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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud

Amazon released a new paid web service called Elastic Compute Cloud (or EC2) for you to outsource computing power. The service is in limited Beta right now (the earlier you sign-up, the higher the chances they’ll let you in). Amazon writes:

Just as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) enables storage in the cloud, Amazon EC2 enables “compute” in the cloud. Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.

Amazon is doing interesting stuff. Like their Mechanical Turk, or S3 (Simple Storage Service), or their Alexa Web Search Platform, or SQS (Simple Queue Service), while it’s not really clear how this is related to their core business, Amazon thinks big & long-term. Unfortunately in the past their web services were restricted to US citizens only. Maybe they should start thinking global, too.


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