I always try to keep my trading and any related costs as cheap as possible. And there's nothing cheaper than free, which that is what Amazon Web Services (AWS) is offering starting November 1, 2010. They are offering a full year of free t1.micro EC2 instance along with other basic level of AWS services (see link below). That seems to be a great incentive to move my trading system on to a remote cloud server. One of the biggest benefits of running your trading system on a virtual private server or a cloud instance is reliability. I don't know about you, but my internet connection sometimes acts up or even goes down for hours. There's the occasional electrical power disruption too, but it's been good these days. On the other hand, there are many disadvantages for running your trading system remotely. Costs, technical know-hows, and limited processing power, just to name a few. The added costs is not an issue for now as Amazon is offering a year of free trial. With regard to technical know-hows, I don't know how to setup a cloud server yet. Although it shouldn't be a terribly difficult task for me as I am familiar with Linux. What's at issue though, is the limited processing power. The processing power of a t1.micro instance is an unspecified fraction of one ECU, which is equivalent to a 1 GHz 2007 Intel Xeon processor. So you get a fraction of that, which doesn't sound much. CloudHarmony's benchmark shows that a Micro instance is about 1/10th of that of the Small instance. However, a Micro instance can burst to up to 2 ECUs (double that of the Small) of processing power occasionally. This is good if you can keep your continuous processes minimal and only make calculations infrequently (such as on arrival of a new price bar). The t1.micro gets 613 MB of memory along with 10 GB of EBS (for low-latency files) and 5 GB of S3 (for persistent storage). These numbers are generous, so the bottleneck obviously remains with the processor. Your best bet for minimal background processing use is to run a command-line-only trading system. That's something that can be easily done on JForex. However, there remains the question of is the minimum power of a Micro sufficient to sustain a trading system? Any hiccup in a trading system could cost you more than the annual charge for even a Small instance. This freebie from Amazon may not be worth the risk. The only way to know is to test it out. I won't be able to get to that soon as I'm been busy programming. So if anyone is running a trading system on a t1.micro instance, I'd really appreciate if you can provide some feedback. Update Nov 6: See my first failed test and then my first time running remote desktop on t1.micro. Otherwise, enjoy the freebie, AWS Free Usage Tier.