Amazon Launches Its Fastest EC2 Instance Type Yet

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Amazon today announced its fastest EC2 instance type yet. The improved C3 instance type, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels noted in the announcement at the company’s re:Invent developer conference today, represents the highest process performance on EC2 yet. The C3 instances join the new storage- and I/O-optimized I2 instances the company also announced today.

These instances, Amazon argues, should be especially interesting to developers with run compute-intensive workloads on EC2, including running Hadoop or doing analytics, 3D rendering, engineering and simulation.

The new C3 instances are powered by 2.8 GHz Intel E5-2680 v2 Ivy Bridge processors and the smallest instance (c3.large) comes with 3.75GB of RAM, two virtual cores and seven EC2 compute units (Amazon’s proprietary way of classifying the speed of its instances). At the high end, the c3.8xlarge instance has 32 virtual cores, 60GB of RAM and 108 ECU. The processors, Amazon notes, support Intel’s Advanced Vector Extensions for more efficiently processing vector-oriented data.

The high-performance instance types all come with improved network performance and are all based on SSDs. Using these instances, Amazon launched a 26,496 core cluster and evaluated it against the recent Top500 scores for supercomputers. The cluster would have ranked as #56 on the list with a performance of 481.18 teraflops.

These new instances are now available in Amazon’s US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and Asia Pacific (Sydney) regions.

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