Amazon Debuts Next-Generation Cloud Instances, Drops Prices on First Gen

The new instances have more CPU power and memory

While it's not lacking competitors, Amazon's Web Services remains the premiere cloud service. It's also got the biggest selection of services and, this being Amazon, some of the lowest prices.

They're getting lower too, in yet another price reduction, Amazon has cut the hourly rates for its standard instances.

But that's for its first-generation instances, it is now introducing an updated set of instances, the second generation which it marks as m3 as opposed to m1 which are the first-generation ones.

This is the second big announcement, Amazon has beefed up CPU and memory for the new instances, while keeping CPU/memory ratios the same.

"We launched Amazon EC2 with a single instance type (the venerable m1.small) in 2006. Over the years we have added many new instance types in order to allow our customers to run a very wide variety of applications and workloads," Amazon said.

"Today we are continuing that practice, with the addition of a second generation to the Standard family of instances. These instances have the same CPU to memory ratio as the existing Standard instances," it added.

"With up to 50% higher absolute CPU performance, these instances are optimized for applications such as media encoding, batch processing, caching, and web serving," it said.

The old-generation instances are still being maintained, probably to make it possible for existing users to continue running their current configuration.

But the new instances, which are debuting at its US East in Northern Virginia region, will eventually be rolled out to all other regions, in early 2013, and will become the default and possibly the only option at some point.

There are only two second-generation instances for now, the m3.xlarge comes with 15 GB of memory and 13 ECUs (EC2 compute units) on four virtual cores. The m3.2xlarge is exactly double that in every aspect.

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