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Amazon launches high performance cloud in Ireland

25 Jun 2012
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Amazon Web Services has installed a cluster system which will allow customers to run high performance computing (HPC) instances at its EU-West facility in Ireland.

The company said that the cluster will allow users to run HPC instances based on a pair of eight-core Xeon processors with hyper-threading capability. Known as Cluster Compute 8 Extra Large (cc2.8xl), the hosted systems will also sport 60.5 GB of RAM, and 3.37 TB of storage with 10Gb ethernet support.

The deployment will allow Amazon to offer the high performance service to customers in the Western Europe region.

Designed for high-demand tasks, the instances will be offered as an HPC option for tasks which have higher memory and processing requirements than traditional Amazon EC2 instances and an alternative to purchasing on-premise systems

Amazon said that it used the cc2.8xl platform as the basis for a computing cluster which clocked a maximum speed of 240 teraflops, qualifying as the 72nd system on the Top 500 supercomputing rankings.

The launch comes amid what many vendors see as a growing market for HPC systems and services. With the growth in large-scale analytics platforms as well as traditional markets such as geographical modelling and bioscience, many firms see an increased need for high-end computing capabilities.

The European Commission has made localisation of facilities a focal point, pushing firms to develop and maintain high performance clusters within Europe.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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