, or billing information from the AWS Billing and Cost Management console.
Lightsail is an Amazon web service, so to use Lightsail, you first agree to the AWS Customer Agreement and Service Terms. When creating Lightsail instances, you also agree that your use of software is also subject to the end user license agreement of the seller, available for your review on the create instance page.
Q: How can I pay my Lightsail bill?
You can pay and manage your bill through the AWS Billing and Cost Management console. AWS accepts most major credit cards. Learn more about managing your payment methods.
Lightsail block storage
Q: What can I do with Lightsail block storage?
Lightsail block storage provides additional storage volumes (called “attached disks” in Lightsail) that you can attach to your Lightsail instance, similar to an individual hard drive. Attached disks are useful for applications or software that need to separate out specific data from their core service and to protect application data in case of a failure or other issue with your instance and system disk. Attached disks offers consistent performance and low latency needed for applications or software that frequently access their stored data.
Lightsail block storage uses solid-state drives (SSD). This type of block storage balances a low price and good performance and is intended to support the vast majority of workloads that run on Lightsail. For customers with applications that require sustained IOPS performance, high amounts of throughput per disk, or that are running large databases like MongoDB, Cassandra, etc., we recommend using EC2 with GP2 or Provisioned IOPS SSD storage instead of Lightsail.
Q: How large can I make my attached disk?
Each attached disk can be up to 16 TB.
Q: How many disks can I attach per Lightsail instance?
You can attach up to 15 disks per Lightsail instance.
Q: Can I attach a disk to more than 1 instance?
No, disks can only be attached to one instance at a time.
Q: Does my disk need to be attached to an instance?
No, you can choose not to attach a disk to an instance. The disk will remain in your account in an unattached state. There is no difference in price if your disk is not attached to an instance.
Q: Can I increase the size of my attached disk?
Yes, you can increase the size of a disk by taking a disk snapshot and then creating a new, larger disk from snapshot.
Q: Does Lightsail block storage offer encryption?
Yes, to help keep your data secure, all Lightsail attached disks and disk snapshots are encrypted at rest by default, using keys that Lightsail manages on your behalf. Lightsail also provides encryption of data as it moves between Lightsail instances and attached disks.
Q: What availability can I expect from Lightsail block storage?
Lightsail block storage is designed to be highly available and reliable. Each attached disk is automatically replicated within its Availability Zone to protect you from component failure. Although Lightsail does not guarantee SLAs, Lightsail block storage disks are designed for 99.99% availability and for an annual failure rate of less than 0.2%. Lightsail also supports disk snapshots to allow regular backups of your data.
Q: How do I back up my attached disk?
You can back up your disk by taking a disk snapshot. You can also backup your entire instance and any attached disks by taking an instance snapshot.
Q: How are attached disks different than the storage included in my Lightsail plan?
The system disk included with your Lightsail plan is your instance’s root device. If you terminate your instance, the system disk will be deleted as well. If you experience an instance failure, the system disk could be impacted. You also cannot detach your system disk or back it up separately from your instance. Data stored on an attached disk persists independently of the instance. Attached disks can be detached and moved between instances and can be backed up independently from an instance using disk snapshot. To protect your data, we recommend that you use your Lightsail instance’s system disk only for temporary data. For data requiring a higher level of durability, we recommend using attached disks and regularly backing up your disk using disk or instance snapshots.
Lightsail load balancer
Q: What can I do with Lightsail load balancers?
Lightsail load balancers allow you to build highly available websites and applications. By distributing traffic across instances in different Availability Zones and pointing traffic to only healthy target instances, Lightsail load balancers reduce the risk of your application going down due to an issue with your instance or to a datacenter outage. With Lightsail load balancers and multiple target instances, your website or application can also accommodate increases in web traffic and maintain good performance for your visitors during peak load times.
In addition, you can use Lightsail load balancers to build secure applications and accept HTTPS traffic. Lightsail takes the complexity out of requesting, provisioning, and maintaining SSL/TLS certificates. The built-in certificate management requests and renews certificates on your behalf and adds the certificate to your load balancer automatically.
Q: Can I use load balancers with instances in different AWS Regions or different Availability Zones?
You cannot use load balancers with instances running in different AWS Regions. You can, however, use target instances across different Availability Zones with your load balancer. In fact, we recommend that you distribute your target instances across Availability Zones to maximize the availability of your application.
Q: How does my Lightsail load balancer deal with traffic spikes?
Lightsail load balancers scale automatically to handle traffic spikes to your application without you having to manually adjust them. If your application experiences a transient spike in traffic, your Lightsail load balancer will automatically scale and continue to efficiently direct traffic to your Lightsail instances. While your Lightsail load balancer is designed to easily manage traffic spikes, applications that consistently experience very high volume levels of traffic may experience performance degradation or throttling. If you expect your application consistently to manage more than 5 GB/hour of data or consistently to have a large number of connections (>400k new connections/hour, >15k active, concurrent connections), we recommend using Amazon EC2 with Application Load Balancing instead.
Q: How do Lightsail load balancers route traffic to my target instances?
Lightsail load balancers direct traffic to your healthy target instances based on a round robin algorithm.
Q: How does Lightsail know if my target instances are healthy?
During load balancer creation, you will be asked to specify a path (a common file or webpage URL) for Lightsail to ping. If the target instance can be reached using this path, then Lightsail will route traffic there. If one of your target instances is unresponsive, Lightsail will not route traffic to that instance. You can update the Health check path if needed in the load balancer management screens.
Q: What is the difference between key-value and key-only Tags?
Lightsail tags are key-value pairs, allowing you to organize resources such as instances across different categories, e.g. project:Blog, project:Game, project:Test. This allows you full control across all use cases such as resource organization, bill reporting, and access management. The Lightsail console also allows you to tag your resources with key-only tags for quick filtering in the console.
Q: Can I assign one instance to multiple load balancers?
Yes, Lightsail supports adding instances as target instances for more than one load balancer, if desired.
Q: What happens to my target instances when I delete my load balancer?
If you delete your load balancer, the attached target instances will continue to run normally and will appear in the Lightsail console as regular Lightsail instances. Please note that you will likely need to update your DNS records to direct traffic to one of your former target instances after you delete the load balancer.
Q: What is session persistence?
Session persistence enables the load balancer to bind a visitor's session to a specific target instance. This ensures that all requests from the user during the session are sent to the same target instance. Lightsail supports session persistence for applications that require visitors to hit the same target instances for data consistency. For example, many applications that require user authentication can benefit from using session persistence. You can turn on session persistence for specific load balancer from the load balancer management screens after creation.
Q: What kind of connections do Lightsail load balancers support?
Lightsail load balancers support HTTP and HTTPS connections.
Q: How can I use Lightsail-provisioned certificates?
SSL/TLS certificates are used to establish the identity of your website or application and secure connections between browsers and your website. Lightsail provides a signed certificate to use with your load balancer, and the load balancer provides SSL/TLS termination before routing verified traffic to your target instances over the secure AWS network. Lightsail certificates can only be used with Lightsail load balancers, not with individual Lightsail instances.
Q: How do I validate my certificate?
Lightsail certificates are domain validated, meaning that you need to provide proof of identity by validating that you own or have access to your website’s domain before the certificate can be provisioned by the certificate authority. When you request a new certificate, Lightsail will prompt you to add a CNAME to the DNS zone(s) of the domain or domains you are validating. You will add this CNAME wherever you currently manage your DNS zones – either Lightsail DNS management or an external DNS hosting provider (e.g., Route 53, GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc.). Once your certificate is validated, you can remove the CNAME record from your DNS zone, if desired.
Q: What happens if I cannot validate my domain?
You must be able to validate that you own a domain for security purposes. This means if you or someone in your organization cannot add a DNS record to validate your certificate for any reason, you will not be able to use an HTTPS-enabled load balancer with Lightsail.
Q: How many domains and subdomains can I add to my certificate?
You can add up to 10 domains or subdomains per certificate. Lightsail does not currently support wild card domains.
Q: How can I change the domains associated with my certificate?
To change the domains (add/delete) associated with your certificate, you will need to resubmit the certificate and revalidate your ownership of the domain(s). Follow the steps in the certificate management screens to regenerate your certificate and add or remove domains when prompted.
Q: How do I renew my certificate?
Lightsail provides managed renewal for your SSL/TLS certificates. This means that Lightsail tries to renew the certificates automatically before they expire with no action required from you. Your Lightsail certificate must be actively associated load balancer before it can be automatically renewed.
Q: What happens to my certificate when I delete my load balancer?
If your load balancer is deleted, your certificate is deleted as well. If you need to use a certificate for the same domain(s) in the future, you will need to request and validate a new certificate.
Q: Can I download my certificate provided by Lightsail?
No, Lightsail certificates are bound to your Lightsail account and cannot be removed and used outside of Lightsail.
Upgrade to EC2
Q: What is Upgrade to EC2?
Upgrade to EC2 is a feature that allows you to create a copy of your Lightsail instance in Amazon EC2. When you upgrade to EC2, you can pick among the wide set of instance types, configurations, and pricing models that EC2 offers, and have even more fine-tuned control over your networking, storage, and compute environment.
Q: Why would I want to upgrade to EC2?
Lightsail offers you an easy way to run and scale a wide set of cloud-based applications, at a bundled, predictable, and low price. Lightsail also automatically sets up your cloud environment configurations such as networking and access management.
Upgrading to EC2 allows you to run your application on a wider set of instance types, ranging from virtual machines with more CPU power, memory, and networking capabilities, to specialized or accelerated instances with FPGAs and GPUs. In addition, EC2 performs less automatic management and set-up, allowing you more control over how you configure your cloud environment, such as your VPC.
Q: How does it work?
To get started, you need to export your Lightsail instance manual snapshot. You'll then use the Upgrade to EC2 wizard to create an instance in EC2.
Customers who are comfortable with EC2 can then use the EC2 creation wizard or API to create a new EC2 instance as they would from an existing EC2 AMI. Alternatively, Lightsail also provides a guided Lightsail console experience to help you easily create a new EC2 instance.
Note: Exporting Ghost and Django instance manual snapshots to Amazon EC2 is not supported at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Q: How am I billed?
Using the Upgrade to EC2 feature is free. Once you have exported your snapshots to EC2, you will be charged for the EC2 image separately and in addition to your Lightsail snapshot. Any new EC2 instances you launch will also be billed by EC2, including their EBS storage volume(s) and data transfer. Refer to the EC2 pricing page for details on the pricing for your new instance and resources. Lightsail resources that continue to run in your Lightsail account will continue to be billed at their regular rates until they are deleted.
Q: Can I export managed database or disk snapshots?
The upgrade feature allows you to export Lightsail disk manual snapshots but doesn't currently support managed database snapshots. Disk snapshots can be rehydrated as EBS volumes from the EC2 console or API.
Q: What Lightsail resources can I upgrade?
Lightsail's upgrade to EC2 feature is designed to support the export of Linux and Windows instances and their attached block storage (if applicable) to EC2. It also supports the export of unattached block storage disks to EBS. It does not currently support the export of load balancers, databases, static IPs or DNS records.
Q: What are Lightsail's managed databases?
Lightsail's managed databases are instances that are dedicated to running databases, instead of other workloads like webserver, mail server, etc. A Lightsail database can contain multiple user-created databases, and you can access it by using the same tools and applications that you use with a stand-alone database. Lightsail maintains the security and health of your database’s underlying infrastructure and operating system, so that you can run a database without deep expertise in infrastructure management.
Like regular Lightsail instances, Lightsail databases come with a fixed amount of memory, computing power, and SSD based storage in their plans that you can scale up over time. Lightsail will automatically install and configure your chosen database for you upon creation.
Q: What can I do with Lightsail's managed databases?
Lightsail managed databases provide an easy, low maintenance way to store your data in the cloud. You can run Lightsail databases either as a new databases or by migrating from an existing on-premises or hosted database to Lightsail.
They can also allow you to scale your application to accept larger amounts of traffic and more intensive loads, by separating out your database into a dedicated instance. Lightsail databases are especially useful for stateful applications – like WordPress and most common CMSs – that need data to be kept in sync when you scale beyond a single instance. Lightsail databases can be paired with a Lightsail load balancer and two or more Lightsail instances to create a powerful, scaled application. By using Lightsail High Availability plans, you can also create add redundancy to your database, helping to ensure high uptime for your application.
Q: What does Lightsail manage for me on my managed database?
Lightsail manages a range of maintenance activities and security for your database and its underlying infrastructure. Lightsail automatically backs up your database and allows point in time restore from the past 7 days using the database restore tool, to help protect against data loss or component failure. Lightsail also automatically encrypts your data at rest and in motion for increased security and stores your database password for easy and secure connections to your database. On the maintenance side, Lightsail runs maintenance on your database during your set maintenance window. This maintenance include automatic upgrades to the latest minor database version and all management of the underlying infrastructure and operating system.
Q: What managed database plans does Lightsail offer?
Lightsail offers 4 sizes of databases in Standard and High Availability plans. Each plan comes with a fixed amount of storage and a monthly allowance of data transfer. You can also scale up to larger plans over time, as needed, and switch between Standard and High Availability plans. High Availability plans mirror the same resources as Standard plans and additionally include a standby database running in a separate Availability Zones from your primary database for redundancy.
Q: What is a High Availability plan?
Managed databases are available in Standard and High Availability plans. Standard and High availability plans have identical plan resources, including memory, storage, and data transfer allowance. High Availability plans add redundancy and durability to your database, by automatically creating standby database in a separate Availability Zone from your primary database, synchronously replicating data to the standby database, and providing failover to the standby database in case of infrastructure failure and during maintenance so that you ensure uptime even when databases is being automatically upgraded/maintained by Lightsail. Use High Availability plans for running production applications or software where high uptime is required.
Q: How do I scale up or down my managed database?
You can scale up your database by taking a snapshot of your database and creating a new, larger database plan from snapshot or by creating a new, larger database using the emergency restore feature. You can also switch from Standard to High Availability plans and vice versa using either method. You cannot scale down your database. To learn more, see Creating a database from a snapshot in Amazon Lightsail.
Q: How can I back up my managed database?
Lightsail backs up your data automatically and allows restore of this data from a specific point in time to a new database. Automatic backup is a free service for your database but only saves the last 7 days of data. If you delete your database, all automatic backup records are deleted and point in time restore is no longer possible. To retain backups of data after deleting your database or to retain a backup for more than 7 days in the past, use manual snapshots.
You can take manual snapshots of your Lightsail managed databases from the database management pages. Manual snapshots contain all the data from your database and can be used as backups for data that you want to store permanently. You can also use manual snapshots to create a new, larger database or to switch between Standard and High Availability plans. Manual snapshots are stored until you delete them and are billed at $0.05 USD/GB-month.
Q: What happens to my data if I delete my managed database?
If you delete your managed database, both your database itself and all automatic backups will be deleted. There is no way to recover this data unless you take a manual snapshot before deleting your database. During deletion of your database, Lightsail provides a one-click option to take a manual snapshot, if desired, to help protect against accidental loss of data. Taking a manual snapshot before deletion is optional but highly recommended. You can delete your manual snapshot in the future when you no longer need the stored data.
Q: How do managed databases work with my Lightsail instances?
After you create your managed database, you can start using your database with your application immediately, using your Lightsail instances as web servers or other dedicated workloads for your app. To connect your Lightsail instance to a database, use your database endpoint and reference your securely stored password to configure the database as your data store in the code of your application. You can find connection data in the database management screens. The file name and location for your database configuration file will vary by application. Note that you can connect many instances to one database, either using the same tables or using different ones.
Lightsail CDN distributions
Q: What can I do with Lightsail CDN distributions?
Lightsail content delivery network (CDN) distributions make it easy for you to accelerate the delivery of content hosted on your Lightsail resources by storing and serving it on Amazon’s global delivery network, powered by Amazon CloudFront. Distributions also help you enable your website to support HTTPS traffic by providing simple SSL certificate creation and hosting. Finally, distributions can help reduce the load on your Lightsail resources and help your website handle large traffic spikes. Like all of Lightsail’s features, setup can be completed with just a few clicks, and you pay a simple monthly price.
Q: What types of resources can I use as the origin of my distributions?
Lightsail distributions allow you to use your Lightsail instances and load balancers as origins. Resources outside of Lightsail, such as S3 buckets, are not supported.
Q: Do I need to attach a static IP to my Lightsail instance in order to use it as an origin for my Lightsail distribution?
Yes, static IPs are required to be attached to instances that are specified as origins.
Q: How do I setup a Lightsail distribution with my WordPress website?
Simply create your distribution, select your WordPress instance as the origin, choose your plan, and you’re all set. Lightsail distributions automatically configure your distribution settings to optimize performance for most WordPress configurations.
Q: Can I attach multiple origins?
Although you cannot attach multiple origins to your Lightsail distribution, you can attach multiple instances to a Lightsail load balancer and specify it as the origin of your distribution.
Q: Do Lightsail distributions support certificate creation?
Yes. Lightsail distributions makes it easy to create, verify, and attach certificates directly from your distribution’s management page.
Q: Is a certificate required?
A certificate is only required if you wish to use your custom domain name with your distribution. All Lightsail distributions are created with a unique Amazon CloudFront domain name that is HTTPS-enabled. However, if you wish to use your custom domain with your distribution, then you need to attach a certificate for your custom domain to your distribution.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of certificates I can create?
Yes, refer to Lightsail’s service quotas for more information.
Q: How can I configure my distribution to redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS?
Lightsail distributions automatically redirect all HTTP requests to HTTPS to ensure that your content is served securely.
Q: How can I configure my apex domain to point to my Lightsail distribution?
In order to point your apex domain to your CDN distribution, you must create an ALIAS record in the domain name system (DNS) of your domain that maps your apex domain to your distribution’s default domain. If your DNS hosting provider does not support ALIAS records, you can use Lightsail DNS zones to easily configure your apex domain to point to your distribution’s domain.
Q: What are the differences between Lightsail’s instance data transfer quotas and distribution data transfer quotas?
While data transfer IN and OUT count toward your instance’s data transfer quota, only data transfer OUT counts toward you distribution’s quota. In addition, all data transfer OUT in excess of your distribution’s quota is charged an overage fee, whereas some types of data transfer OUT are free for instances. Finally, Lightsail distributions use a different regional overage model, though the majority of the rates are the same as those charged for instance data transfer overage.
Q: Can I change the plan associated with my distribution?
Yes, you can change your distribution's plan once per month. If you wish to change your plan a second time, you must wait until the beginning of the following month to do so.
Q: How do I know if my distribution is working?
Lightsail distributions provide you with a variety of metrics that track the performance of your distribution, including the total number of requests your distribution has received, the amount of data your distribution has sent to clients and to your origin, and the percentage of requests that have resulted in errors. Additionally, you can create alerts that are linked to distribution metrics.
Q: When should I use Lightsail distributions versus Amazon CloudFront distributions?
Lightsail distributions are designed specifically for users who are hosting websites or web applications on Lightsail resources, such as instances and load balancers. If you’re using another service in AWS to host your website or app, have complex configuration needs, or have a workload that involves a high number of requests per second or large amount of video streaming, we recommend that you use Amazon CloudFront.
Q: How is Lightsail CDN intended to be used?
Amazon Lightsail CDN distributions are created using fixed-priced bundles of data transfer to make the cost of using the service simple and predictable. Distribution bundles are designed to cover a month’s worth of usage. Using distribution bundles in a way to avoid incurring overage fees (including, but not limited to, frequently upgrading or downgrading bundles, or using an excessively large number of distributions with a single origin) is beyond the intended scope of use and is not permitted. In addition, workloads that involve a high number of requests per second or large amount of video streaming are not permitted. Engaging in these behaviors may result in throttling or suspension of your data services or account.
Q: Can I move my Lightsail content delivery network (CDN) distribution to Amazon CloudFront?
Yes, you can move your Lightsail distribution by creating a similarly configured distribution in CloudFront. All of the settings that can be configured in a Lightsail distribution can also be configured in a CloudFront distribution. Complete the following steps to move your distribution to CloudFront:
1. Take a snapshot of your Lightsail instance that is configured as your distribution's origin. Export the snapshot to Amazon EC2, and then create a new instance from the snapshot in EC2. For more information, see Exporting Amazon Lightsail snapshots.
Note: Create an application load balancer in Elastic Load Balancing if you need to load balance your website or web application. For more information, see the Elastic Load Balancing User Guide.
2. Disable custom domains for your Amazon Lightsail distribution to detach certificates that you might have attached to it. For more information, see Disabling custom domains for your Amazon Lightsail distributions.
3. Using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), run the get-distributions command to get a list of your Lightsail distribution’s settings. For more information, see get-distributions in the AWS CLI Reference.
4. Sign in to the Amazon CloudFront console and create a distribution with the same configuration settings as your Lightsail distribution. For more information, see Creating a Distribution in the Amazon CloudFront Developer Guide.
5. Create a certificate in AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) that you will attach to your CloudFront distribution. For more information, see Request a Public Certificate in the ACM User Guide.
Update your CloudFront distribution to use the ACM certificate you created. For more information, see Updating your CloudFront distribution in the CloudFront User Guide.