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The Performance and Cost Variability of Amazon EC2

This presentation will focus on some of Amazon EC2's unique performance and cost characteristics. We test the impact of regional cost differences by submitting a job to EC2 from both Thailand and the UK. Though startup cost differences are small, cost differences scale with use and hence impact overall business competitiveness. Predicting this is complicated by variations in the underlying cloud load that mean application performance can differ upon each run. Costs can also vary as data transfer usage may or may not be recorded, and hence charged. We then show that performance can be optimized through application configuration, where a fully utilized resource allocation may not be the fastest option. Finally, we explore the performance variations dependent on an instance's underlying processor, showing that different processors may not always offer the specified number of Amazon EC2 Compute Units.

23rd September: Gary McGilvary

23 Sep 2011