Amazon Web Services Unveils T2 Instance Type

Amazon Web Services on Tuesday released a new cloud compute instance it calls T2. It's a discount offering aimed at trimming costs for users with workloads that typically don’t max out their CPU capabilities, but do require periodic bursts of computing power.

Amazon says the new instance type for its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) cloud represents the lowest cost attainable from the IaaS leader. It’s ideal for users who host web servers, development environments and small databases on the AWS platform, according to Amazon Web Services Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr.

Users with those types of workloads could see a dramatic decrease in costs with T2, Barr wrote in announcing the instance on the AWS blog and explaining its potential benefits for customers who don’t require sustained computing performance.

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’The T2 instances are built around a processing allocation model that provides you a generous, assured baseline amount of processing power coupled with the ability to automatically and transparently scale up to a full core when you need more compute power,’ Barr wrote.

Amazon introduced to its cloud service ’CPU credits’ that customers can accumulate in periods of light activity, and spend when it gets busy.

’The bottom line: you now have a very economical way to start small, meet ever-changing demands for compute power, and take full advantage of the entire range of AWS Services,’ Barr wrote.

Kevin RisonChu, director of systems and infrastructure at San Diego-based Amazon partner Digiteria, told CRN what he finds most interesting about the new instances is that much like the General Purpose volume storage type Amazon unveiled a few weeks ago, AWS again is offering a system that lets users accumulate performance credits to be applied to secure greater resources when they’re needed most.

The customers the new instance type would appeal to are probably those that don’t plan on auto scaling, and who don’t necessarily need what RisonChu considers the greatest benefit of the cloud: ’the ability to increase capacity at a moment's notice.’

’This seems more for the individual blogger or smaller operation, who typically wouldn't get much traffic, except if a posting they made goes viral,’ RisonChu said.

NEXT: Sizing On The New Instance

T2 comes in three sizes that offer on-demand hourly pricing: micro, small and medium.

T2.micro starts at $0.013 per hour, which works out to $9.50 a month. The customer gets 10 percent of the baseline performance of the processor with that plan, 1GB of RAM and accumulates CPU credits at 6 per hour. CPU credits can be used within 24 hours of accumulation to burst beyond the baseline CPU when needed.

The t2.small plan doubles the baseline CPU percentage, RAM and the rate of credit accumulation from micro. And t2.medium again doubles all those performance factors from small.

’Of course with every new instance, there is always a better performance at lower price. The old t1.micro instances, which most of us individual bloggers used, were $14.88 per month, or 2 cents an hour at On-Demand rates while the new t2.micro is now 1.3 cents an hour,’ RisonChu told CRN.

Barr blogged that users can also try out AWS at no cost with two t2.micro instances (one running Linux, the other Windows) on the AWS Free Usage Tier.

’Amazon EC2 provides an unmatched selection of instances to support customers running whatever workload they want on AWS. Some of our customers have requested instance types that optimize their performance and cost for applications that don’t use the full CPU capability frequently, but require the full CPU resources for short bursts,’ Matt Garman, vice president of Amazon EC2 at Amazon Web Services, wrote in a prepared statement.