Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) is a new web service that provides virtual servers for those who need cheap and easily resizable computing power.
Running alongside Amazon's virtual storage product S3, EC2 allows users to scale their computing power as well as their businesses. Both products work together for users by providing space to store data and power to serve it. EC2's elasticity comes from the user's ability quickly to ad and subtract server instances from your EC2 dashboard. The service is exceptionally useful for small startups that may see a spike in users or page views. Instead of a site crashing due to excessive viewers, site owners can ramp up their server power through EC2 before they loose their new audience.
Pownce and Justin.tv are both using EC2.EC2 users rent servers and pay per instance-hour of power consumed. Users only pay for how much they use. Each instance-hour is $0.10 and there is no minimum fee or activation charge.EC2 users Xen Virtual servers. Each server is equivalent to a 1.7Ghz x86 processor with 1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of local disk, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth.
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