Custom Xeons power high-perf cloudy number crunchers
Amazon Web Services has raised the stakes for high-performance cloud computing with new, compute-optimized instance types for its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service.
The C4 instance types were first announced
at the cloud kingpin's AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas in November.
Expanding on the earlier C3 instances, C4 instances are built around Intel Xeon E5-2666
v3 "Haswell" processors with a base speed of 2.9GHz, burstable to 3.5GHz.
If those speeds and that part number don't sound familiar, it's because it's not an off-the-shelf chip. Amazon has bagged custom Xeons, fabbed by Intel, that are specifically optimized for the EC2 environment, we're told.
"We know our environmentals well. We know how to build servers to a certain specification," AWS veep James Hamilton explained to El Reg
at AWS re:Invent. "As a consequence, the processors can be pushed harder. Through partnership with Intel, we have processors that are actually running faster at a given core count than is available on the open market."