The Cloud Is Shaping Up. Amazon Beefs Up EC2, Bechtolsheim Shifts His Attention To Arista

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Cloud computing keeps advancing like rolling thunder. Amazon today announced a major upgrade to its EC2 compute cloud service and Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim has decided to spend more time at his startup Arista Networks, which sells 10-Gigabit Ethernet switches aimed at handling the loads at cloud-computing data centers. And just yesterday, RackSpace announced two small acquisitions to help it better compete against Amazon in the cloud computing as well.

The biggest news today comes from Amazon, which is staking the “beta” label off of its EC2 service and announcing the following upgrades:

  • Amazon EC2 is now in full production. The beta label is gone.
  • There’s now an SLA (Service Level Agreement) for EC2.
  • Microsoft Windows is now available in beta form on EC2.
  • Microsoft SQL Server is now available in beta form on EC2.
  • We plan to release an interactive AWS management console.
  • We plan to release new load balancing, automatic scaling, and cloud monitoring services.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels explains how Amazon’s Web Services are becoming more capable every day and makes a good case that if the economy goes down, the pay-as-you-go cloud computing model will find more takers among major enterprises. These moves to strengthen EC2 (offering service-level guarantees, load balancing, monitoring, and support for instances of Microsoft Windows and SQL Server) are steps aimed at appeasing Big IT—the IT managers who run big corporate data centers and still need convincing that they won’t get fired for offloading their corporate computation needs to the Web.

But this is where the winds are blowing. If you want to know what’s next in IT, all you need to do is follow Andy Bechtolsheim. One of the original founders of Sun Microsystems, who then moved on to found several other startups including Granite Systems, he became a bigwig at Cisco after it acquired Granite, and then returned to Sun to help save it from extinction. Now he is turning his attention to Arista (renamed today from Arastra), where he is chairman and chief development officer. The New York Times and others reported that he is leaving Sun, but he is in fact still staying there part-time helping them come up with next gen products including X64 and storage servers. GigaOm more details.

Arista’s 20-Gigabit switches are geared towards cloud computing data centers with tens or hundreds of of thousands of servers and throughput needs that run up to 100 terabits per second. Today’s data centers just can’t keep up.

  • http://ceejayoz.com/ ceejayoz

    Does the increased per-hour cost mean Amazon is covering license costs as part of the EC2 instance price? Or do you still have to obtain a Windows license for each instance when you launch it?

  • http://ceejayoz.com/ ceejayoz

    Does the increased per-hour cost mean Amazon is covering license costs as part of the EC2 instance price? Or do you still have to obtain a Windows license for each instance when you launch it?

  • http://youtechno.info Mike

    Why is every co-founder moving on to their own ventures? http://www.youtechno.info

  • http://youtechno.info Mike

    Why is every co-founder moving on to their own ventures? http://www.youtechno.info

  • http://www.smibs.com Peter Urban

    Great news. We’re already using the Amazon could (not for our app but for storage) with great satisfaction. More competition in this space between the big guys can never hurt.

    • http://www.urlpirates.com Gebadia Smith

      Do you think EC2 is a valid cost effective way to host a facebook app?

  • http://www.smibs.com Peter Urban

    Great news. We’re already using the Amazon could (not for our app but for storage) with great satisfaction. More competition in this space between the big guys can never hurt.

    • http://www.urlpirates.com Gebadia Smith

      Do you think EC2 is a valid cost effective way to host a facebook app?

  • http://www.remobo.com Gee

    That’s great news… we use EC2 and something like automatic scaling (similar to Google’s AppEngine) would be awesome… right now you have to create your own logic for when to launch new EC2 instances etc.

  • http://www.remobo.com Gee

    That’s great news… we use EC2 and something like automatic scaling (similar to Google’s AppEngine) would be awesome… right now you have to create your own logic for when to launch new EC2 instances etc.

  • http://youtechno.info Manipal

    All I have to say is good luck to them.
    http://www.nichea.info ——–>Niche Audience
    http://www.memoments.info–>Memorable Moments

  • http://youtechno.info Manipal

    All I have to say is good luck to them.
    http://www.nichea.info ——–>Niche Audience
    http://www.memoments.info–>Memorable Moments

  • http://afewtips.com afewtips.com

    I love these tools because it allows individuals to add another skill to their skill set and resume for very little money. As a small fish, I may not need to have this kind of power available, but when looking for a job, I need to show how cutting edge I am and if I can implement this kind of technology on my own website, I can bring it up as part of the interview and know I will stand apart from the rest of the applicants.

  • http://afewtips.com afewtips.com

    I love these tools because it allows individuals to add another skill to their skill set and resume for very little money. As a small fish, I may not need to have this kind of power available, but when looking for a job, I need to show how cutting edge I am and if I can implement this kind of technology on my own website, I can bring it up as part of the interview and know I will stand apart from the rest of the applicants.

  • philhdewey

    Looks like AWS wants to compete with it’s most loyal customers – i.e. Rightscale, CohesiveFT, Ylastic, SOASTA and Informascale. Is there something in the water in seattle that causes large technology customers to purposely screw their ISVs?

  • philhdewey

    Looks like AWS wants to compete with it’s most loyal customers – i.e. Rightscale, CohesiveFT, Ylastic, SOASTA and Informascale. Is there something in the water in seattle that causes large technology customers to purposely screw their ISVs?

  • http://radlab.cs.berkeley.edu/wiki/RAD_Lab Arthur Klepchukov

    This should have some interesting implications for the cloud scalability research I’m involved in: http://radlab.cs.berkeley.edu/people/fox/wp/home/scaling-ruby-on-rails/

    The SLA is great news! Lets see if anyone can beat it.

    I’m curious how the Windows stack will compare to the existing *nix-based ones. Who knows what the optimal configuration might be?

  • http://radlab.cs.berkeley.edu/wiki/RAD_Lab Arthur Klepchukov

    This should have some interesting implications for the cloud scalability research I’m involved in: http://radlab.cs.berkeley.edu/people/fox/wp/home/scaling-ruby-on-rails/

    The SLA is great news! Lets see if anyone can beat it.

    I’m curious how the Windows stack will compare to the existing *nix-based ones. Who knows what the optimal configuration might be?

  • Ex-Sun

    so what exactly did Andy do when he got back to Sun to save it from extinction ? Anything ?

  • Ex-Sun

    so what exactly did Andy do when he got back to Sun to save it from extinction ? Anything ?

  • http://www.passitto.com Jeremy

    Great news, we’re using .NET 3.5, so I’ve been waiting for this news. Mosso supports .NET, but wasn’t that impressed with their features.

  • http://www.passitto.com Jeremy

    Great news, we’re using .NET 3.5, so I’ve been waiting for this news. Mosso supports .NET, but wasn’t that impressed with their features.

  • http://www.claassen.net/geek/blog Arne Claassen

    @Jeremy – Been using .NET 3.5 with mono on EC2 for a while now. 1.9.1 had 95% of my 3.5 feature use-cases covered, 2.0 has 100%. But i will have to fire up some Windows instances to do a price/performance comparison of mono on *nix vs. .NET on Windows on EC2.

  • http://www.claassen.net/geek/blog Arne Claassen

    @Jeremy – Been using .NET 3.5 with mono on EC2 for a while now. 1.9.1 had 95% of my 3.5 feature use-cases covered, 2.0 has 100%. But i will have to fire up some Windows instances to do a price/performance comparison of mono on *nix vs. .NET on Windows on EC2.

  • http://pluraprocessing.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/comparing-plura-to-amazons-ec2-for-high-performance-computing/ Comparing Plura to Amazon’s EC2 for High Performance Computing « Plura Processing
  • http://pluraprocessing.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/comparing-plura-to-amazons-ec2-for-high-performance-computing/ Comparing Plura to Amazon’s EC2 for High Performance Computing « Plura Processing
  • http://www.stationripper.com Greg

    So, as a .NET guy, I’m never interested in EC2 supporting Windows (and SQL).

    Here’s the pricing:

    Windows w/ out Authentication:

    Small $0.125 /hr
    Large $0.50 /hr
    Extra Large $1.00 hr
    High $0.30 hr
    High Extra Large $1.20

    Windows with SQL Standard w/ out Authentication:
    Large $1.10
    Extra Large $2.20
    High Ex Large $2.40

    Compared to Standard (linux)
    Small $0.10 hr
    Large $0.40 hr
    ExLarge $0.80
    High Medium $0.20
    High ExLarge $0.80

    So the non-SQL Windows versions are a bit more… but the Windows + SQL versions are a lot (2X the price). Which may very well keep me from doing this… wish MS would come up a more reasonable pricing model on SQL in the cloud.

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