March 3, 2017

Amazon dedicated hardware

This morning Amazon Web Services announced Dedicated Instances which are normal cloud instances but running on hardware that is exclusive for the customer. In other words, if you start up one of these, there is zero chance of someone else in another instance on the same machine hacking into yours by breaking through the hypervisor, because there simply isn't anyone else on that machine. Not that there's much of a chance of that happening anyway (Amazon would be in big trouble if there was!), but this new feature really does completely eliminate that possibility.

This could be a good middle ground for those who are still suspicious of running their cloud applications because of the cloud's use of shared hardware. It allows users to take advantage of cloud-scale pricing and flexibility whilst removing the perceived security threat of running in a virtualised environment on hardware shared with other unknown people.

Cost-wise it's pretty reasonable - with a per-hour service charge of US$10 per hour for allowing Dedicated Instances to exist in your account (the fee covers unlimited instances, but is charged for each region you have them in) - plus the usual per-hour instance fees charged at up to 8 times the usual price (reasonable considering that by dedicating hardware exclusively to you and potentially seeing that hardware run well below capacity as a result unless you are really hammering it, Amazon are losing out on the ability to share that hardware's cost between up to 8 other customers).

Topics: Amazon, AWS, Bioinformatics, changing understanding, Cloud, EC2, next generation, private cloud, public cloud, S3, security, virtual machine