Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Tuesday that it is launching new T2 instances to reduce the cost for applications that only occasionally use CPU power. The new offering is targeted at hosted remote desktops, small databases, low-traffic Web sites and the like.
"Even though the speedometer in my car maxes out at 150 MPH," wrote Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr Tuesday on the AWS blog, "I rarely drive at that speed (and the top end may be more optimistic than realistic), but it is certainly nice to have the option to do so when the time and the circumstances are right."
Similarly, he said, many computing workloads have the same pattern -- modest demands for continuous compute power, with occasional needs for much more. Barr pointed to such examples as remote desktops, development environments that include build servers, low traffic Web sites, and small databases. When organizations deploy hundreds or thousands of remote desktops or build environments, small savings on each can build up.
The new T2 instances will come in three sizes -- micro, small and medium. On-demand prices will begin at $0.013 per hour or $9.50 monthly. There is an assured baseline amount of processing, plus the ability to scale up to a full core when more power is needed. "CPU Credits" are built up during quiet periods and spent during busier ones.
The credits are stored for as long as 24 hours, with a small instance receiving 12 credits an hour. A credit is one minute of one full CPU core, and if the CPU credit is zero, the baseline performance will be delivered. A CloudWatch tool allows credit balances to be tracked. T2 instances can be launched using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, AWS SDKs, AWS Marketplace, and third-party libraries.
There is also access to a pair of T2 instances, with one running Linux and the other Windows, at no charge through the AWS Free Usage Tier. T2 is a new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instance type, designed specifically for this purpose.
'Very Basic at This Stage'
Matt Garman, Vice President of Amazon EC2 at AWS, said in a statement that "some of our customers have requested instance types that optimize their performance and cost for applications that don't use the full CPU capability frequently, but require the full CPU resources for short bursts."
In its announcement, AWS pointed to a company named 225am.com that is seeking to help students through the process of getting jobs by means of a CRM-like Web application.
The founder, Jim Medalia, told news media that the company's infrastructure needs are "very basic at this stage," involving a landing page and a product demo for potential customers and investors.
"T2 instances," he said, "will enable us to significantly reduce our out-of-pocket expenes for prototyping and demonstration," providing the startup with "the performance we need, when we need it, and we know that our costs will remain extremely low."