More and more businesses are using Amazon EC2 Spot instances to run and scale their infrastructure cost-effectively. Here are some examples of how customers have achieved business agility, cost savings, and scale with EC2 Spot instances.

Big Data & Analytics

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AdRoll

AdRoll is a global leader in ad retargeting, providing cross-platform reach across large display inventory sources and tools to enable personalized ad campaigns. AdRoll chose to run their business with Amazon EC2, S3, and DynamoDB, because of low latency, guaranteed throughput, and the ability to scale quickly. Additionally, they use Spot for variable capacity, allowing them to run workloads more quickly and efficiently at a lower cost.

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AOL

Learn how web portal and online service provider, AOL, runs Big Data workloads using Amazon EC2 Spot.

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BloomReach

BloomReach built a personalized discovery platform with applications for search, content marketing, and merchandizing. They launch up to 2,000 Amazon EMR clusters and run 6,000 Hadoop jobs every day. With Spot and Amazon EMR, they have increased efficiency while reducing costs.

Learn more about how they did this on the AWS blog.

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Inneractive

Inneractive has based its entire ad exchange infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS) since 2010. It currently operates three fleets of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to ensure it is always running as cost-effectively as possible. For base capacity, Aviv and his team have up to 100 Amazon EC2 Reserved instances. Inneractive saves money by paying in advance for instances that exist for one to three years, rather than paying the on-demand price. The company’s next, and largest, fleet of Amazon EC2 instances is made up of around 800 Spot instances. This tier provides the best cost-performance. The prices of Spot instances fluctuate according to demand.

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ironSource

With over 800 million users, ironSource leverages Spot to scale their production environment quickly while saving up to 80%. ironSource powers their big data solution, ironsource Atom, with EC2 Spot so they can reliably handle any amount of data while reducing costs by tens of thousands of dollars.

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Lotame

“Analytics is at the core of Lotame platform which helps our customers to maximize the value of data. We use Spot instances to run large-scale Big Data Analytics workloads. The new EC2 Spot Instances pricing model makes it even easier for us to acquire Spot capacity at predictable prices, giving us more confidence in the savings and stability we can get by moving additional workloads to Spot Instances.”

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Mapbox

Learn how Mapbox combined the right architecture, Amazon EC2 Spot instances and some creative orchestration, to run their application with extremely low COGS.

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Moovit

Learn how puclic transit app, Moovit, uses Amazon EC2 Spot instances to accelerate data processing and save costs.

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Pinsight Media

Pinsight Media is a mobile data and insights company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Each day, Pinsight gathers and processes more than 80 terabytes of anonymized location signals, packet layer data, and other kinds of mobile-carrier signal data. To keep costs manageable, Pinsight configured its Amazon EMR pipelines to use Amazon EC2 Spot instances.

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Quantcast

"As we roll out more infrastructure to AWS, Amazon EC2 Spot instances are helping us control costs and scale our systems to meet demand." - Leah Blank, Senior Systems Engineer, Quantcast

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RedViolet

Using Amazon EC2 Spot instances, red violet can access spare compute capacity available in the AWS Cloud at steep discounts. Using Amazon EC2 Spot instances reduces red violet’s compute costs between 50 and 70 percent compared to using on-demand instances. This empowers red violet to increase compute capacity without increasing its budget.

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TellApart

TellApart’s big data platform enables retailers to unlock the power of their customer data. They use Amazon Elastic MapReduce to bring up Hadoop clusters to batch process log data, and have reduced costs by 75% by using Spot Instances.

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Zillow

"...we are beating the 3 year reserved hourly rate, plus we are only utilizing nodes when needed. These Spot instances are not on 24/7 so we are saving significant amounts of money by only using machines when we need them. In short, we like Auto Scaling with EMR and Spot instances!"

-Brian Filppu, Director Business Intelligence, Zillow

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SalesForce

Salesforce DMP leverages the Amazon EMR infrastructure using Amazon EC2 Spot instances to gain access to compute functionality at reduced costs.

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CI/CD & Testing

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Basware

“Spot instances have been fantastic for our need at Basware. They enable us to run a world class CI infrastructure with hundreds of Windows based EC2 instances at a great price. Saving us upwards of 60% against the on demand cost”

- Alistair Gilbert, Director of DevOps, Basware

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Lyft

Lyft is a San Francisco-based ridesharing company that is on Fortune magazine’s “Unicorn” list of hot startups, with a valuation of $5.5 billion. By using AWS Spot instances, Lyft saves up to 90% percent a month simply by changing four lines of code.

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RevContent

“We use Spot instances to run our Jenkins code deployments and production web server workloads. The new EC2 Spot Instances pricing model makes it even easier for us to acquire Spot capacity at predictable prices, giving us more confidence in the savings and stability we can get by moving additional workloads to Spot Instances.” 

Containers

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Practo

Practo is a platform that helps India’s 8,000 doctors connect with three million patients across India. Get insights from Practo on scaling, cost reduction and log management when using containers using AWS services like EC2 Spot, Amazon SQS and third party software.

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Walla

Israeli online news publisher, Walla, embraced transformation as they migrated to AWS. By leveraging ECS for containers with EC2 Spot Instances, along with a variety of AWS managed services, Walla is able to keep costs and operational overhead low.

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DeliveryHero

Delivery Hero saves 70 percent on infrastructure for containerized Kubernetes workloads. The food delivery company transports 1 million food orders a week in 39 countries. Delivery Hero transitioned its Kubernetes clusters to run only on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to take advantage of unused Amazon EC2 capacity at a discount.

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High Performance Computing

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Australian Museum Research Institute

The Australian Museum Research Institute set out ot learn more about koala populations, genetics, and diseases. Amazon EC2 Spot gave them access to flexible, low-cost compute power which allowed the bioinformatics team to sequence the koala's genome.

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CoreLogic

CoreLogic is the largest provider of property information, analytics and property-related risk management services in Australia and New Zealand. CoreLogic replaced their EC2 fleet with spot instances and use a worker pattern to reduce their compute costs by 90%

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DNAnexus

DNAnexus provides a unified system of data management and sequence analysis for DNA sequencing centers and researchers. DNAnexus uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances to conduct all of its DNA analysis, while Amazon EC2 On-Demand Instances handle the company’s interactive services, such as its client front end portal and visualization tools. DNAnexus also relies on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to meet the company’s extensive storage demand, which will grow from terabytes into petabytes of data.

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Fermilab

Fermilab is participating in the CERN project, the largest data-intensive project in the world. After proving the existence of the Higgs Boson (“God particle” which gives humans their mass), CERN can analyze even more data at a higher velocity and get closer to proving the existence of dark matter. They successfully increased computing capacity cost-effectively by a factor of 4, to a total of 58K cores. More than 500 Million events were fully simulated in nearly 10 days using 2.9 million jobs that normally would have taken Fermilab six weeks to complete without the help from AWS.

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Grail

“We use EC2 Spot instances to perform high-intensity genomic sequencing that requires analyzing large data sets to discover millions of unique patterns to detect early-stage cancer. As our research needs vary week over week, we have spiky computing needs and Spot’s new pricing model gives us the reliability of savings to scale our research with low and predictable prices.”

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Guttman Lab

The Guttman Lab at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) chose EC2 Spot instances beacuse they needed a cost-effective, flexible, and elastic infrastructure solution for lab researchers to access large HPC clusters on the fly. Since they could launch and de-commission 1,000's of nodes on-demand, lab researchers could easily run multiple projects simultaneously, while reducing the time required to complete genomic sequencing from weeks to days.

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BiomX

"Using Spot provides us with the most cost-effective solution for the analysis of many terabytes of metagenomic data. We further benefit from the flexibility of Amazon Spot, as different analysis stages in the pipeline involve different workloads (data cleaning, DNA comparison, machine learning). Each task is best performed by different EC2 instance types, so in each stage we launch a different cluster. Clusters in large projects such as this typically involve several thousand instances that run for dozens of hours."

- Elad Kehat, VP of R&D Software, Biomx

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Illumina

“We use EC2 Spot instances to perform high-intensity genomic sequencing enabling our customers to read and understand genetic variations. We are excited to move our additional genetic pipelines that run for more than 12 hours to Spot Instances as Spot’s new pricing model makes it even easier for us to acquire Spot capacity and gives us the reliability of savings at low and predictable prices”

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Metabiota

Metabiota has driven significant cost savings by using Amazon EC2 Spot instances to run simulations at various times of the day. Metabiota has been able to save upwards of 60-70 percent of their compute costs by taking advantage of Amazon EC2 Spot instances. “Using Amazon EC2 Spot instances has been a source of tremendous savings for us.” - Mike Gahan, Senior Data Scientist, Metabiotic

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Novartis

Novartis built a platform for cancer research, estimating that it would take $40 million dollars. With Spot Instances, they conducted 39 years of computational chemistry in 9 hours for $4,232 and discovered 3 compounds to help fight cancer. Learn how from Novartis' Global Head of Scientific Computing.

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OpenEye Scientific

“By using Amazon EC2 Spot instances, we saved $800,000 last year. Our customers benefit from that cost savings as well, because EC2 Spot instances give them the ability to be more flexible. Whether they need to generate images in milliseconds or perform complex chemistry operations taking many hours, they now have the cost flexibility they need.”

- Craig Bruce, Head of Infrastructure, OpenEye Scientific

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Rock Flow Dynamics

Learn how Rock Flow Dynamics leverages Amazon EC2 Spot instances and Amazon S3 to create cost-effective, scalable clusters that power tNavigator, Rock Flow Dynamics' solution for running dynamic reservoir simulations.

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Scribd

Scribd estimates that it saved 63%, or $10,500, by using Spot Instances for the batch conversion instead of On-Demand instances for one particular job. “We only had to write a couple of really small scripts. We were able to move from On-Demand to Spot instances in a couple of hours, coffee breaks included."

- Jared Friedman, Co-founder of Scribd.

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TLG Aerospace

Seattle-based aerospace engineering company, TLG Aerospace, saves 75% on STAR-CCM+ computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. EC2 Spot instances have enabled TLG to access more memory and cores at a lower cost, allowing them to scale the number and size of increasingly demanding simulations.

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University of California Santa Cruz

"Our collaborators are asking us for the data to be processed as quickly as possible, so they can analyze cancer samples against other cancer samples in the database. Using AWS, we can get the results to them in days instead of months, which could contribute to faster disease diagnoses." 

- Benedict Paten, Director, Computational Genominics Lab

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Western Digital

“Storage technology is amazingly complex and we’re constantly pushing the limits of physics and engineering to deliver next-generation capacities and technical innovation. This successful collaboration with AWS shows the extreme scale, power and agility of cloud-based HPC to help us run complex simulations for future storage architecture analysis and materials science explorations. Using AWS to easily shrink simulation time from 20 days to 8 hours allows Western Digital R&D teams to explore new designs and innovations at a pace un-imaginable just a short time ago.”

- Steve Phillpott, CIO, Western Digital

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EagleView

EagleView re-architected its image-processing system to take advantage of Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, saving an average of 80% over On-Demand instances. EagleView uses aerial imagery combined with machine learning, computer vision, and data analytics to extract data and provide insights to customers in construction, emergency response, and many other fields. The company built a distributed, event-driven application that uses Amazon EC2 instances as compute resources, Amazon SQS to queue processing jobs, and AWS Lambda as an orchestration layer.

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proteanTecs

proteanTecs uses the AWS Cloud to run tens of millions of simulations in parallel, reduce costs by up to 60 percent, and concentrate on creating new products. The company, based in Israel, provides software and embedded sensors for predicting failures in electronic systems. proteanTecs runs its HPC workloads on AWS, relying on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to lower costs.

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Image & Media Rendering

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Barnstorm VFX

Barnstorm VFX is a boutique visual effects house specializing in high quality digital effects, design, and production. They have been the primary visual effects studio for the Amazon Prime Original Series Man in the High Castle (seasons 2 and 3), and have also worked on CBS’ Strange Angel. Barnstorm started using AWS Thinkbox Deadline in 2014, and began rendering on the cloud with Amazon EC2 Spot instances in 2017. “Currently we use Deadline to manage all of our in-house renders. We utilize Spot instances to be able to render projects our internal farm can't handle such as large scale 3D projects.” “Using AWS to scale our rendering pipeline has allowed us to complete heavy creative 3D projects like Man in the High Castle and Strange Angel. It has also allowed us to have a smoother iterative process. From an artistic standpoint artists are able to render up to 10x as many iterations when EC2 Spot is implemented.”

– Erik Nelson, Head of Technology, Barnstorm VFX

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FuseFX

FuseFX is an award-winning visual effects (VFX) studio that specializes in content creation for television, film, commercials, games, and special venues. FuseFX uses Thinkbox Deadline and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to render its scenes, enabling it to meet project deadlines. Thinkbox Deadline is a render management solution that integrates with the AWS Portal, enabling VFX studios to take advantage of the reduced rendering cost available via Amazon EC2 Spot Instances. “Using Spot Instances gives us limitless capacity. We would not be able to make our delivery schedules without Deadline and Spot, and we no longer need to worry about having enough physical capacity for rendering. We can react on a moment’s notice to our daily rendering needs. This allows us to be agile and efficient.”

–Jason Fotter, CTO, FuseFX

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Milk Visual Effects

Milk is a London-based visual effects (VFX) company with extensive television and film credits, having won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects Ex Machina as well as multiple BAFTA awards for Doctor Who and other projects. Milk was also tasked with creating massive, and compute-intensive, ocean simulations and stormy seas for the feature film Adrift (released in 2018, starring Shailene Woodley). "The scope of the VFX work for Adrift was easily 10 times bigger than anything we'd tackled previously, and it wasn’t the only project we were working on. By using Deadline on AWS, our modest-sized team was easily able to generate a ton of work. The seemingly limitless capacity of AWS Thinkbox Deadline and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances made for more fluid iteration and better results.”

– Dave Goodbourn, Head of Systems, Milk Visual Effects

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Nexus Studios

Nexus Studios is an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated studio that specializes in animation, film, and interactive experiences. With locations in both London and Los Angeles, Nexus creates content that ranges from animated films to virtual reality. Nexus started using AWS Thinkbox Deadline and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances at the beginning of 2018. “We needed to greatly increase our render capacity quickly and easily without up-front costs associated with purchasing hardware. We looked at other cloud providers, however the tight integration between Deadline and AWS made the choice easy.” “Using AWS allowed us to render jobs/projects that we otherwise would never have been able to render on our local render farm. We can now render basically any type of job, with any level of complexity needed.”

– Ryan Cawthorne, Systems Engineer, Nexus Studios

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Passion Pictures

Passion Pictures is an award-winning production, animation, and commercial studio, having won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2000 for their work on One Day In September. In 2017 they started using AWS Thinkbox Deadline and Amazon EC2 Spot instances for rendering and haven’t looked back, “We started using Deadline mid-2017, and starting implementing the use of EC2 Spot in November 2017. We now use EC2 Spot for 90% of our Compute.” With offices in London, Barcelona, Paris, New York, and Melbourne, Passion Pictures continues to churn out critically-acclaimed work, including the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series Five Came Back. “AWS has helped us move towards a more OpEx business model, providing great flexibility with the machines available as well as the capacity. We are becoming a more agile business, and now we have the ability to grow without massive CapEx.”

– Jason Nicholas, Head of CG, Passion Pictures

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Scripps Networks

Scripps Networks Interactive is a mass-media company specializing in factual and lifestyle television brands such as HGTV, DIY Network, and Food Network. Scripps Networks Interactive reduced its CGI render time by 95 percent using a solution based on AWS Thinkbox Deadline. The company is using the AWS Portal in Thinkbox Deadline to manage and administer Amazon EC2 Spot Instances as CGI render nodes.

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AutoDesk

AutoDesk is a software company that provides infrastructure for people who innovate. With 100 million people world-wide using AutoDesk, their customers rely on AutoDesk for compute intensive workloads to render 3D, realistic photos. AutoDesk turned to Spot to control costs and support the education community, so that their customers could save money for image rendering workloads, and even use these services for free.

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Web Applications

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Edmodo

Learn how social learning platform, Edmodo, optimized it's infrastructure costs with Amazon EC2 Spot instances and On-Demand instances. 

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Gett

Gett is an Israeli-based startup that connects people with taxi drivers and runs its website and mobile app on several hundred Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. Gett chose to reduce some of its costs by taking advantage of Amazon EC2 Spot Instances. The company runs the Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) service on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to help them process huge amounts of data.

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