• November 2012
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Faster Chips ‘Cut Cloud-Computing Bills’

BBC News (10/23/12)

Researchers at Deutsch Telekom Laboratories and Aalto University have found that customers of Amazon’s EC2 cloud service do not receive the same level of performance.  Amazon says it uses generic hardware, but the team used tools to examine the software that controls the groups of servers customers rent, and was able to identify the chip at the heart of each server in a group or instance of computers.  Measurements taken over the course of a year revealed instances running newer, faster chips, and they were much faster than clusters that used older hardware.  “In general, the variation between the fast instances and slow instances can reach 40 percent,” the researchers wrote in a paper, noting that for some applications the newer clusters worked about 60 percent faster.  The faster instances would enable users to reduce their server bills by up to 30 percent because the newer machines are able to crunch data faster.  The team is now working on tools that can determine the performance characteristics of particular clusters and push work to more powerful groups.

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