While storage speeds continue to accelerate, the fastest compute option generally still remains the use of memory. Large databases and Big Data sets often run best when utilizing in-memory, which is a use case Amazon Web Services (AWS) wants to support and enable.
On Sept. 27, AWS announced new High Memory instances on the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. The High Memory Instance types are now available in 6 TB, 9 TB, and 12 TB of memory configuration. In 2019, AWS will expand the capacity further with 18 TB and 24 TB instances.
The high memory instances are being targeted at in-memory database workloads, specifically SAP HANA databases.
The high memory instance types are not quite the same as typical EC2 virtual servers, which can be deployed on either virtual shared infrastructure or on bare metal. The Amazon EC2 High Memory instances are bare metal instances that run on the AWS Nitro System, which requires EC2 Dedicated Hosts.
The system makes use of dedicated hardware, powered by Intel Xeon Platinum 8176M Skylake processors, which provide an 8 CPU socket platform. Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for AWS, noted in a blog post that each logical processor is a hyperthread on one of the 224 physical CPU cores.
Initially, the high memory instances will be available in the US East (N. Virginia) and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) AWS regions. AWS is planning on expanding availability to US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and AWS GovCloud (US-West) in the coming months.
AWS has been steadily expanding it memory capabilities in recent months. At the AWS Summit in New York on July 17, the company announced new memory-optimized instances that provide up to 768 GB of memory.
"We have memory-optimized instances today, and they’ve proven quite popular with customers who want to run memory intensive applications, including in-memory databases," Matt Garman, Vice President of Compute Services at AWS, wrote in a statement. "With 12 TB instances available in AWS, and 24 TB instances coming next year, Amazon EC2 High Memory instances give our customers the ability to scale their in-memory databases with predictable performance in the same VPC as their other AWS services."
Pricing for a 12 TB high memory u-12tb1.metal Dedicated Host in the US East (N. Virginia) Region is $30.539 per hour.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.