Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Posted August 24, 2006

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.

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