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Amazon EC2's New Cloud Features

Posted on 5.27.2009

Amazon Web Services today announced the public beta of new features for the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). The new features purport to allow for simple and automatic monitoring, scaling, and traffic control using cloud resources.

The new features are three-fold. Amazon CloudWatch is a web service for monitoring AWS cloud resources; Auto Scaling permits automatic growing and shrinking of Amazon EC2 capacity based on demand; and Elastic Load Balancing distributes incoming traffic across Amazon EC2 compute instances.

CloudWatch gives Amazon customers visibility into resource use, operational performance, and overall demand patterns, including metrics like CPU use, disk reads and writes, and network traffic. Auto Scaling ensures EC2 usage increases during traffic spikes to maintain performance and decreases during lulls to reduce costs, making it particularly appropriate for apps with frequent use fluctuations. Elastic Load Balancing allows for fault tolerance in applications, detects unhealthy instances within a pool, and reroutes traffic to healthy instances until the unhealthy instances have been restored.

Amazon hopes these features will improve application performance, lower costs, and make life easier for developers and entrepreneurs. Amazon CloudWatch and Elastic Load Balancing are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, and Auto Scaling is enabled by Amazon CloudWatch and carries no additional fees. Features are currently available in the U.S. and should be available in the EU shortly.

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