We are excited to announce the 2nd Annual Amazon EC2 Spotathon where we invite you to submit write-ups of your Spot applications for a chance to win up to $5,000 in AWS Credit. Last year, out of a field of competitive applications we awarded the Grand Prize to PiCloud, a high performance computing Platform-as-a-Service, and the Runner-Up Prize to Princeton Consultants for their high frequency trading research application, OptiSpotter. This year, we will award a Grand Prize of $5,000 in AWS Credit and a Runner-Up Prize of $3,000 in AWS Credit. ($5,000 can achieve around 40 core-years of computing in less than a day on Spot.) See below for more details about the Spotathon and submission requirements.


The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spotathon is a way for you to showcase your applications that leverage Amazon EC2 Spot Instances and compete for the opportunity to win great rewards and publicity for your company. This year, we will announce the results at the AWS re:Invent Conference and award a total of $8,000 in AWS Credit. If you are using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances we encourage you to apply!

We are interested in receiving submissions that describe how you have architected your application for Spot Instances, and how Spot has saved you time and money, enabled you to reach massive scale, or changed your business in other exciting ways (see the Official Rules below for more information).

Here are a couple of example applications that would make impressive submissions:

Lucky Oyster was able to data-mine 3.4 billion URLs for $100 by using Spot Instances, saving over 90% compared to On-Demand Instance prices. Lucky Oyster simply invested a half a day of coding to make their data mining application interruptible. (See their blog post.)

Scribd allows users to turn PDF, Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office PowerPoint files into Web documents using a solution built on Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3. Scribd used up to 2,000 Spot Instances at a time to run a recent batch conversion job saving 63%, or $10,500, compared to what it would have spent on On-Demand Instances. “We only had to write a couple of really small scripts," says Jared Friedman, co-founder of Scribd. “We were able to move from On-Demand to Spot Instances in a couple of hours, coffee breaks included." (See the Scribd case study.)

To read more about the winners, honorable mentions, and other noteworthy entries from the 2012 Amazon EC2 Spotathon, read the announcement blog post.

We will accept submissions from October 1st to October 31st, 2013. To participate:

Please read the Official Rules below for specific details about eligibility and submission requirements, and how we’ll judge your submissions

Download and fill out the Spotathon Submission Form*

Send an e-mail to ec2-spotathon@amazon.com that includes the subject line “Amazon EC2 Spotathon Submission” and your Submission Form as an attachment

* Note: If your version of Word doesn't handle this form properly, try saving it as another format (e.g., .rtf or .txt) and keep all of the original question text, especially Question 21 which is required for the entry to be valid.

Winners will be notified by e-mail on November 15th, 2013 and announced at AWS re:Invent.

If you have any questions, please email ec2-spotathon@amazon.com.


Please read these rules before entering the Amazon EC2 Spotathon (“Contest”). By submitting an entry, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor and the Judges, and that you satisfy all eligibility requirements.

  1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. The Contest is open to entrants who meet the following requirements. Entrants must be legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are the older of 18 years of age or the legal age of majority in his/her state of residence at the time of entry. Entrants must not be employees or independent contractors, or immediate family members (spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren) or those living in the same household of employees or independent contractors of Sponsor, any entity involved in any aspect of the Contest (including funding or judging), advertising agencies, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advisors, or advertising/promotion agencies. Entrants must not be members of any guild, union or other organization that may prohibit them from participating in this Contest and that would restrict, require due payment or otherwise have the right to oppose such entrant’s participation in this Contest. By the time of submission, entrants must have an AWS account (see https://aws-portal.amazon.com/gp/aws/developer/registration/index.html). Entrants may submit an Entry on their own behalf or on behalf of an organization that they are authorized to represent by indicating the name of that organization in the Submission Form. Any individual submitting an entry on behalf of an organization represents and warrants that he/she is authorized to submit an entry on behalf of such organization. Prizes will be awarded in the name of the individual or organization that entered.
  2. HOW TO ENTER. Contest entry period begins at 12:00:01 a.m. (PT) on October 1, 2013 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. (PT) on October 31, 2013 (“Entry Period”). To enter, during the Entry Period you must:
    1. Download and fill out the “Spotathon Submission Form” (“Submission Form”) available at http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/spotathon; and
    2. Send an e-mail to ec2-spotathon@amazon.com that includes the subject line “Amazon EC2 Spotathon Submission” and your Submission Form as an attachment.

      The Submission Form and e-mail are collectively referred to as the “Entry”. All Entries must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. (PT) on October 31, 2013. Each Submission Form must: (a) be filled out completely; (b) be the original creation of entrant; and (c) be submitted as a Microsoft Word document. Limit one Entry per person/e-mail address. In the event any entrant submits more than one Entry, the first Entry received by Sponsor will be deemed that entrant’s Entry. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify at any time any Entry containing inappropriate content or subject matter (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion). Sponsor’s servers and clock will be deemed the official clock for all phases of the Contest, and entrant’s proof of a submission does not constitute proof of receipt by Sponsor. Sponsor is not responsible for (i) lost, misdirected, late, illegible, incomplete or unintelligible Entries, or for inaccurate entry information, whether caused by entrant or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest, or by any technical or human errors that may occur in the processing entries; or (ii) any printing, production, human or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest.
  3. CONDITIONS OF ENTRY. All Entries must be the original creations of the entrants. This Contest is a skill-based contest, and as such, the winners will not be selected randomly, but on the basis of objective judging criteria (as set forth below). PARTICIPATION EXPENSES WILL NOT BE REFUNDED. By submitting an Entry, the entrant represents and warrants that (a) his/her Submission Form and the Spot Application it describes are the original creation of the entrants; (b) his/her Submission Form and the Spot Application it describes have not been copied or derived in whole or in part from any other work or the entrant has permission to use any copyrighted materials; (c) the Entry does not contain materials considered by the entrant or the entrant’s place of business or any other third party to be confidential; (d) the materials in the Submission Form do not violate or infringe any copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity right, or other personal, proprietary or intellectual property right of any person or entity; (e) the entrant has complete, worldwide distribution rights for all materials in his/her Submission Form; and (f) the Submission form does not include any likeness, photograph, or image of any person.

    Sponsor may disqualify any entrant whose Entry Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, at any time not to comply with any requirement described in these Official Rules or the foregoing representations and warranties. Entrants agree to indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, any entity involved in any aspect of the Contest (including funding or judging), advertising agencies, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advisors, or advertising/promotion (collectively, the “Released Parties”), for any action or claim brought by a person whose intellectual property or confidential material was included in an Entry. By submitting an Entry, each entrant grants to Sponsor the non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display the Submission Form and its ideas and contents.

    Sponsor is collecting personal information primarily to process the Entries and to contact you if necessary in connection with your Entry, but also to potentially contact you for marketing purposes. If you do not wish to be contacted for marketing purposes, you will be provided with a method to opt-out from future communications. If you would like to access the information about you related to this Contest in Sponsor’s database, please send an e-mail to ec2-spotathon@amazon.com. Sponsor will share your information with third parties that have a need to know, such as the Judges, and by entering, you agree to the sharing of your information with the Judges and third parties Sponsor retains to assist in administering the Contest. If you do not agree to these terms or to Sponsor’s privacy policy located at http://aws.amazon.com/privacy/, please do not submit an Entry.
  4. RIGHT OF PUBLICITY. By submitting an Entry, each entrant consents to the publishing of his/her name, business logo, and city/state/province/country, and contents of his/her Submission Form on any website owned and/or operated by Sponsor or any of its affiliates (“Sponsor Site”), any other website or other online point of presence on any platform, through which any products or services available on or through the Sponsor Site are described, syndicated, offered, merchandised or advertised, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, and inclusion in a press release and other media coverage if he/she is selected as a winner and for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Contest in any and all media now or hereafter devised, worldwide in perpetuity (or to the maximum extent permissible under applicable law), without additional compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. Sponsor’s decision to post a Submission Form or any portion of a Submission Form on any Sponsor Site does not mean that the selected Submission Form has been selected as a winning Entry.
  5. JUDGING. From November 1, 2013 through November 11, 2013, all qualified Entries will be judged and rated by a panel of qualified judges selected by Sponsor (“Judges”). The Judges will judge and rate each Amazon EC2 Spot application (“Application”) as it is described in the Submission Form, using the following criteria: cost, performance, scale, and overall elegance and efficacy (collectively, the “Judging Criteria”). The Judging Criteria are described below:

    Cost
    . The Judges will consider the cost savings achieved by your Application. For example, the Judges will consider what cost savings your Application achieved compared to the alternative cost your Application would have incurred if you did not use Spot Instances.

    Performance
    . The Judges will consider what performance benefits your Application was able to achieve by using Spot Instances. For example, your Application may have been able to complete its computation run faster with Spot Instances, or it may have been able to complete extra computational cycles to improve the accuracy of your Application’s result.

    Scale
    . The Judges will consider the computational scale you were able to achieve with your Application. For example, the Judges will consider how many Amazon EC2 instance-hours you ran with your Application, how many concurrent instances your Application handled, and if your Application was able to run in different regions and on different instance types.

    Overall elegance and efficacy
    . The Judges will consider the overall elegance and efficacy of your Application’s use of Amazon EC2 Spot Instances.

    A Grand Prize winner and a Runner-Up Prize winner will be selected by the Judges based on the Judging Criteria. All decisions of the Judges are final and binding. Winners will be notified by e-mail by November 15, 2013.
  6. PRIZE. Sponsor will award one Grand Prize consisting of a $5,000.00 AWS Credit and one Runner-Up Prize of $3,000.00 AWS Credit. The total approximate retail value of the Grand Prize and the Runner-Up Prize is $8,000.00. The AWS Credit may only be used for purchases of AWS services available at http://aws.amazon.com, and use of the AWS Credits is subject to the terms set forth at http://aws.amazon.com/awscredits/ in effect on the date of issuance of the AWS Credits. The AWS Credit will be delivered via AWS credit codes that the winners may apply to their AWS accounts. The winners will be: (a) responsible for paying all costs and expenses related to the prize that are not specifically mentioned, including, but not limited to, taxes and any other expenses that might reasonably be incurred by the winners in receiving or using the prize; and (b) required to submit his/her social security number or tax payer ID number to Sponsor in order to claim the prize. All prizes will be awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose).
  7. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION. The winners will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release as requested by Sponsor. Prior to awarding a prize, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, require a potential winner to sign such additional documents Sponsor decides are necessary to confirm eligibility, to obtain a liability/publicity release, and to award any prize. Failure by a potential winner to return any required document by the date requested by Sponsor will render that potential winner ineligible to receive the prize. If a potential winner’s documentation is not returned by the specified dates, if the potential winner is deemed ineligible, or if a potential winner’s Entry is otherwise disqualified prior to a prize being awarded, then the entrant who submitted the next highest rated Entry will be a potential winner, subject to Sponsor’s verification of compliance with the requirements in these Official Rules.
  8. ADDITIONAL TERMS. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change these rules or cancel the Contest at any time, or to modify, terminate, or suspend the Contest should viruses, worms, bugs, unauthorized human intervention, or other causes beyond Sponsor’s control corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness, or proper play of the Contest or submission of Entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any human or other error that may occur in the processing of the Entries, nor is it responsible for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, theft or destruction, or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries, or for technical, network, telephone, computer, hardware or software, malfunctions of any kind, or inaccurate transmission of, or failure to receive any entry information on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site. Sponsor is not responsible for injury or damage to any entrant’s or any other computer resulting from downloading any materials in connection with the Contest. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual found to be tampering with the entry process, the outcome of the Contest, or the operation of the Contest or Web site; to be acting in violation of these rules; or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR AND ITS AFFILIATES RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND/OR OTHER RELIEF FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
  9. MISCELLANEOUS. The Contest and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2013 by Amazon Web Services, Inc. All rights reserved. By entering, entrants agree to be bound by these rules. No transfer, assignment, cash redemption or substitution of prizes is permitted except by Sponsor due to prize availability and then with prizes of equal or greater value. Entrants agree (for themselves and their heirs) that the Released Parties will have no liability, and will be held harmless by such entrants to the maximum extent permitted by law for any liability, loss, injury, or damage to property or to person, including death, and reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by reason of participation in the Contest, or by reason of the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prizes, even if caused or contributed to by the negligence of any of the Released Parties. Contest is governed by the laws of the United States and the State of Washington. As a condition of participating in this Contest, entrants agree that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in King County, Washington having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will entrants be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waive all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages, including attorneys' fees, other than entrant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., costs associated with entering), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. Contest is void where prohibited by law. Entrants agree that the decisions of Sponsor and the Judges related to the Contest are final.
  10. WINNER’S LIST. After the winners are confirmed, the winners' names will be posted at http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/spotathon/past-winners until May 31, 2014.
  11. SPONSOR. Amazon Web Services, Inc., 410 Terry Avenue North, Seattle WA 98109 ("Sponsor").