Rackspace is another (awesome) option for a cloud service provider. I think their interface is extremely easy to navigate, and you have the added bonus of getting an external IP immediately instead of having to assign an external IP. The benefit of this is that your server, as long as it stays on, retains the IP.
So, go forth and create a Rackspace account! When you are done, come back and follow these instructions:
- Click on the Cloud Servers in the left-hand side menu
- Click on the Add Server button
- Select the distro you wish to use. I recommend Ubuntu 12.04
- Give your server an internal name and the size. I'm setting mine up as a 256MB instance. Don't sweat this step, as Rackspace allows you to easily resize the server in minutes.
- You will be given a password. Store this in a secure location and select Close Window
- The building process will take about two minutes, in which time you can grab a drink, refill, or just watch the progress-o-meter