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Amazon brings hefty HPC gear to Irish datacentre

Amazon has given European businesses that deal with complex datasets a boost by bringing its largest HPC instance to its Irish datacentre.The Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large (cc2.
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Written by Jack Clark, Reporter on

Amazon has given European businesses that deal with complex datasets a boost by bringing its largest HPC instance to its Irish datacentre.

The Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large (cc2.8xl) instance became available to rent on Friday, Amazon wrote in a blog post.

"The arrival of the cc2.8xlarge instance size in the EU West region allows customers who store data in that geography to compute, analyse, ask questions and find insight from that data using high performance Intel Xeon E5 processors," Matt Wood, a product manager for HPC and data intensive computing at Amazon Web Services, told ZDNet UK.

"This brings the power of a purpose designed HPC environment [to European customers]... providing faster turnarounds, larger computational runs and a shorter time to market."

The HPC instances are designed for companies that need to manipulate large datasets, Wood said, and businesses involved in industries like financial services, oil and gas, life sciences, social gaming, advertising, e-commerce and media may find them of interest.

Each instance has a pair of eight-core Intel Xeon E5 processors, 60.5GB of RAM and 3.37TB of attached storage. Each of the Xeon chips has hyperthreading, so a single instance can execute up to 32 threads in parallel.

The instances sit on a dedicated 10GbE network and can be grouped together in a low-latency group for large, clustered compute tasks.

The European prices are $2.700 (£1.73) per hour with Linux/UNIX software or £2.970 per hour with Windows — the same prices as charged in the US. Previously, businesses either had to go to the US for their HPC gear and suffer increased latencies, or due to data regulation were not able to consume resources located outside the European Union.

Amazon launched the instances out of its major US East (Northern Virginia) datacentre cluster in November, 2011, with plans to expand the equipment to other locations throughout 2012.

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