Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Amazon EC2 News (ctd)

On Novemer 15th Amazon EC2 once again had an EC2 related announcement to make: a new instance type, called "Cluster GPU Instance". The incentive to launch this instance type according to Amazon: "GPUs are increasingly being used to accelerate the performance of many general purpose computing problems. However, for many organizations, GPU processing has been out of reach due to the unique infrastructural challenges and high cost of the technology". For the moment this instance type is only available in the US East (N.Virginia) region (with Unix/Linux) as on-demand and reserved instances. The on-demand version is priced 2.10 dollar per hour, while the reserved instance has a 1-year fixed price of 5630 dollar and a hourly rate of 0.74 dollar. Some further reading can be done on the following locations:
  • This article on Werner Vogels blog gives a good overview of the incredible power of these instances (over a TeraFlop per instance).
  • Amazon makes it possible for anyone to use a supercomputer by offering it on-demand, but is it performance the same as with in-house hardware? It seems to be according to these benchmarks.
  • Nvidea explains its architecture and what makes GPU computing so attractive here.
  • In the official press release some applications that could benefit from this instance type were already mentioned: medical imaging visualization software, financial data analysis and simulation, rendering of sophisticated CGI,...

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