I heard about this about a month ago but wasn’t sure when they would release it.

Last night I got an email from Amazon announcing the beta release of EC2.

Similar to S3, which allows scalable data storage on demand, EC2 allows scalable computing power on demand.

As a web service!

It basically allows you to set up a server server (1.7Ghz Xeon CPU, 1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of local disk, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth) on the fly and then to use that server as you need it. When you don’t need it, release it.

You only pay for the time you’re using it.

$0.10 per instance-hour consumed (or part of an hour consumed).
$0.20 per GB of data transferred outside of Amazon (i.e., Internet traffic).
$0.15 per GB-Month of Amazon S3 storage used for your images (charged by Amazon S3).


So, how will this affect the internet?

I don’t think it will really affect hosting companies. They don’t deal with large scale computing very often. They deal with people who don’t want to touch a server.

It’s probably most likely to affect colocation facilities where people store servers. Now, people don’t need to necessarily store servers because they can store the data on S3 and use EC2 for scalable computing power.

Don’t get me wrong, this certainly won’t eliminate the need for small businesses to buy or lease servers and have them in colo facilities, but it will allow them to scale their applications without having to buy a bunch of servers up front to make sure they have capacity for when they get ‘digged’ or ‘slashdotted’.

It will also be great for companies who have super intense calculations to perform every so often. Instead of getting huge servers and having them sit idle for most of the time, use EC2 when you need it.

Unfortunately, it won’t be very useful to small businesses that just run a normal website that one server can handle.

Roy said what I was thinking about mysql. S3 and EC2 would really benefit greatly if there was a service like this that allowed mysql usage. That’s the biggest problem I see with this right now. You can’t put a database onto S3, and if you’re going to have heavy computing, you’re most likely going to need a database to crunch on. With EC2 the database is a long way away from the machine doing the computing, which will cause quite a bit of network latency.

[tags]EC2, Amazon EC2, web services, scalable computing, S3, Amazon S3[/tags]

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