I've got a few years of experience with the fundamentals of the BSD socket API, and LAMP servers in general. It really interests me, and I've built some little "online game" projects. With that said, if I wanted to build a matchmaking server for a game I'm working on, I'd probably build the matchmaking server as a daemon in C using BSD sockets on my configured LAMP server, then use Apache + PHP to form a login system for my game client to allow players to log into their accounts that are stored on a MySQL database. This is what I've done in the past for school projects, and one game I launched years ago.
Now, assuming that this is a practical approach, what would be a decent service for hosting my matchmaking server publicly? I'm thinking that a cloud service would be best where I have access to my own virtual machine. Once the VM's hardware specs are defined, I'd set it up as a LAMP server, upload my production build of my matchmaking server, as well as the the database and PHP scripts.
Does anyone have any recommendations for a cheap-ish cloud-based solution where I'd have access to my own VM?