CloudCheckr Blog

AWS Adds RDS and ElastiCache Instances and Reduces Prices

November 8th, 2012

Following last week’s addition of EC2 instances and price reduction, AWS has now done the same for both RDS and ElastiCache. These are, in our view, very significant changes. First, the decrease of on-demand price alters the break-even points for purchasing reserved instances. For those not using an automated tool such as CloudCheckr, this requires fresh calculations. Second, the addition of sizes allows for far better sizing control. Again, as with break-even calculations, automation can significantly help you properly calibrate utilization rates. Here is the text of the AWS announcement: RDS & ElastiCache Updates – New Instance Types and Price […]

AWS Adds 2 New Instance Types and Reduces Prices

November 1st, 2012

Here are the details from AWS: New EC2 Second Generation Standard Instances and Price Reductions 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. The Second Generation Standard Instances 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. With up to 50% higher absolute CPU […]

New Tools for AWS Spot Instance Bidding

October 15th, 2012

Amazon just increased the information provided to Spot EC2 users. We think this is particularly valuable — especially the “Marked_For _Termination” code. Given the savings in comparison to on-demand, we have strongly recommended that users purchase instances either as reserved or as spot.  Our only caveat was the risk of surprise termination. AWS has now significantly mitigated that risk with this real time warning. Read more about it below or at http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2012/10/amazon-ec2-spot-instance-bid-status.html Amazon EC2 Spot Instance Bid Status We want to make EC2 Spot Instances even easier to use. One way we are doing this is by making the bidding and processing more […]

Amazon RDS for MySQL Now Supports Read Replica Promotion

October 12th, 2012

We received this notice today and wanted to publicize it as yet another reason to use AWS: Dear Amazon Web Services Customer, We are pleased to announce that Amazon RDS for MySQL now supports “Promote Read Replica” functionality. You can now convert a MySQL Read Replica into a “standalone” DB Instance using the “Promote Read Replica” option. This option stops replication and converts the Read Replica in its existing state into a “standalone” DB Instance. You can use this option for a number of use cases including: Perform DDL operations: DDL operations such as creating/re-building indexes etc. could take a […]

AWS Adds a Free RDS Tier for New Users

October 2nd, 2012

AWS just added a free Relational Database Service (RDS) tier for new users. “New AWS customers can use the MySQL, Oracle (BYOL licensing model), or SQL Server database engines on a Micro DB Instance for up to 750 hours per month, along with 20 GB of database storage, 10 million I/Os and 20 GB of backup storage.” For those who are unaware, RDS is the AWS offering for relational database users. With MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server engines available, RDS provides scaling, management, and administrative support. As big AWS fans, we applaud this incentive. In combination with the free EC2, […]

Utilizing EC2 Micro Instances

September 24th, 2012

At first glance, using a Micro EC2 instance might seem sensible from a cost standpoint. Micro instances are free for 750 hours each month and, once costs begin to accrue, they are cheapest deployable instance type. However there is a caveat you should be aware of: although Micro instances can offer constant performance, they are really designed for short bursts. If you use your Micro instance incorrectly, it may shut down at very inopportune moments due to overutilization. The following discussion illustrates this point: As one its features, CloudCheckr provides a cost utilization report that measures CPU Utilization of EC2 Instances from CloudWatch metrics. We use in-house configuration […]

AWS Announces Greater Control for EC2 Auto Scaling

September 24th, 2012

As most users are aware, the AWS Auto Scale default is to terminate instances by age – with the oldest being the first to go. Now, AWS has added a feature that increases user flexiblity by allowing users to craft their own termination policies. We recommend that, as a best practice, users review their EC2 and Auto Scale usage to determine if the default policy of first on/first terminated is best for their needs. See the attached announcement for more information. We are pleased to announce that you can now configure Auto Scaling policies to determine which Amazon EC2 instances to terminate when decreasing […]

AWS Cost Tagging and Allocation

September 12th, 2012

Amazon Web Services announced a major aid in AWS cost allocation – they are extending the EC2 cost tagging system to include the following 8 services: 1. S3 buckets 2. EC2 Instances 3. EBS volumes 4. Reserved Instances 5. Spot Instance requests 6. VPN connections 7. Amazon RDS DB Instances 8. AWS CloudFormation Stacks Two notes to keep in mind: First, users will be able to tag track both existing and new resources. Second, AWS is limiting this feature to only 10 tags per resource right now, but it does promise to increase that number in future. We at CloudCheckr […]

Amazon Web Services:(AWS) Reserved Instance Marketplace: What It Means

September 12th, 2012

Amazon Web Services just announced that users can now sell their unwanted EC2 instances on an AWS sponsored secondary market. See the following letter: Dear Amazon Web Services Customer, We are excited to announce the Reserved Instance Marketplace, an online marketplace that provides AWS customers the flexibility to sell their Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Reserved Instances to other businesses and organizations. Customers can also browse the Reserved Instance Marketplace to find an even wider selection of Reserved Instance term lengths and pricing options sold by other AWS customers. Reserved Instances allow customers to lower costs by making a […]

New CloudFront Features

September 10th, 2012

Last week AWS announced three refinements to CloudFront, its CDN service, in an effort to improve both control and performance. First, it created price classes for edge locations. Through either the management console or API, users can designate the regions from which they will distribute content. While the first class (All) remains the same, the 200 and 100 classes limit edge locations by excluding first South America and Australia and then also Hong Kong and Singapore from available distribution locations. These limitations should provide users better cost control by allowing users, based upon their own individual content distribution latency needs, […]

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