Amazon has plonked a few more features into the EC2 tab of its AWS management console, in an effort it claimed would make the system easier to use and, at the same time, much gutsier. "You can now change the instance type of a stopped, EBS-backed EC2 instance. This means that you can scale up or scale down as your needs change …
It's a useful shortcut - doing it from the command line was a bit of a hassle, particularly when everything else could be done through the web console. For a while I was tweaking a Windows EC2 instance - 'tiny' was enough for the application it was hosting, but if I wanted to install patches or new components it was much more responsive the next size up. So, I'd shut it down, crank it up a step, make all the changes I needed, then switch back down to tiny.
I wondered at the time why they hadn't bothered including a dropdown menu for instance type, like they had with other parameters - hardly a major undertaking, you'd think. Still, they've been rolling in a lot of new features to various AWS services lately, and letting the console lag behind a bit - let's hope the console catches up now.