[FoRK] Prices are so low because we buy in volume (Sun Grid vs. Amazon EC2)

Ken Meltsner < meltsner at alum.mit.edu > on > Tue Oct 10 11:27:46 PDT 2006

As an alternative to doing my real work, I've been looking at Amazon's
Elastic Compute Cloud service -- a pay-as-you-go approach to
computation.  At $0.10 per "instance hour", it compares quite
favorably to Sun's Grid Compute Utility ($1/cpu-hr).  Even if there
are extra charges for storage, and even if Sun's CPU's are a lot
faster than the "1.7 GHz Xeon" equivalent promised by Amazon, this is
a huge price difference, especially since I thought Sun was
low-balling the price to get established.

Thoughts?  EC2 sounds quite cool, and will probably be a good
alternative to building your own compute farms -- I know of one group
in Milwaukee that wants to build a CG rendering farm for use by local
creative types - since it will be hard to beat 10 cents/instance-hr,
even if labor is donated.  Near as I can tell, if you ran flat out for
two straight years, Amazon's service would cost less than $180, and I
can't imagine that you can find equivalent hardware + space + power
for that price.

Ken Meltsner

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