The Blog of Ian Mercer.

Why Amazon should get into the dedicated server business

Amazon ECS is a great way to scale an application quickly; being able to spin up 20 front-end web servers or 30 back end compute engines quickly is terrific and the cost savings from being able to keep them running for as short a time as you need are undeniable. But as I noted in an earlier post there are a few dark clouds ...

In particular even a High-CPU Instance performs relatively slowly compared to a dedicated core 2 duo server. In our case we found it to be 30% slower. Many others have reported performance issues resulting from the slow cpu to disk bandwidth available on a virtualized disk system like EBS.

For tasks where latency matters or you need a better disk performance a dedicated server is simply a better choice. The snag is that that server has to be off in some other data center and you have to pass all your data back and forth over the internet to Amazon ECS or S3 you hit more slowdowns and you incur more bandwidth costs.

The solution is simple and I think it makes good business sense. Amazon should get into the dedicated server business. If Amazon offered dedicated servers hosted in its datacenters with free back-end bandwidth to Amazon S3 and ECS instances I predict they would pick up a significant chunk of the dedicated server market overnight.

With a hybrid approach like this you could put your database cluster on a few dedicated servers and spin up front-end web-servers and back-end compute engines as necessary without any compromises on latency or disk performance.

Related Stories

Why smarthomes are hard

Why automated learning is hard for a smart home. The perils of over-fitting, under-fitting and how the general unpredictable nature of life makes it hard to build a system that learns your behavior.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

ATAN curve for probabilities

In a home automation system we often want to convert a measurement into a probability. The ATAN curve is one of my favorite curves for this as it's easy to map overything onto a 0.0-1.0 range.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Home Construction Advice

Several years ago we did a major remodel. I did all of the finish electrical myself and supervised all of the rough-in electrical. I also put in all of the electrical system and water in our barn. I have opinions ...

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

T-Mobile home internet

I'm testing a T-Mobile Home Internet device as a backup to XFinity and a way to offload half our monthly traffic to avoid the XFinity 1.2TB cap

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

iBeacon meetup in Seattle - January 2015

My notes on the iBeacon meetup in Seattle held in January 2015

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Finally got the 1U Atom Server racked up

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Timelapse video using the GoPro HD Hero

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

I should have created Four Square ...

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

How can I tell if my house is smart?

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Asian Gadgets

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

A great video explaining the Semantic Web

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Interesting Twitter Posts March 15th-

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Twitter links for Week beginning March 8th

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Facebook, social gaming and points

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Useful Twitter links Feb 8-Feb 15 2010

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

When will people learn to backup?

A rant about RAID

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Future proof your home with a new conduit system?

Running conduit can be expensive but maybe you don't need one to every room

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Balloon Boy was much ado about nothing - Twitter

Some of the more witty comments on Twitter about the Balloon Boy hoax

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Shortened URLs should be treated like a Codec ...

Expanding URLs would help users decide whether or not to click a link

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Tagging File Systems

Isn't it time we stopped knowing which drive our file is on?

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

WMPnetwk.exe started using 50% of my CPU

Uninstalling Windows Media Player - the end of an era

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Introducing Jigsaw menus

A novel UI for menus that combines a breadcrumb and a menu in one visual metaphor

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Amazon Instance vs Dedicated Server comparison

Some benchmark performance for Amazon vs a dedicated server

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Agile Software Development is Like Sailing

You cannot tack too often when sailing or you get nowhere. Agile is a bit like that.

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

AntiVirus Software is the Worst Software!

When your anti-virus software starts stealing your personal data, it's time to remove it!

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

It's all about disk speed

Why disk speed is the most critical aspect for most modern PCs and servers

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Giving up on Internet Explorer

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

New Home Automation Server

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer

Dell upgrades - a pricey way to go

Ian Mercer
Ian Mercer