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Here I come, Amazon EC2

by cory on April 3rd, 2007
In my email this morning:
This is a brief note to confirm that we've enabled your access to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) limited beta. We hope you enjoy the service and wanted to point out a few resources that will help you get up and running quickly. Please be sure to visit the following:
I'm pretty stoked to try out Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud. Selling computing power is such a smart idea. Here's a cool idea, in a similar vein, for a startup: Why not take advantage of the long tail here, and create a marketplace for unused consumer computing cycles? SETI@Home and Electric Sheep have already demonstrated that it's totally feasible to leach compute power from underused consumer computers. Why not create an app that a person could run that would be like a water meter, keeping track of how many cycles are being "borrowed" at any given time, and then pay the person a per-hour amount for that time? On the other side, sell the extra computing time to research labs and anyone else that wants to do big number-crunching offline jobs. Who wouldn't install that app if they could make a few extra bucks on it, at no real cost to them? I think the only thing that would get in the way is the fantastic cheapness of computing power. Amazon only charges $0.10/hour for the equivalent of a full 1.7GHz machine with 1GB ram. Say this hypothetical startup charges $0.01/hour to a research lab to lease 1/8th of your machine's capacity, and then splits that with you. At $0.005/hour, that's only about $3.50 a month if the computer is on 24-7. ...almost not worth the time it takes to install. On the other hand, if this hypothetical startup could manage to get an installed base of 100K users (and one would imagine it would be hard but definitely not impossible to sell someone on installing an app that pays them $3.50/month), that's over 2 million in annual profit. I'm also really excited to poke around with using EC2 to run Asterisk. Voice apps, as we found out with the Popularity Dialer, tend to need to scale much sooner in the lifecycle than traditional web apps.

From → general, popdialer

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