This morning Amazon Web Services notified its cloud customers a new CPU configuration is available in all regions. This new virtual CPU type is hi1.4xlarge, and is significant in a number of ways. Amazon heard from customer a high I/O, low latency configuration would be ideal for applications like relational and NoSQL databases. It’s also the first EC2 instance type to use SSD storage. Netflix, like Sonian, a beacon of cloud success, has already shared a great benchmark study showing how this new instance will improve performance and lower costs.
Wow… more performance… and lower costs. This trend tracks back to a previous post I wrote about active and passive cloud cost savings. The introduction of this new instance type creates an “optimization opportunity.” If we cloud customers are willing to invest engineering resources to optimize our software around a new instance type, that is an example of “active savings.” We have to apply effort to realize a cost reduction. On the other hand, if AWS simply lowers the price of an existing instance type, that is an example of passive savings. Just happens automatically.
This is the cloud’s grand bargain. Cost efficiencies flow from infrastructure provider, through the application layer, to the end customer.