AWS elbows Google Cloud aside in fight for SAP HANA customers

My box is bigger than your box

AWS has wheeled out a fresh version of EC2 with high amounts of memory available – up to 12TB today, the firm says, with promises of 24TB by next year.

The intent is to make AWS attractive to users of large in-memory databases such as SAP HANA.

"Combining the largest memory sizes available in the cloud with the agility and reliability of AWS, Amazon EC2 High Memory instances enable customers to scale their in-memory database deployments and seamlessly integrate them with the rest of AWS," Amazon said in a statement.

This came about, in Amazon's account of things, because its people noticed that fashion brand Uniqlo was running HANA on existing EC2 instances with just(!) 4TB of memory available. This was seemingly not enough, and so AWS decided to add on more memory than most consumer SSDs offer as storage.

"Amazon EC2 High Memory instances are available as bare metal instances on EC2 Dedicated Hosts ," according to AWS, which said they are powered by Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs.

Specifically, according to AWS, these are Xeon Platinum 8176M (Skylake) processors running at 2.1GHz (with Turbo Boost to 3.8GHz), and are available as EC2 Dedicated Hosts for launch within a new or existing Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

Google, of course, made a very showy punt for SAP HANA crowd two months ago, saying it could provide scalable cloud instances on the back of future Intel Optane DC persistent memory. The Register's Chris Mellor pointed out at the time that "general Optane DIMM use has to wait for Intel's Cascade Lake Xeons", adding: "Running SAP HANA workloads on early Cascade Lake Xeons with Optane DIMMs apparently reduces restart times from tens of minutes to tens of seconds."

For its part, Amazon promised "predictable" performance of large in-memory DBs on the same virtual private cloud where the connected business applications are running.

As with all AWS tweaks, the idea is to suck in ever more customers to Amazon's cloud, which is stomping all over the competition with what some analysts reckon is a near 50 per cent market share. ®

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