Main image of article Amazon Launches New EC2 Instances for Hungry Applications
In its quest to grant companies and developers a thoroughly ridiculous amount of cloud-computing power, Amazon has launched yet another EC2 instance for in-memory computing. The new High Memory Cluster Eight Extra Large (cr1.8xlarge) instances are designed for applications epically hungry for compute power, memory, and network bandwidth. Specs include two Intel E5-2670 processors running at 2.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost and NUMA support; 244 GiB of RAM; two 120 GB SSD for instance storage; 10 GB networking with support for Cluster Placement Groups. The instance only supports HVM virtualization and EBS-backed AMIs. “You can use it to run applications that are hungry for lots of memory and that can take advantage of 32 Hyperthreaded cores (16 per processor),” read a Jan. 22 posting on the Amazon Web Services Blog. “We expect this instance type to be a great fit for in-memory analytics systems like SAP HANA and memory-hungry scientific problems such as genome assembly.” As mentioned in those specs, the instance features Turbo Boost, in which the CPU increases clock frequency while keeping an eye on the system’s active cores and processor temperature, in order to deliver increased performance without exceeding the hardware’s documented temperature envelope. It also includes NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access), which optimizes for workloads “where the majority of requests for a particular block of memory come from one of the two processors,” in turn speeding access to main memory. Amazon is pricing cr1.8xlarge at $3.50 per hour for Linux instances and $3.831 for Windows instances, both of which will be available from the company’s US East (Northern Virginia) Region. According to the blog posting, it plans on making the instance available to other AWS Regions in the future. Amazon has rolled out a number of new instance families, presumably to handle the increasing demand for cloud-based infrastructure capable of handling enormous datasets. Back in December, it launched the High Storage Eight Extra Large (hs1.8xlarge) instances, targeted at applications in need of high storage depth and sequential I/O performance; applications in need of that sort of performance include data warehousing and heavy-duty analysis of massive datasets. Late in 2012, Amazon also introduced a number of brand-new AWS features, including its Redshift petabyte-scale data warehouse service and a revamped AWS Data Pipeline. On top of that, it updated ElastiCache, its scalable caching layer between application and database, with Auto Discovery—a feature that streamlines applications’ ability to adapt to the addition or deletion of nodes from cache clusters.   Image: F.Schmidt/