AWS News Blog

Coming Soon – EC2 Dedicated Hosts

Sometimes business enables technology, and sometimes technology enables business!

If you are migrating from an existing environment to AWS, you may have purchased volume licenses for software that is licensed for use on a server with a certain number of sockets or physical cores. Or, you may be required to run it on a specific server for a given period of time. Licenses for Windows Server, Windows SQL Server, Oracle Database, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server often include this requirement.

We want to make sure that you can continue to derive value from these licenses after you migrate to AWS. In general, we call this model Bring Your Own License, or BYOL. In order to do this while adhering to the terms of the license, you are going to need to control the mapping of the EC2 instances to the underlying, physical servers.

Introducing EC2 Dedicated Hosts
In order to give you control over this mapping, we are announcing a new model that we call Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts.  This model will allow you to allocate an actual physical server (the Dedicated Host) and then launch one or more EC2 instances of a given type on it. You will be able to target and reuse specific physical servers and stay within the confines of your existing software licenses.

In addition to allowing you to Bring Your Own License to the cloud to reduce costs,  Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts can help you to meet stringent compliance and regulatory requirements, some of which require control and visibility over instance placement at the physical host level. In these environments, detailed auditing of changes is also a must; AWS Config will help out by recording all changes to your instances and your Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts.

Using Dedicated Hosts
You will start by allocating a Dedicated Host in a specific region and Availability Zone, and for a particular type of EC2 instance (we’ll have API, CLI, and Console support for doing this).

Each host has room for a predefined number of instances of a particular type. For example, a specific host could have room for eight c3.xlarge instances (this is a number that I made up for this post).  After you allocate the host, you can then launch up to eight c3.xlarge instances on it.

You will have full control over placement. You can launch instances on a specific Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host or you can have EC2 place the instances automatically onto your Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts. Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts also support affinity so that Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host instances are placed on the same host even after they are rebooted or stopped and then restarted.

With Dedicated Hosts, the same “cloudy” benefits that you get with using EC2 instances apply but you have additional controls and visibility at your disposal to address your requirements, even as they change.

Purchase Options
Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts will be available in Reserved and On-Demand form. In either case, you pay (or consume a previously purchased Reserved Dedicated Host) when you allocate the host, regardless of whether you choose to run instances on it or not.

You will be able to bring your existing machine images to AWS using VM Import and the AWS Management Portal for vCenter. You can also find machine images in the AWS Marketplace and launch them on Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts using your existing licenses and you can make use of the Amazon Linux AMI and other Linux operating systems.

Stay Tuned
I’ll have more to say about this feature before too long. Stay tuned to the blog for details!


Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.