Amazon EC2 beefs up its safety net

Amazon on Thursday outlined a series of changes that build up the resiliency of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service.The key change is the addition of so-called availability zones, which allows EC2 to place instances in multiple locations.

Amazon on Thursday outlined a series of changes that build up the resiliency of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service.

The key change is the addition of so-called availability zones, which allows EC2 to place instances in multiple locations. "Each zone is designed in such a way that it is insulated from failures which might affect other zones within the region. By running your application across multiple zones within a region you can protect yourself from zone-level failures," says Amazon in its Web services blog.

These zones are automatically assigned based on availability if you don't choose a specified zone. Amazon's availability zones are another way to better manage failures. Amazon suffered an outage last month that prodded the company to make its cloud more industrial strength and create more transparent notification systems.

Among other key features listed in the release note:

  • Amazon EC2 Elastic IP Addresses: Amazon has created static IP addresses that map to your cloud computing. An elastic IP isn't assigned to an instance, but is controlled by a user.
  • User selectable kernels. Developers can use kernels other than their default settings.
  • New kernels are available for Fedora Core 6, 32 bit and Fedora 8, 32- and 64-bit among others.