It seems like not so long ago that I helped an organization build a Linux email and web server, that we plugged into a college internet connection, so that they could begin to take advantage of the wonders of the internet. It was, at the time, the only affordable way to do it - there was no broadband, and a T1 was far outside of the realm of affordability for nonprofits. I even remember writing a grant to some federal agency that probably no longer exists to help create a local infrastructure to get nonprofits online. When was that? 1995. It wasn't so long after that that virtual hosting companies became ubiquitous, and affordable for nonprofits. But it's only been in the last few years that mega storage, and mega processing power were available to organizations to power big web applications and the like. Amazon seems to be leading in the next wave of evolution of hosting - pay only for what you need, when you need it. They started out with their S3 - simple storage service. And now, there is E2 - Elastic Compute Cloud - use only the storage, processing power and bandwidth you use. I did a quick calculation of what my own usage might be, and actually, my Dreamhost account is a better deal. But for much larger/high-traffic sites, or sites that fluctuate a lot, it might be a great idea, especially if you want dedicated hosting. The news today, and why I'm bothering to talk about this, is that Red Hat announced that it will offer RHEL - their enterprise distribution, on Amazon E2. If a nonprofit organization has a server, it's actually not so unlikely that it is running RHEL. A lot of organizations of all types want support, and are willing to pay for it, and Red Hat is, at this point, built the best business model around this than any other distro (Canonical, with Ubuntu, is sneaking up behind, but I'm not sure it has the "enterprise" style some people look for.) So running RHEL on Amazon E2 is a potentially low-cost, low-pain way for nonprofits (with appropriate levels of tech staff, of course) to dip their toes into hosting complex applications on Linux, without having that noisy box in the corner.