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AWS Adds Dedicated Host Servers

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) now lets users of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service rent dedicated physical servers, useful for saving money on software licensing and meeting compliance and regulatory requirements.

Previewed earlier on AWS Insider, EC2 Dedicated Hosts now let customers control the mapping of EC2 instances to specific physical servers, as opposed to the typical model of securing dedicated virtual machine instances or renting shared physical servers. The new model provides several benefits outlined by AWS spokesman Jeff Barr in a blog post last week.

"You can bring your existing server-based licenses for Windows Server, SQL Server, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and other enterprise systems and products to the cloud," Barr said. "Dedicated Hosts provide you with visibility into the number of sockets and physical cores that are available so that you can obtain and use software licenses that are a good match for the actual hardware."

In addition, Barr said, organizations can ensure that they meet privacy rules or other compliance and regulatory requirements by specifying their apps run on servers targeted for their use only.

With the new fine-grained control of the placement of EC2 instances on specific hosts, "You can launch instances on a specific Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host or you can have EC2 place the instances automatically onto your Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts," Barr said in an earlier post previewing the new service. "Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts also support affinity so that Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host instances are placed on the same host even after they are rebooted or stopped and then restarted."

Speaking of stopping and restarting instances, Barr said users of the new service can use AWS Config to track the history of such actions on each dedicated host. "This data can be used to verify usage against your licensing metrics," he said.

AWS provided the following table to outline the differences between dedicated instances and dedicated hosts:

Characteristic
Dedicated Instances
Dedicated Hosts

Enables the use of dedicated physical servers

X
X

Per Instance billing (subject to a $2 per region fee)

X
 

Per Host billing

  X

Visibility of sockets, cores, host-ID

  X

Affinity between a host and instance

  X

Targeted instance placement

  X

Automatic instance placement

X
X

Add capacity using an allocation request

  X

Pricing details are available here.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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