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Amazon Web Services launches new instance for general purpose workloads

AWS has released a new general-purpose instance aimed at running caching fleets, batch processing, and business applications like SAP and Microsoft SharePoint, while also reducing the price of several other instances.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a class of virtual machines aimed at general users who have workloads with balanced compute, memory, and network demands.

The new M4 instance will be available through AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in configurations ranging from two to 40 virtual cores and up to 160GiB RAM.

M4 instances are run on machines with a custom Intel Xeon E5-2676 v3 Haswell processor that AWS says has been "optimized specifically for EC2". The chips run at a base clock rate of 2.4 GHz and can go up to 3.0 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost.

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Image: AWS

Amazon says the high core count will be good for applications that use multiple processes and can benefit from concurrency.

"M4 instances are well-suited for a wide variety of applications including relational and in-memory databases, gaming servers, caching fleets, batch processing, and business applications like SAP and Microsoft SharePoint," the company says.

These instances also offer what Amazon refers to as "enhanced networking", which it says "delivers up to four times the packet rate of instances without Enhanced Networking while ensuring consistent latency, even when under high network I/O".

Other M4 features include having bandwidth dedicated to Elastic Block Storage by default and being able to support 64-bit HVM AMIs launched within a VPC.

Customers can launch M4 instances using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, AWS SDKs, and third-party libraries.

The M4 instances are available today in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Northern California), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) regions. They can be launched in On-Demand or Spot form, and you can also purchase Reserved Instances.

The release of M4 coincides with a reduction in the prices of On-Demand and One Year Reserved M3 and C4 instances by 5 percent in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and Asia Pacific (Sydney) regions.