Amazon today announced its fastest EC2 instances for compute yet. The new so-called c4 instances will feature a 2.9 GHz Haswell processor (with bursts up to 3.5 GHz with Turbo boost) with up to 36 virtual CPUs and up to 60 GiB of RAM.
Intel exclusively developed the Haswell processor for Amazon. The company tuned the processor to exactly match Amazon’s requirements for EC2. In addition, the largest c4 instance will allow developers to fine-tune the processor performance even more by managing both the processor’s performance and power management using P-state and C-state controls.
Amazon specifically notes that this fast processor would be a good match for its SSD-backed Elastic Block Storage (EBS) service, which is also getting a bit of an update today. EBS now allows you to create general purpose volumes that can store up to 16 TB of data, for example, with up to 10,000 baseline IOPS. That’s up from only 1 TB and 3,000 IOPS. For applications that need even more IOPS, Amazon now allows you to get up to 20,000 provisioned IOPS, up from 4,000. All new values will now also transfer data up to twice as fast as before with a throughput of up to 160 MBps for the General Purpose volumes (and 320 MBps for Provisioned IOPS).