AWS Blog

EC2 Instance Update – X1 (SAP HANA) & T2.Nano (Websites)

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2, AWS re:Invent | | Comments

AWS customers love to share their plans and their infrastructure needs with us. We, in turn, love to listen and to do our best to meet those needs. A look at the EC2 instance history should tell you a lot about our ability to listen to our customers and to respond with an increasingly broad range of instances (check out the EC2 Instance History for a detailed look).

Lately, we have been hearing two types of requests, both driven by some important industry trends:

  • On the high end, many of our enterprise customers are clamoring for instances that have very large amounts of memory. They want to run SAP HANA and other in-memory databases, generate analytics in real time, process giant graphs using Neo4j or Titan , or create enormous caches.
  • On the low end, other customers need a little bit of processing power to host dynamic websites that usually get very modest amounts of traffic,  or to run their microservices or monitoring systems.

In order to meet both of these needs, we are planning to launch two new EC2 instances in the coming months. The upcoming X1 instances will have loads of memory; the t2.nano will provide that little bit of processing power, along with bursting capabilities similar to those of its larger siblings.

X1 – Tons of Memory
X1 instances will feature up to 2 TB of memory, a full order of magnitude larger than the current generation of high-memory instances. These instances are designed for demanding enterprise workloads including production installations of SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, Apache Spark, and Presto.

The X1 instances will be powered by up to four Intel® Xeon® E7 processors. The processors have high memory bandwidth and large L3 caches, both designed to support high-performance, memory-bound applications. With over 100 vCPUs, these instances will be able to handle highly concurrent workloads with ease.

We expect to have the X1 available in the first half of 2016. I’ll share pricing and other details at launch time.

T2.Nano – A Little (Burstable) Processing Power
The T2 instances provide a baseline level of processing power, along with the ability to save up unused cycles (“CPU Credits”) and use them when the need arises (read about New Low Cost EC2 Instances with Burstable Performance to learn more). We launched the t2.micro, t2.small, and t2.medium a little over a year ago. The burstable model has proven to be extremely popular with our customers. It turns out that most of them never actually consume all of their CPU Credits and are able to run at full core performance. We extended this model with the introduction of t2.large just a few months ago.

The next step is to go in the other direction. Later this year we will introduce the t2.nano instance.  You’ll get 1 vCPU and 512 MB of memory, and the ability run at full core performance for over an hour on a full credit balance. Each newly launched t2.nano starts out with sufficient CPU Credits to allow you to get started as quickly as possible.

Due to the burstable performance, these instances are going to be a great fit for websites that usually get modest amounts of traffic. During those quiet times, CPU Credits will accumulate, providing a reserve that can be drawn upon when traffic surges.

Again, I’ll share more info as we get closer to the launch!

Jeff;