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AWS Adds Dense-Storage Instances to Amazon EC2

| by Janakiram MSV Follow 0 Followers on Apr 02, 2015. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Amazon Web Services announced a new instance type called D2 which is optimised for Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) data warehouses, log processing, and MapReduce applications.

When compared to its predecessor, the HS1 instance type, D2 instances deliver more compute power and memory. They can sustain a high rate of sequential disk I/O when accessing large data sets. Based on Intel Xeon E5–2676 v3 (code name Haswell), the processors run at a base clock frequency of 2.4 GHz.

The highest configuration of D2 instances called d2.8xlarge can deliver up to 3,500 MB/second read and 3,100 MB/second write performance with a 2 MiB block size. Latest version of Linux operating system with kernel 3.8 or later is required to get the best disk throughput. The updated kernel utilizes the latest Xen hypervisor feature, persistent grants, which is optimised for high-end host machines with many physical cores. Linux AMIs based on Amazon Linux AMI 2015.03, Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 support persistent grants.

Since the storage is local, additional redundancy must be built into the architecture. Amazon recommends implementing RAID and using a fault-tolerant file system such as HDFS or Gluster.

D2 instances are EBS-optimized that are designed to deliver dedicated block storage throughput ranging from 500 Mbps to 4,000 Mbps. EBS-optimized instances have a dedicated network to deal with the EBS I/O.

When launching multiple instances that work together, customers can take advantage of EC2 placement groups feature. According to the official AWS documentation, an EC2 placement group is a logical grouping of instances within a single Availability Zone. Using placement groups enables applications to participate in a low-latency, 10 Gbps network. Placement groups are recommended for applications that benefit from low network latency, high network throughput, or both. To provide the lowest latency, and the highest packet-per-second network performance for your placement group, choose an instance type that supports enhanced networking.

D2 instances come in four sizes that vary in configuration. Amazon EC2 instance page has more details of the pricing and configuration.

The new instance type is available in most of the AWS regions. Customers can launch instances as On-Demand, Reserved Instances, or Spot Instances.

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