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Spot Instances in Amazon EC2

Posted on 12.13.2009

Amazon Web Services announced Spot Instances, a new option for purchasing and consuming Amazon EC2 compute resources. Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

Spot Instances enables customers to bid on unused Amazon EC2 capacity and run those instances for as long as their bid exceeds the current "Spot Price" - which changes periodically based on supply and demand. Customers whose bids exceed it gain access to the available Spot Instances.

According to the release: "Spot Instances are well-suited for applications that can have flexible start and stop times such as image and video conversion and rendering, data processing, financial modeling and analysis, web crawling and load testing. By being flexible on when their instances run, coupled with the ability to bid what they’re willing to pay for capacity, customers can significantly lower their Amazon EC2 costs."

"As customers continued to expand their use of AWS, they started asking if additional pools of capacity were available, even if only for a few hours at a time. Some customers were looking to reduce costs in exchange for being flexible as to when they run their application; others told us they were willing to pay more when they had urgent, high volume needs,” said Peter De Santis, General Manger of Amazon EC2. “Because of the dynamic nature of supply and demand in the Amazon EC2 environment, we developed Spot Instances to let customers take advantage of our unused capacity while specifying a price they are willing to pay."


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