Elastic Compute Cloud from Amazon

It is not primarily about APIs and mashups, but Amazon has once again upped the web-as-platform ante, this time with yesterday's announcement of EC2: Elastic Compute Cloud. What is it? A form of on-demand utility computing that enables fast, cost-effective provisioning of services via virtual server instances you setup on Amazon's infrastructure. This provides scalability that can be activated in minutes.

Some quick details:

  • Each instance provides a predictable equivalent of: 1.7Ghz Xeon CPU, 1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of local disk, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth.
  • Designed to work with the Amazon S3 storage service.
  • It i's a pay-as-you-go pricing model: $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).

The ProgrammableWeb API database now has an Amazon EC2 entry.

For more on the EC2 announcement see also the Amazon Web Services blog, Phil Wainewright who compares it to Sun's flawed utility vision, Dan Farber's ZDNet Report, this quick screencast from Jon Udell, and TechCrunch.

Speaking of Amazon being ahead of the curve: Alex Iskold recently wrote about Amazon's strategy in this Web 2.0 Journal report as well as in his Web Platform primer at Richard MacManus' Read/Write Web.

Be sure to read the next News Services article: Google Lock-in Or Better Mousetrap


Comments (5)

The only API is for provisioning an image.

Still, Amazon's announcement is interesting for it's pay-as-you-go pricing model. Virtualization let them sidestep the inventory and labor costs of dedicated servers to establish an aggressive price point.

<strong>Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) - killer apps</strong>

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[...] with a number of the positions working APIs and services like  S3, SimpleDB, Mechanical Turk and Elastic Compute. Here&#8217;s a sample of the [...]