Amazon Web Services Launches SSD-Based EC2 Service

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Amazon Web Services introduces SSD-based IaaS, as it looks to attract a higher class of customer

Public cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) has introduced an SSD-based, High I/O instance type for its Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Amazon claimed the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering could provide users with 120,000 read input and output operations (IOPS) and over 80,000 write IOPS, saying the service was aimed at those in need of low-latency with their applications.

It appears Amazon is attempting to attract sectors traditionally fearful of using the public cloud for critical applications, such as financial services. That’s why it has listed transaction processing as one of the operations this High I/O instance service is ideal for.

Super speedy

“These new instances are a more efficient and cost effective way to run high I/O applications and another example of our roadmap being shaped by our customers – as this has been a top request from customers over the last few months,” said Peter De Santis, vice president of Amazon EC2.

Netflix, one of AWS’ biggest customers, is also excited by the development. “We currently run a high performance Cassandra infrastructure on Amazon EC2 using high memory instances.  The ability to leverage SSD-backed instances which provide tens of thousands of IOPS will significantly increase the performance of our Cassandra clusters and overall service capability,” said Adrian Cockcroft, director for architecture at Netflix.

The super-powered service is available in the US-East (N. Virginia) and EU-West (Ireland) regions now, with other regions set to follow.

Customers might also be hoping for better resiliency from Amazon Web Services, after storms interrupted power at its Ashburn, North Virginia data centre for half an hour. Services like Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest went down as a result and were affected for longer as Amaon engineers struggled to restore lost virtual machines.

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