AWS throws the lever on monster 2TB X1 for in-memory databases

IoT, mobile, and containers highlight day 2 at Vegas summit

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unleashed a handful of new service options on the second day of its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

Among the announcements are additions to both the high and low ends of the EC2 cloud compute service.

For companies looking to run in-memory databases on AWS, EC2 will now offer the X1 instance. Outfitted with 2TB of RAM, the X1 instances will be equipped with 4 Xeon E7 processors and support for over 100 virtualized CPUs. Designed for use with SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, Presto, and Apache Spark, the X1 service will go online in the first half of next year, with pricing yet to be announced.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, AWS will pitch the T2 Nano. The low-cost instance will be equipped with a single virtual CPU and 512MB of memory. AWS says the Nano option has been designed for "burst" situations where additional CPU power is needed for a short period of time. When its CPU credit balance is full, the Nano will be able to run for an hour with full CPU performance.

Mobile developers were given a new set of tools, as Amazon pushed out a beta service called Mobile Hub. Designed to simplify the process of setting up a cloud deployment to back mobile applications, Cloud Hub offers tools to help developers first build and test code, then monitor the performance of their mobile app and the cloud servers backing it.

AWS CTO Werner Vogels said the intent of Mobile Hub is to simplify the process of building a cloud system for developers who are more suited to simply writing code for the mobile device itself.

"We find mobile developers are really good on the device, but they find the backend stuff very hard," Vogels said.

Amazon is also targeting Internet of Things (IoT) developers. The new Amazon IoT service will seek to not only allow AWS instances to collect data from IP-enabled devices and appliances, but also to direct and manage the data generated by large numbers of connected devices.

Containers were also discussed at the event, with Amazon showcasing updates to its EC2 Container Service. The additions include a new EC2 Container Registry and a command line interface, as well as new configuration options.

Amazon added new dashboard features to its CloudWatch service. AWS hopes the new dashboard options will give customers a clearer picture on how their cloud systems are performing and when they see peak use.

Finally, AWS rolled out an update to the Lambda service it launched at last year's re:Invent conference.

The new Lambda features include support for Python functions as well as integration with AWS Virtual Private Cloud. Lambda will also now support scheduled functions and function versions, and will offer longer function duration. ®


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