Category: AWS Marketplace

From Raspberry Pi to Supercomputers to the Cloud: The Linux Operating System

by Ana Visneski | on | in AWS Marketplace, Linux |

Matthew Freeman and Luis Daniel Soto are back talking about the use of Linux through the AWS Marketplace.
– Ana

Linux is widely used in corporations now as the basis for everything from file servers to web servers to network security servers. The no-cost as well as commercial availability of distributions makes it an obvious choice in many scenarios. Distributions of Linux now power machines as small as the tiny Raspberry Pi to the largest supercomputers in the world. There is a wide variety of minimal and security hardened distributions, some of them designed for GPU workloads.

Even more compelling is the use of Linux in cloud-based infrastructures. Its comparatively lightweight architecture, flexibility, and options for customizing it make Linux ideal as a choice for permanent network infrastructures in the cloud, as well as specialized uses such as temporary high-performance server farms that handle computational loads for scientific research. As a demonstration of their own commitment to the Linux platform, AWS developed and continues to maintain their own version of Linux that is tightly coupled with AWS services.

AWS has been a partner to the Linux and Open Source Communities through AWS Marketplace:

  • It is a managed software catalog that makes it easy for customers to discover, purchase, and deploy the software and services they need to build solutions and run their businesses.
  • It simplifies software licensing and procurement by enabling customers to accept user agreements, choose pricing options, and automate the deployment of software and associated AWS resources with just a few clicks.
  • It can be searched and filtered to help you select the Linux distribution – independently or in combination with other components – that best suits your business needs.

Selecting a Linux Distribution for Your Company
If you’re new to Linux, the dizzying array of distributions can be overwhelming. Deciding which distribution to use depends on a lot of different factors, and customers tell us that the following considerations are important to them:

  • Existing investment in Linux, if any. Is this your first foray into Linux? If so, then you’re in a position to weight all options pretty equally.
  • Existing platforms in use (such as on-premises networks). Are you adding a cloud infrastructure that must connect to your in-house network? If so, you need to consider which of the Linux distributions has the networking and application connectors you require.
  • Intention to use more than one cloud platform. Are you already using another cloud provider? Will it need to interconnect with AWS? Your choice of Linux distribution may be affected by what’s available for those connections.
  • Available applications, libraries, and components. Your choice of Linux distribution should take into consideration future requirements, and ongoing software and technical support.
  • Specialized uses, such as scientific or technical requirements. Certain applications only run on specific, customized Linux distributions.

By examining your responses to each of these areas, you can narrow the list of possible Linux distributions to suit your business needs.

Linux in AWS Marketplace
AWS Marketplace is a great place to locate and begin using Linux distributions along with the top applications that run on them. You can deploy different versions of the distributions from this online store, and AWS scans the catalog daily for security, if we found an issue we notify you — this increases your speed. Scans are run continuously to identify vulnerabilities. AWS notifies customers of any issues found and works with experts to find work-arounds and updates. In addition to support provided by the sellers, the AWS Forums are a great place to ask questions about using Linux on AWS by setting up a free account on the forum. You can also get further details about Linux on AWS from the AWS Documentation.

Applications from AWS Marketplace Running on Linux
Here is a sampling of the featured Linux distributions and applications that run on them, which customers launch from AWS Marketplace.

CentOS Versions 7, 6.5, and 6
The CentOS Project is a community-driven, free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. CentOS is derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and it aims to be functionally compatible with RHEL. CentOS Linux is no-cost to use, and free to redistribute. For users, CentOS offers a consistent, manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, it offers a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code. AWS has several CentOS AMIs that you can launch to take advantage of the stability and widespread use of this distribution.

Debian GNU Linux
Debian GNU/Linux, which includes the GNU OS tools and Linux kernel, is a popular and influential Linux distribution. Users have access to repositories containing thousands of software packages ready for installation and use. Debian is known for relatively strict adherence to the philosophies of Unix and free software as well as using collaborative software development and testing processes. It is popular as a web server operating system. Debian officially contains only free software, but non-free software can be downloaded from the Debian repositories and installed. Debian focuses on stability and security, and is used as a base for many other distributions. AWS has AMIs for Debian available for launch immediately.

Amazon Linux AMI
Amazon Linux is a supported and maintained Linux image provided by AWS. Amazon EC2 Container Service makes it easy to manage Docker containers at scale by providing a centralized service that includes programmatic access to the complete state of the containers and Amazon EC2 instances in the cluster, schedules containers in the proper location, and uses familiar Amazon EC2 features like security groups, Amazon EBS volumes, and IAM roles. Amazon ECS allows you to make containers a foundational building block for your applications by eliminating the need to run a cluster manager, and by providing programmatic access to the full state of your cluster.

Other popular distributions available in AWS Marketplace include Ubuntu, SUSE, Red Hat, Oracle Linux, Kali Linux and more.

Getting Started with Linux on AWS Marketplace
You can view a list hundreds of Linux offerings by simply selecting the Operating System category from the Shop All Categories link on the AWS Marketplace home screen.

From there you can select your preferred distribution and browse the available offerings:

Most offerings include the ability to launch using 1-Click, so your Linux server can be up and running in minutes.

Flexibility with Pay-As-You-Go Pricing
You pay Amazon EC2 usage costs plus per hour (or per month or annual) and, if applicable, commercial Linux cost for certain distributions directly through your AWS account. You can see in advance what your costs will be, depending on the instance type you select. As a result, using AWS Marketplace is one of the fastest and easiest ways to launch your Linux solution.

Visit to learn more about Linux on AWS Marketplace.

Matthew Freeman and Luis Daniel Soto


Ready-to-Run Solutions: Open Source Software in AWS Marketplace

by Ana Visneski | on | in AWS Marketplace | | Comments

There are lot’s of exciting things going on in the AWS Marketplace. Here to tell you more about open source software in the marketplace are Matthew Freeman and Luis Daniel Soto.

– Ana

According to industry research, enterprise use of open source software (OSS) is on the rise. More and more corporate-based developers are asking to use available OSS libraries as part of ongoing development efforts at work. These individuals may be using OSS in their own projects (i.e. evenings and weekends), and naturally want to bring to work the tools and techniques that help them elsewhere.

Consequently, development organizations in all sectors are examining the case for using open source software for applications within their own IT infrastructures as well as in the software they sell. In this Overview, we’ll show you why obtaining your open source software through AWS makes sense from a development and fiscal perspective.

Open Source Development Process
Because open source software is generally developed in independent communities of participants, acquiring and managing software versions is usually done through online code repositories. With code coming from disparate sources, it can be challenging to get the code libraries and development tools to work well together. But AWS Marketplace lets you skip this process and directly launch EC2 instances with the OSS you want. AWS Marketplace also has distributions of Linux that you can use as the foundation for your OSS solution.

Preconfigured Stacks Give You an Advantage
While we may take this 1-Click launch ability for granted with commercial software, for OSS, having preconfigured AMIs is a huge advantage. AWS Marketplace gives software companies that produce combinations or “stacks” of the most popular open source software a location from which these stacks can be launched into the AWS cloud. Companies such as TurnKey and Bitnami use their OSS experts to configure and optimize these code stacks so that the software works well together. These companies stay current with new releases of the OSS, and update their stacks accordingly as soon as new versions are available. Some of these companies also offer cloud hosting infrastructures as a paid service to make it even easier to launch and manage cloud-based servers.

As an example, one of the most popular combinations of open source software is the LAMP stack, which consists of a Linux distribution, Apache Web Server, a MySQL database, and the PHP programming library. You can select a generic LAMP stack based on the Linux distribution you prefer, then install your favorite development tools and libraries.

You would then add to it any adjustments to the underlying software that you need or want to make for your application to run as expected. For example, you may want to change the memory allocations for the application, or change the maximum file upload size in the PHP settings.

You could select an OSS application stack that contains the LAMP elements plus a single application such as WordPress, Moodle, or Joomla!®. These stacks would be configured by the vendor with optimal settings for that individual application so that it runs smoothly, with sufficient memory and disk allocations based on the application requirements. This is where stack vendors excel in providing added value to the basic software provisioning.

You might instead choose a generic LAMP stack because you need to combine multiple applications on a single server that use common components. For example, WordPress has plugins that allow it to interoperate with Moodle directly. Both applications use Apache Web Server, PHP, and MySQL. You save time by starting with the LAMP stack, and configuring the components individually as needed for WordPress and Moodle to work well together.

These are just 2 real-world examples of how you could use a preconfigured solution from AWS Marketplace and adapt it to your own needs.

OSS in AWS Marketplace
AWS Marketplace is one of the largest sites for obtaining and deploying OSS tools, applications, and servers. Here are some of the other categories in which OSS is available.

  • Application Development and Test Tools. You can find on AWS Marketplace solutions and CloudFormation templates for EC2 servers configured with application frameworks such as Zend, ColdFusion, Ruby on Rails, and Node.js. You’ll also find popular OSS choices for development and testing tools, supporting agile software development with key product such as Jenkins for test automation, Bugzilla for issue tracking, Subversion for source code management and configuration management tools. Learn more »
  • Infrastructure Software. The successful maintenance and protection of your network is critical to your business success. OSS libraries such as OpenLDAP and OpenVPN make it possible to launch a cloud infrastructure to accompany or entirely replace an on-premises network. From offerings dedicated to handling networking and security processing to security-hardened individual servers, AWS Marketplace has numerous security solutions available to assist you in meeting the security requirements for different workloads. Learn more »
  • Database and Business Intelligence. Including OSS database, data management and open data catalog solutions. Business Intelligence and advanced analytics software can help you make sense of the data coming from transactional systems, sensors, cell phones, and a whole range of Internet-connected devices. Learn more »
  • Business Software. Availability, agility, and flexibility are key to running business applications in the cloud. Companies of all sizes want to simplify infrastructure management, deploy more quickly, lower cost, and increase revenue. Business Software running on Linux provides these key metrics. Learn more »
  • Operating Systems. AWS Marketplace has a wide variety of operating systems from FreeBSD, minimal and security hardened Linux installations to specialized distributions for security and scientific work. Learn more »

How to Get Started with OSS on AWS Marketplace
Begin by identifying the combination of software you want, and enter keywords in the Search box at the top of the AWS Marketplace home screen to find suitable offerings.

Or if you want to browse by category, just click “Shop All Categories” and select from the list.

Once you’ve made your initial search or selection, there are nearly a dozen ways to filter the results until the best candidates remain. For example, you can select your preferred Linux distribution by expanding the All Linux filter to help you find the solutions that run on that distribution. You can also filter for Free Trials, Software Pricing Plans, EC2 Instance Types, AWS Region, Average Rating, and so on.

Click on the title of the listing to see the details of that offering, including pricing, regions, product support, and links to the seller’s website. When you’ve made your selections, and you’re ready to launch the instance, click Continue, and log into your account.

Because you log in, AWS Marketplace can detect the presence of existing security groups, key pairs, and VPC settings. Make adjustments on the Launch on EC2 page, then click Accept Software Terms & Launch with 1-Click, and your instance will launch immediately.

If you prefer you can do a Manual Launch using the AWS Console with the selection you’ve made, or start the instance using the API or command line interface (CLI). Either way, your EC2 instance is up and running within minutes.

Flexibility with Pay-As-You-Go Pricing
You pay Amazon EC2 usage costs plus per hour (or per month or annual) and, if applicable, commercial open source software fees directly through your AWS account. As a result, using AWS Marketplace is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get your OSS software up and running.

Visit to learn more about open source software on AWS Marketplace.

Matthew Freeman, Category Development Lead, AWS Marketplace
Luis Daniel Soto, Sr. Category GTM Leader, AWS Marketplace

New – SaaS Subscriptions on AWS Marketplace

by Jeff Barr | on | in AWS Marketplace | | Comments

You can now find, buy, and use a nice variety of SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions from AWS Marketplace Vendors.

The new SaaS solutions run on AWS infrastructure and you will pay only for the service that you consume, with no monthly fees or subscription costs. For example, you can buy security services on a per-host basis, log processing on a per-GB-ingested basis, geocoding on a per-request basis, or caching on a per-GB-cached basis. Usage charge for the services that you consume will appear on your AWS bill.

The list of vendors and products is growing every day; here’s what we have lined up so far:

Application Development and Monitoring
  • Cloudyn
  • Cloudinary
  • Dynatrace Cloud-Native Monitoring
  • New Relic Infrastructure (Pro & Essential)
  • Solano Labs CI
  • Solodev Enterprise Cloud
Security and Log Management
  • Alert Logic Cloud Insight
  • Bitium Identity and Access Management for AWS
  • Datadog Apps Monitoring
  • Dome9 Serenity for AWS Enterprise Edition
  • Sumo Logic Log Analytics
  • Trend Micro Deep Security
Databases, BI, and Big Data
  • HERE Forward Geocoder Global Service
  • Pitney Bowes GeoCode API
  • Qubole Data Service
  • Aspera Transfer Service
  • NetApp DataSync
  • Signiant Flight
  • Druva Phoenix (Enterprise & Business)
Other Business Applications and Services
  • Avalara AvaTax

The AWS Marketplace page for each of these offerings includes the relevant per-unit pricing information. Here are a couple of examples:

 You can locate these applications by selecting SaaS as your delivery method when you search Marketplace:

To learn more, visit the AWS Marketplace SaaS page.

Attention ISVs
If you are an ISV and would like to offer a new SaaS solution or modify an existing offering to become a SaaS solution, visit the Sell in AWS Marketplace page.


New – Product Support Connection for AWS Marketplace Customers

by Jeff Barr | on | in AWS Marketplace | | Comments

There are now over 2,700 software products listed in AWS Marketplace. Tens of thousands of AWS customers routinely find, buy, and start using offerings from more than 925 Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).

Today we are giving you, as a consumer of software through AWS Marketplace, the ability to selectively share your contact information (name, title, phone number, email address, location, and organization) with software vendors in order to simplify and streamline your requests for product support. The vendors can programmatically access this information and store it within their own support systems so that they can easily verify your identity and provide you with better support.

This is an opt-in program. Sellers can choose to participate, and you can choose to share your contact information.

Product Support Connection as a Buyer
In order to test out this feature I launched Barracuda Web Application Firewall (WAF). After selecting my options and clicking on the Accept Software Terms & Launch with 1-click button, I was given the option to share my contact details:

Then I entered my name and other information:

I have the option to enter up to 5 contacts for each subscription at this point. I can also add, change, or delete them later if necessary:

If products that I already own are now enabled for Product Support Connection, I can add contact details here as well.

Product Support Connection as a Seller
If I am an ISV and want to participate in this program, I contact the AWS Marketplace Seller & Catalog Operations Team ( The team will enroll me in the program and provide me with access to a secure API that I can use to access contact information. Per the terms of the program, I must register each contact in my support or CRM system within one business day, and use it only for support purposes. To learn more, read AWS Marketplace Product Support Connection Helps Software Vendors Provide More Seamless Product Support on the AWS Partner Network Blog.

Getting Started
When I am searching for products in AWS Marketplace, I can select Product Support Connection as a desired product attribute:

As part of today’s launch, I would like to thank the following vendors who worked with us to shape this program and to add the Product Support Connection to their offerings:

  • Barracuda – Web Application Firewall (WAF), NextGen Firewall F-Series, Load Balancer ADC, Email Security Gateway, Message Archiver.
  • Chef – Chef Server, Chef Compliance.
  • Matillion – Matillion ETL for Redshift.
  • Rogue Wave – OpenLogic Enhanced Support for CentOS (6 & 7, Standard & Security Hardened).
  • SoftNAS – SoftNAS Cloud (Standard & Express).
  • Sophos -Sophos UTM Manager 4, Sophos UTM 9.
  • zData – Greenplum database.
  • Zend – PHP, Zend Server.
  • Zoomdata – Zoomdata.

We’re looking forward to working with other vendors who would like to follow their lead!

To get started, contact the AWS Marketplace Seller & Catalog Operations Team at



AWS Solution – Transit VPC

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon VPC, AWS Marketplace, Quick Start | | Comments

Today I would like to tell you about a new AWS Solution. This one is cool because of what it does and how it works! Like the AWS Quick Starts, this one was built by AWS Solutions Architects and incorporates best practices for security and high availability.

The new Transit VPC Solution shows you how to implement a very useful networking construct that we call a transit VPC. You can use this to connect multiple Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) that might be geographically disparate and/or running in separate AWS accounts, to a common VPC that serves as a global network transit center. This network topology simplifies network management and minimizes the number of connections that you need to set up and manage. Even better, it is implemented virtually and does not require any physical network gear or a physical presence in a colocation transit hub. Here’s what this looks like:

In this diagram, the transit VPC is central, surrounded by additional “spoke” VPCs, corporate data centers, and other networks.

The transit VPC supports several important use cases:

  • Private Networking – You can build a private network that spans two or more AWS Regions.
  • Shared Connectivity – Multiple VPCs can share connections to data centers, partner networks, and other clouds.
  • Cross-Account AWS Usage – The VPCs and the AWS resources within them can reside in multiple AWS accounts.

The solution uses a AWS CloudFormation stack to launch and configure all of the AWS resources. It provides you with three throughput options ranging from 500 Mbps to 2 Gbps, each implemented over a pair of connections for high availability. The stack makes use of the Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR), which is now available in AWS Marketplace. You can use your existing CSR licenses (the BYOL model) or you can pay for your CSR usage on an hourly basis. The cost to run a transit VPC is based on the throughput option and licensing model that you choose, and ranges from $0.21 to $8.40 per hour, with an additional cost (for AWS resources) of $0.10 per hour for each spoke VPC. There’s an additional cost of $1 per month for a AWS Key Management Service (KMS) customer master key that is specific to the solution. All of these prices are exclusive of network transit costs.

The template installs and uses a pair of AWS Lambda functions in a creative way!

The VGW Poller function runs every minute. It scans all of the AWS Regions in the account, looking for appropriately tagged Virtual Private Gateways in spoke VPCs that do not have a VPN connection. When it finds one, it creates (if necessary) the corresponding customer gateway and the VPN connections to the CSR, and then saves the information in an S3 bucket.

The Cisco Configurator function is triggered by the Put event on the bucket. It parses the VPN connection information and generates the necessary config files, then pushes them to the CSR instances using SSH. This allows the VPN tunnels to come up and (via the magic of BGP), neighbor relationships will be established with the spoke VPCs.

By using Lambda in this way, new spoke VPCs can be brought online quickly without the overhead of keeping an underutilized EC2 instance up and running.

The solution’s implementation guide, as always, contains step-by-step directions and security recommendations.


PS – Check out additional network best practice guidance to find answers to common network questions!

AWS Marketplace Update – Support for ISVs Based in the EU

by Jeff Barr | on | in AWS Marketplace | | Comments

AWS Marketplace allows AWS customers to find, buy, and immediately start using cloud-based applications developed by Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).  AWS customers collectively rack up 205 million hours per month of AWS Marketplace usage as they make use of over 2,700 offerings from over 925 ISVs.

Support for EU-Based ISVs
ISVs based in the European Union can now register their products in AWS Marketplace without having to create a US-based entity.

The following EU-based ISVs have already listed their products:





Business Apps

To learn more about their offerings, check our our new Software Solutions from European ISVs page!

Come on In
If you are a US or EU-based ISV and would like to list and sell your products in AWS Marketplace, visit our Sell on AWS Marketplace page.



PS – Other recent feature additions to AWS Marketplace include Support for Clusters and AWS Resources and Additional Pricing Options for Sellers. Also, AWS customers can now request multi-year subscriptions to select products in AWS Marketplace at a negotiated discount from the software vendor (discounts on multi-year subscriptions vary by product and vendor). For more information on the eligible products and vendors, please contact us at




New in AWS Marketplace – Enterprise Data Management/Protection from Ionic Security

by Jeff Barr | on | in AWS Marketplace | | Comments

In the last couple of months I have spoken with several Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) about their AWS Marketplace offerings. I’ve heard some impressive success stories and am working to share as many of them as possible.

Last week I spoke with the founders of Ionic Security to learn more about their product and new AWS Marketplace offering (AWS is an equity partner in Ionic). The platform was designed to meet the demanding needs of large-scale customers that operate in regulated industries. It helps them to understand how their data is being used and what actions are going to be performed on the data.

Using the theme of Data Management as a Service, the platform supports a common set of protocols that are accessible via web, desktop, and mobile applications.

Ionic provides a distributed data protection and control environment that allows customers to protect and manage data on a very fine-grained basis, down to individual fields in a document. Each data element is assigned a unique, 64-bit KeyID via a running instance of the Ionic Key Server. Keys can be protected by AWS CloudHSM or by an on-premises Hardware Security Module. In either case, the HSM is responsible for protecting the encryption keys.

Developers use the Ionic SDK to build Ionic-enabled applications. SDK functions support device detection / fingerprinting, key management, encryption & decryption, and logging. The applications make use of an attribute-based policy engine that makes rapid go/no-go decisions when an application wants to access or update a data element. Support for more than 100 document management, productivity, and collaboration applications is already available.

The Ionic Dashboard is the mission control center for the product. It displays all interaction with the data, with multiple forms of visualization, filtering, and drill-down.

Organizations can choose to store the keys and the logging data in several different locations. With today’s announcement, they can now store their data in the AWS region of their choice. The product launches with just a couple of clicks and is up and running within two minutes or so.

Ionic in Action
Here are a couple of screen shots of Ionic in action. The Data Policy Overview provides an overview of activity:

There’s also a geographic view:

Detailed information is available for each data protection policy:

To get started, visit Ionic in AWS Marketplace. You may also want check out the Ionic resources page.



New – AWS Marketplace for the U.S. Intelligence Community

by Jeff Barr | on | in AWS Marketplace | | Comments

AWS built and now runs a private cloud for the United States Intelligence Community.

In order to better meet the needs of this unique community, we have set up an AWS Marketplace designed specifically for them. Much like the existing AWS Marketplace, this new marketplace makes it easy to discover, buy, and deploy software packages and applications, with a focus on products in the Big Data, Analyics, Cloud Transition Support, DevOps, Geospatial, Information Assurance, and Security categories.

Selling directly to the Intelligence Community can be a burdensome process that limits the Intelligence Community’s options when purchasing software. Our goal is to give the Intelligence Community as broad a selection of software as possible, so we are working to help our AWS Marketplace sellers through the onboarding process so that the Intelligence Community can benefit from use of their software.

If you are an Amazon Marketplace Seller and have products in one of the categories above, listing your product in the AWS Marketplace for the Intelligence Community has some important benefits to your ISV or Authorized Reseller business:

Access – You get to reach a new market that may not have been visible or accessible to you.

Efficiency – You get to bypass the contract negotiation that is otherwise a prerequisite to selling to the US government. With no contract negotiation to contend with, you’ll have less business overhead.

To the greatest extent possible, we hope to make the products in the AWS Marketplace also available in the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. Intelligence Community. In order to get there, we are going to need your help!

Come on Board
Completing the steps necessary to make products available in the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. Intelligence Community can be challenging due to security and implementation requirements. Fortunately, the AWS team is here to help; here are the important steps:

  1. Have your company and your products listed commercially in AWS Marketplace if they are not already there.
  2. File for FOCI (Foreign Ownership, Control and Influence) approval and sign the AWS Marketplace IC Marketplace Publisher Addendum.
  3. Ensure your product will work in the Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) environment. This includes ensuring that your software does not make any calls outside to the public internet.
  4. Work with AWS to publish your software on the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. Intelligence Community. You will be able to take advantage of your existing knowledge of AWS and your existing packaging tools and processes that you use to prepare each release of your product for use in AWS Marketplace.

Again, we are here to help! After completing step 1, email us ( We’ll help with the paperwork and the security and do our best to get you going as quickly as possible. To learn more about this process, read my colleague Kate Miller’s new post, AWS Marketplace for the Intelligence Community, on the AWS Partner Network Blog.


New in AWS Marketplace: Alces Flight – Effortless HPC on Demand

by Jeff Barr | on | in AWS Marketplace, HPC | | Comments

In the past couple of years, academic and corporate researchers have begun to see the value of the cloud. Faced with a need to run demanding jobs and to deliver meaningful results as quickly as possible while keeping costs under control, they are now using AWS to run a wide variety of compute-intensive, highly parallel workloads.

Instead of fighting for time on a cluster that must be shared with other researchers, they accelerate their work by launching clusters on demand, running their jobs, and then shutting the cluster down shortly thereafter, paying only for the resources that they consume. They replace tedious RFPs, procurement, hardware builds and acceptance testing with cloud resources that they can launch in minutes. As their needs grow, they can scale the existing cluster or launch a new one.

This self-serve, cloud-based approach favors science over servers and accelerates the pace of research and innovation. Access to shared, cloud-based resources can be granted to colleagues located on the same campus or halfway around the world, without having to worry about potential issues at organizational or network boundaries.

Alces Flight in AWS Marketplace
Today we are making Alces Flight available in AWS Marketplace. This is a fully-featured HPC environment that you can launch in a matter of minutes. It can make use of On-Demand or Spot Instances and comes complete with a job scheduler and hundreds of HPC applications that are all set up and ready to run. Some of the applications include built-in collaborative features such as shared graphical views. For example, here’s the Integrative Genomics Viewer (IGV):

Each cluster is launched into a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) with SSH and graphical desktop connectivity. Clusters can be of fixed size, or can be Auto Scaled in order to meet changes in demand.  Once launched, the cluster looks and behaves just like a traditional Linux-powered HPC cluster, with shared NFS storage and passwordless SSH access to the compute nodes. It includes access to HPC applications, libraries, tools, and MPI suites.

We are launching Alces Flight in AWS Marketplace today. You can launch a small cluster (up to 8 nodes) for evaluation and testing or a larger cluster for research.

If you subscribe to the product, you can download the AWS CloudFormation template from the Alces site. This template powers all of the products, and is used to quickly launch all of the AWS resources needed to create the cluster.

EC2 Spot Instances give you access to spare AWS capacity at up to a 90% discount from On-Demand pricing and can significantly reduce your cost per core. You simply enter the maximum bid price that you are willing to pay for a single compute node; AWS will manage your bid, running the nodes when capacity is available at the desired price point.

Running Alces Flight
In order to get some first-hand experience with Alces Flight, I launched a cluster of my own. Here are the settings that I used:

I set a tag for all of the resources in the stack as follows:

I confirmed my choices and gave CloudFormation the go-ahead to create my cluster. As expected, the cluster was all set up and ready to go within 5 minutes. Here are some of the events that were logged along the way:

Then I SSH’ed in to the login node and saw the greeting, all as expected:

After I launched my cluster I realized that this post would be more interesting if I had more compute nodes in my cluster. Instead of starting over, I simply modified my CloudFormation stack to have 4 nodes instead of 1, applied the change, and watched as the new nodes came online. Since I specified the use of Spot Instances when I launched the cluster, Auto Scaling placed bids automatically. Once the nodes were online I was able to locate them from within my PuTTY session:

Then I used the pdsh (Parallel Distributed Shell command) to check on the up-time of each compute node:

Learn More
This barely counts as scratching the surface; read Getting Started as Quickly as Possible to learn a lot more about what you can do! You should also watch one or more of the Alces videos to see this cool new product in action.

If you are building and running data-intensive HPC applications on AWS, you may also be interested in another Marketplace offering. The BeeGFS (self-supported or support included) parallel file system runs across multiple EC2 instances, aggregating the processing  power into a single namespace, with all data stored on EBS volumes.  The self-supported product is also available on a 14 day free trial. You can create a cluster file system using BeeGFS and then use it as part of your Alces cluster.



Additional Pricing Options for AWS Marketplace Products

by Jeff Barr | on | in AWS Marketplace | | Comments

Forward-looking ISVs (Indepdendent Software Vendors) are making great use of AWS Marketplace.  Users can find, buy, and start using products in minutes, without having to procure hardware or install any software. This streamlined delivery method can help ISVs to discover new customers while also decreasing the length of the sales cycle. The user pays for the products via their existing AWS account, per the regular AWS billing cycle.

As part of the on-boarding process for AWS Marketplace, each ISV has the freedom to determine the price of the software. The ISV can elect to offer prices for monthly and/or annual usage, generally with a discount. For software that is traditionally licensed on something other than time, ISVs make multiple entries in AWS Marketplace, representing licensing options on their chosen dimension.

This model has worked out well for many types of applications. However, as usual, there’s room to do even better!

More Pricing Options
ISVs have told us that they would like to have some more flexibility when it comes to packaging and pricing their software and we are happy to oblige. Some of them would like to extend the per-seat model without having to create multiple entries. Others would like to charge on other dimensions. A vendor of security products might want to charge by the number of hosts that were scanned. Or, a vendor of analytic products might want to charge based on the amount of data processed.

In order to accommodate all of these options, ISVs can now track and report on usage based on a pricing dimension that makes sense for their product (number of hosts scanned, amount of data processed, and so forth). They can also establish a per-unit price for this usage ($0.50 per host, $0.25 per GB of data, and so forth). Charges for this usage will appear on the user’s AWS bill.

I believe that this change will open the door to an even wider variety of products in the AWS Marketplace.

Implementing New Pricing Options
If you are an ISV and would like to use this new model price to your AWS Marketplace products, you need to add a little bit of code to your app. You simply measure usage along the appropriate dimension(s) and then call a new AWS API function to report on the usage. You must send this data (also known as a metering record) once per hour, even if there’s no usage for the hour. AWS Marketplace expects each running copy of the application to generate a metering record each hour in order to confirm that the application is still functioning properly. If the application stops sending records, AWS will email the customer and ask them to adjust their network configuration.

Here’s a sample call to the new MeterUsage function:

AWSMarketplaceMetering::MeterUsage("4w1vgsrkqdkypbz43g7qkk4uz","2015-05-19T07:31:23Z", "HostsScanned", 2);

The parameters are as follows:

  1. AWS Marketplace product code.
  2. Timestamp (UTC), in ISO-8601 format.
  3. Usage dimension.
  4. Usage quantity.

The usage data will be made available to you as part of the daily and monthly seller reports.

Some Examples
Here are a couple of examples of products that are already making use of this new pricing option. As you can see in the Infrastructure Fees, these vendors have chosen to price their products along a variety of interesting (and relevant) dimensions:

SoftNAS Cloud NAS:


Aspera faspex On-Demand:

Chef Server:

Trend Micro Deep Security:

Available Now
This new pricing option is available now and you can start using it today!