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November 17, 2011 / Raffy Pekson II

Amazon EC2 Beefs Up HPC Cloud with CC2

Amazon this week announced that it has beefed up its HPC cloud with the new Xeon E5 processors from Intel, and has put the new iron through the Linpack paces to get it ranked on the latest Top 500 supercomputers list. This was done in conjunction with the SC11 supercomputing conference in Seattle. Amazon’s Cluster Compute 2 (CC2) instances are running atop the EC2 cloud, which sport two eight-core Xeon E5 processors per socket. With HyperThreading turned on, there are 32 threads in the CC2 instance and a much larger 88 EC2 compute units, almost three times the capacity of the original HPC instances (now called CC1) that Amazon was peddling only 16 months ago.

HPC or “High Performance Computing” allows scientists and engineers to solve complex science, engineering and business problems using applications that require high bandwidth, low latency networking, and very high compute capabilities. Typically, scientists and engineers must wait in long queues to access shared clusters or acquire expensive hardware systems. Using Amazon EC2 Cluster instances, customers can expedite their HPC workloads on elastic resources as needed and save money by choosing from low-cost pricing models that match utilization needs. Customers can choose from Cluster Compute or Cluster GPU instances within a full-bisection high bandwidth network for tightly-coupled and IO-intensive workloads or scale out across thousands of cores for throughput-oriented applications.

These CC2 instances cost $2.40 per hour if you buy them on demand (the same price as the CC1 instances 16 months ago), with lower prices if you reserve them ahead or buy them on the spot market. Amazon has also dropped the price of the CC1 instance to $1.30 per hour if the old iron can work for you. That’s a 45.8 per cent reduction in price, by the way – something you can’t get from real hardware vendors, rest assured. The CC2 instances can run Linux or Windows Server 2008 R2 instances that have pre-packaged to run atop Amazon’s variant of the Xen hypervisor for x86 platforms.

Sources: The Register | Amazon Web Services

Photo from Amazon.com

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