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Amazon Officially Kicks Off Cloud-Computing Effort

Amazon Web Services EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) service has dropped the beta tag, added a service level agreement and launched Windows and SQL betas and plans a management console.

Add it up and it appears that Amazon is giving prospective enterprise customers most of the things they need to take the e-tailer-turned-cloud player seriously.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels details the interest in the cloud by the enterprise:

In recent weeks in my discussions with many of our Amazon Web Services customers I have seen a heightened interest in moving functionality into the AWS cloud to get a better grasp on controlling cost. And this is across the board; from young businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises, from research labs to television networks, all are concerned about reducing upfront cost associated with the new ventures and reducing waste in existing operations.
Of the items most notable in Amazon's EC2 announcement:
  • EC2 has a service level agreement (SLA) that promises 99.95 percent uptime. What's notable here is that the SLA works at the "region" level. Today, Amazon's cloud has only one region, but will have more. Each region has an SLA.
  • Windows instances are available. EC2 supports Windows in a beta program with pricing at a little more than 12 cents an hour. SQL Server is also available. Amazon said it will show Windows on EC2 at Microsoft's professional developers conference (PDC).
  • In 2009, Amazon is planning a management console to configure the EC2 service along with load balancing, scaling and monitoring tools.
Given stretched IT budgets Amazon's recent moves are likely to find a receptive audience.

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of ZDNet sister site TechRepublic. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.
Credit: ZDNet

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