AWS Official Blog

Amazon EC2 Gets More Muscle

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

MuscleThe Amazon EC2 team just added Large and Extra Large instance types to EC2. The former “one size fits all” instance type is now known as a Small instance.

Large instances are 4 times larger in each dimension (CPU power, RAM, and disk storage) than the Small instances and cost $0.40 per hour. Extra Large instances are 8 times larger in each dimension and cost $0.80 per hour.

Both of the new instance types support 64-bit computing. While the Large Instance type offers 7.5 GB RAM, the Extra Large Instance Type offers 15 GB RAM (compared to the Small instance type and its 1.7 GB RAM). To help developer compare the new instance types, we are measuring the CPU capacity using a new term called an EC2 Compute Unit. The EC2 home page has more information about this.

When I first heard the news, I fell off my seat after reading the specs, especially ’64-bit’ and ’15 GB RAM’. This is addressing one of the most common requests that we have heard from our developers.

With these new types of instances, developers will now be able run ravenous applications like large databases and/or compute-intensive tasks like simulations. Most importantly, they will be able to mix-and-match based on their infrastructure needs. Some Ideas that I can think of are:

  • Small-scale user : 1 Small instance running the entire month (Website Hosting)
  • Medium-scale user:  4 Small instances, 2 Large instances (Social Networking App)
  • Compute intensive on-demand parallel user: 400 instances for 72 hours (Hadoop Cluster)
  • High-perf user: 20 Extra Large instance for 14 days (Biotech Drug Synthesis or Render Farms)
  • Database or file share hosting user:  8 Large instances running the entire month (Memcached-based Applications)
  • Mixed large-scale user: 16 small instances, 4 large instances, 2 extra large instances, running entire month (Large Web-Scale Application)

Imagine the new possibilities!

If you have more ideas for how you would use these new instances, I would love to know.

I have also updated our AWS Simple Monthly Calculator with the new Instance Types where you can get estimate of your monthly bill based on your usage.

We are working hard to improve our products based on the feedback that you provide us. Keep the excellent feedback coming in!

– Jinesh