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August 25, 2006

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud: A Very Interesting Idea

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/25/2006 04:56:00 PM
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud: A Very Interesting Idea

Amazon has just opened a beta to its new service Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. I find it very interesting, because it allows companies to image a new server and boot it up in minutes. That means websites that have to scale quickly can use it as a way of addressing peak demand for events. Here's the spiel from Amazon:

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. Just as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) enables storage in the cloud, Amazon EC2 enables "compute" in the cloud. Amazon EC2's simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon's proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.

How much computing power does EC2 provide?
When you boot up an instance, each instance predictably provides the equivalent of a system with a 1.7Ghz Xeon CPU, 1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of local disk, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth.

How much does it cost to use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud?
The pricing is decent decent but isn't super cheap. It costs $.20 per GB and $.10 per computing hour.

$0.10 per instance-hour consumed (or part of an hour consumed).
$0.20 per GB of data transferred outside of Amazon (i.e., Internet traffic).
$0.15 per GB-Month of Amazon S3 storage used for your images (charged by Amazon S3).
Data transferred within the Amazon EC2 environment, or between Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3, is free of charge (i.e., $0.00 per GB).

What is the implication of EC2?
EC2 incentivizes web builders to conserve hardware and bandwidth usage. Since you only pay for what you use, peak demand traffic can be easily handled by scaling up for the periods when you need it. Once traffic has leveled off, it pays to scale down.

EC2 is a very interesting concept. It sounds like a new twist on utility computing.

Related Link: Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Updated: TechDirt Writes Amazon Keeps Building the Web Platform
Updated: TechCruch Writes Amazon Readies Utility Computing Service

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