You've got an idea for the next great Facebook application, assuming Scrabulous and Vampires are not great enough, and you want the application to be available to all 55 million active (and growing) Facebook members.
What you don't have is a bucket full of money (or venture funding) to pay for a server farm?
What do you do, hot shot? What do you do?You call Amazon, that's what.
No longer satisfied to be just an online peddler of (almost) everything, Amazon is now in the business of providing infrastructure web services for "seamless scaling" of applications.
The appropriately named Amazon Web Services are designed to provide an "inexpensive, scalable computing platform" for your great idea.
In order to get your Facebook app out to the masses, there are two services in particular that you need to get familiar with:
# Amazon S3: Affectionately known as "storage in the cloud", this service provides access to as much storage capacity as your application needs. What's cool is you only use, and pay for, what you need rather than stressing over the extra terabyte that is sitting idle.
# Amazon EC2: Also known as "elastic compute capacity in a virtual environment", EC2 provides computation (or processing) power to go with the on-demand storage provided by S3.
After you have mastered the intricacies of those services (and setup your account), you leverage your Facebook developer account (which you have already setup, right?) and start building your life-changing application.
When it's deployed, you sit back and wait for the acquisition offers to come rolling in. If you're still not sure about the process, Amazon provides setup instructions along with links to tutorials.
Have you built a Facebook application or used Amazon Web Services, or both? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences.