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I have been developing a solution on AWS since January. Monthly bills have been around $100/mo. That does not include the FileMaker server license. Using T2.large which is recommended for 'testing', but it is very responsive and may work for you in the long run. Our data usage and file storage has been minimal. When we go live and populate with real data (lots of documents in container fields), I'm sure our demands and the cost will go up.
Note that we offer FileMaker cloud based servers starting at $79/month, which is competitive with FileMaker Cloud / AWS, and unlike AWS we do not impose hidden fees for backup space, etc. Additionally, with our services you get a full install of FileMaker Server without the limitations of FileMaker Cloud. Finally, we provide *complete management* of your server with us, something you do not get with FileMaker Cloud / AWS.
Please contact me directly here or off-list at jmay(at)pointinspace.com for further details.
What we'd *really* like is to be able to host on our own Linode, which we use for hosting our WordPress site, and which is butt simple to set up and maintain. Or could this be done by encapsulating our server in a Docker container, (if not the Mac server version, maybe the Windows version of the server?)
If you haven't already, vote it up: https://community.filemaker.com/ideas/2151
With that you could host it anywhere cheaply.
The FM Cloud is as close to an appliance as you will get; easier to maintain than your own OSX or Windows instance since you don't have to deal with the OS at all.
2. Is there a way to migrate our own (already paid-for) server software on AWS, or do we have to go with the official cloud version?
Yes, there is a BYOL option for FM Cloud (bring your own license)
. Using T2.large which is recommended for 'testing',
Where did you see that recommendation? I typically use a small or medium for testing and dev. Probably would start with a medium for production unless I knew that I needed more horsepower.
I set this up in December with little guidance and absolutely no understanding of what I was doing. A bunch of the users will be webdirect and I wanted to make sure there was enough resources for that. It might be that T2.large is overkill and I can save some money by backing off. I may give that a try.
I am a 'FileMaker guy' and not a server/cloud/AWS person. I find AWS very intimidating. My suggestion to the non-techie FileMaker application creators is to find an AWS expert to work with you. With a click in AWS, you can screw it up terribly.
WebDirect does change the equation; because then the machine is not just a database server anymore but an application server that has to create / host / destroy actual user sessions