What the heck is the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud? Ad hoc virtualized servers! Hooray!
Deploys in minutes. Upload an "Amazon Machine Image" (basically a Linux file system tar ball, kernel and all), use a web service call to turn it on ... and you're rockin'.
Reasonable hardware, hot bandwidth. From the beta description: "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."
Fair pricing. 10 cents per instance hour; 20 cents per gigabyte of data sent; 15 cents per gigabyte of storage.
What does that all mean? Well, you're looking at well equipped web server using 20GB of storage and 50GB of transfer per month for $85. More or less instantly available. HOT DAMN. That's something that makes me want to throw my arms in the air and do a lot of dancing.
This is one of the most interesting things I've seen this year -- something that could be quite disruptive in the hosting industry. I'm chomping at the bit to get my beta invite.
Now, the next big issues: load balancing and network topology. It's Linux, so LVS would work alright. Tunnelling can provide a private network. Hmm. Food for thought, anyway.