20 thoughts on “Amazon, Now Offering Computing On Demand”

  1. I went through the technical docs. I wonder how this will affect the virtual private server (VPS) industry – what are the average costs for EC2 + S3 combined? I haven’t done any computation, but one key advantage for EC2 is that you can turn off your “server” when you don’t need it.

  2. I just did a quick run down of the cost on my head and seems comes to about 75 bucks (approx)to store 1 GB with 10 Gig transfer and have it up and running 24 hrs/day for 31 days.

  3. so how much does that compare with some of the traditional offerings, Venkk.

    I am assuming the value of this is really when you are dealing with bursty traffic?

  4. This kind of scalable computing resource is especially interesting to those creating small web services which may or may not take off. You have a bunch of things converging here — many new, small sites are getting done with frameworks like Ruby on Rails. These fameworks attack the problem of lowering initial development cost, while EC2 lowers initial hosting cost. Result? Much lower barriers to experiementation and market entry.

  5. Om, the value is indeed the scalability. If I had a few servers at a traditional host/ISP and I had a slew of new business or got dugg, for example, I’d have to contact the ISP, have them set-up new boxes (a day or so of time and costly set-up fees) then configure them (another day), etc.

    With this new Amazon service, I can simply flip on a few new virtual servers which are mirrored versions of existing servers I’ve got up. And then shut them down when I no longer need them.

    Or, with their API, I can have my application automatically scale up and down based on loads.

  6. “Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud”
    “Mechanical Turk”
    “Simple Storage Service”

    seriously, who is in charge of branding & naming over there?

    S3 ain’t bad for shorthand, but i’m sure my cat could do a better job of coming up with more memorable names.

    service sounds cool tho. amazon keeps pimping out the magic, other folks chase their tail… but seem to get broader adoption.

    i’ll say it again, Amazon would be an attractive acquisition for Microsoft or other parties with the cash. they’ve got a hell of a lot more innovation going on over there than their own eyeball traffic can ever monetize. what a waste.

    (ps – i don’t have a cat)

  7. Wonder whether that was the reason why Amazon was down for a few hours during the beginning of the week.

    Having said that, I think, a primary concern would be security – they need to handle this tricky thing really well.

    — Thyaga

  8. This is a repost. I posted this comment in the S3 post instead of posting it here (by mistake)

    Amazon is not in this to make stellar profits from on-demand-infrastructure. Commoditization of hardware will add to their margin, introduction of newer services to allay competition will eat at their margins, making this a balanced game of keeping customers at any cost.

    The bigger game, just like Google, is to have more customers use their infrastructure to pass/share their data, leading to better personalized services. That is where the end-goal resides.

  9. I think the names are great. Reminds me of the dawn of personal computing. Back when Dr Dobbs was known as “Dr Dobbs Journal of Computer Calesthenics and Orthodontia”

  10. This sounds interesting but I can’t really figure out what it is/ Is it just hosting? Can I put my php/Mysql app in it?

  11. Yes, it’s hosting. It is more expensive than a small VPS ($20/month).

    Who is it for? Think of those Web 2.0 startups who are putting all their data in S3 so that they can grow 1000% per month; now they can host everything at Amazon. And when they get Dugg/TechCrunched, they can scale up for a day. It remains to be seen whether it has mainstream appeal, but the idea is cool.

  12. Why don’t they offer an email hosting service too? It seems like Amazon is missing the low-hanging fruit. Google and Microsoft have gone after email hosting, which is much higher in demand, easier for developers to get up and running, and may lead to this type of offering. If so, Google and MSFT would have a much larger install base to offer this type of service too. In the end, Amazon may be first to market with this type of service, but Google & Microsoft may beat them to the broader market.

  13. So do I have to upload php, mysqlserver, smtp server, etc. or is that stuff available (as it would be with a hosting provider)? do i get ruby, mono, perl, postgres? I still don’t understand what “it” is?

  14. Dave,
    By almost commoditizing infrastructure, Amazon is effectively telling ISVs ‘Use our network to offer anything to anyone’ at scalability, performance and speed levels that rival the best of best infrastructures like those hosted by Google. Therefore, they, according to me have struck at the ‘root’, which is an affordable and powerful infrastructure, that will let anyone deploy services such as email, VoD and whatever else. If Amazon started this as an ‘application’ like mail, it would be only for a niche market. Instead, Amazon is ‘long-tailing’ the applications – and letting the software vendors decide the killer application and their target audience. Whatever is hosted, its their servers and network. Added bonus: imagine the amount of content that will incrementally be made available to Amazon for personalized services. Afterall, one of the most important requirements of personalized services is availability of multiple content streams for users šŸ™‚

  15. I bet the VC firms that extract huge fees for doing little more than providing mucho capital for ordering servers for scaling are going to be VERY DISAPPOINTED!


  16. This is going to kill companies like Surgient, who are in the business of server virtualization…

    The folks at Amazon, who I’m sure have a huge server infrastructure similar to Google (except Amazon is more quiet about it) maybe decided to maximize all that infrastructure thru virtualization — which is a great idea, especially the way or approach they have taken, open-and-web services-based. I’m impressed w/ the things Amazon is doing and is capable of doing… On the product names, I like them, they are different, and reflects the type of thinking at Amazon…


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