Amazon has announced availability of a new X1 virtual machine instance on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform, providing customers with 2TB of memory and enough processing power for demanding applications such as in-memory databases, big data and high-performance computing (HPC).
Available from today, the new X1 instances can be provisioned by customer request on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service in several regions, including US East and US West, EU (Ireland), EU (Germany) and Asia Pacific, and will roll out to additional regions in the coming months.
Amazon claimed that the new instances allow the firm to extend the elasticity, simplicity and cost savings of the AWS cloud to support enterprise-grade applications for customers with large dataset requirements.
Each X1 instance offers 2TB of memory, eight times that of any other Amazon EC2 instance, and is underpinned by four Intel Xeon E7 8880 v3 processors clocked at 2.3GHz, providing 128 virtual CPU cores. It also features 10Gbps of network bandwidth and 10Gbps of dedicated bandwidth to volumes on Amazon's Elastic Block Storage service.
However, Amazon also claimed that X1 instances have the lowest price per gigabyte of memory provided, and are ideal for operating in-memory databases like SAP HANA, big data platforms like Apache Spark or Presto, as well as HPC applications.
The new X1 instances are also certified for SAP workloads, including S/4 HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, and SAP Business Warehouse on HANA.
"Many AWS customers are currently running HANA in scale-out fashion across multiple R3 instances. Many of these workloads can now be run on a single X1 instance. This configuration will be simpler to set up and less expensive to run," said AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr, writing on the AWS blog.
Barr pointed out that the Xeon E7 chips used to deliver the X1 instances have key features to boost the handling of demanding workloads in shared-memory multi-processor environments.
"The new TSX-NI instructions support something cool called transactional memory. The instructions allow highly concurrent, multithreaded applications to make very efficient use of shared memory by reducing the amount of low-level locking and unlocking that would otherwise be needed around each memory access," he explained.
Pricing for Amazon's X1 instances is $3.97 per hour, billed on a Three-Year Partial Upfront Reserved Instance basis.
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