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Next-Gen Amazon EC2 Instances Launched

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) has unveiled new general purpose Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances.

Called M4, the new EC2 instance family comes in five sizes, centered around a customized Intel Xeon E5-2676 v3 Haswell processor tailor-designed for the Amazon Cloud. The chip clocks in with a 2.4 GHz CPU speed that can go up to 3.0 GHz with Intel Turbo boost. With the general purpose designation, AWS said they were good for many workloads, coming with a balance of compute, memory and network resources.

"M4 instances are well-suited for a wide variety of applications including relational and in-memory databases, gaming servers, caching fleets, batch processing, and business applications like SAP and Microsoft SharePoint," AWS said in a news release last Thursday.

On the larger instances, Enhanced Networking is added for high networking performance, with the biggest instance providing 10 Gbps network speeds. The M4 instances are also optimized for Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), with different speed thresholds available.

M4 EC2 Instance Speeds & Feeds
[Click on image for larger view.] M4 EC2 Instance Speeds & Feeds (source: AWS)

Exec Jeff Barr said Enhanced Networking "delivers up to 4 times the packet rate of instances without Enhanced Networking, while ensuring consistent latency, even when under high network I/O," in a blog post last week. "Within placement groups, Enhanced Networking also reduces average latencies between instances by 50 percent or more. The M4 instances are EBS-Optimized by default, with additional, dedicated network capacity for I/O operations. The instances support 64-bit HVM AMIs launched within a VPC."

The M4 instances can be launched using the AWS Management Console or the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) -- or in code through the use of AWS SDKs and third-party libraries. They're available in three U.S. regions and select regions in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Along with the new instances, Barr said some M3 and C4 instances were getting price reductions. Details are on the EC2 Pricing page.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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