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Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts – Competition to IBM softlayer Bare Metal servers

What is Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts?

Amazon announced the new variant of EC2 called Dedicated Hosts yesterday (6th Oct 2015).Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host is a physical server with EC2 Instance capacity fully dedicated to our use.  It helps us to reduce costs by allowing us to use our existing server-bound software licenses.

We can allocate a Dedicated Host in a Specific region and availability zone and for a particular type of EC2 instance.

Each Dedicated Host has a room for a predefined number of instances of a particular type. Say for example, if the specific host has room for ten m4.xlarge instances and we can launch up to ten m4.xlarge. It is very much similar to the virtualization we had done in Blade servers.

We will have predefined combination of CPU cores and memory – Instance types in Dedicated host unlike in pure play virtualization, we have an option to select CPU and Memory independently.

But not to forget, AWS offers state of art management console, API, CLI support to manage the Dedicated Host.

IBM Softlayer already has Bare-Metal servers and this EC2 Dedicated Hosts will be straight competition to that.  We will have to wait for the pricing information for the comparison

Licensing Benefit – Cut costs

It provides greater value add for the corporates who wants to migrate from on-premises to cloud. Dedicated Hosts allows to use the existing per-socket, per-core, or per-VM software licenses, including Microsoft windows Server, Microsoft SQL server, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, or other software licenses that are bound to VMs, sockets, or physical cores.

Automatic Instance Placement

We have an option to launch instances onto a specific Dedicated Host, or you can let Amazon EC2 place the instances automatically. It helps us to address licensing and corporate compliance.

Affinity

Affinity is one of the important feature in Amazon Dedicated Host which allows us to specify which Dedicated Host an instance will run on after it has been stopped and restarted. This ensures that the instance will always run on the same physical server even through planned interruptions. It helps in reduction in licensing costs that requires license affinity for a period of time (X no. of days). It can be maintained using instance placement scheme

Greater Visibility

It provides us the greater visibility on the number of sockets, physical cores in the Dedicated Host. It helps us to manage licensing of our own server-bound software that is licensed per-socket or per-core

Reporting

We can use AWS config which records when the instances are launched, stopped or terminated on a Dedicated Host. It pairs this information with host-level information relevant to software licensing.

AWS config can be used as a data source for license reporting

Pricing Options

Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts will be available in Reserved and On-demand form. We will have to pay  regardless of whether we run instances on Dedicated Host or not.

So it’s important to do a home work in the assessing the requirement and workload before ordering the Dedicated Hosts. Please remember we are going to pay for the Giant server. AWS doesn’t care how many instances are you running in that Dedicated Host.  It’s up to us to have proper resource utilization.

Portability

We can easily bring our own machine images to AWS using VM import and vCenter portal

Recommendation

It is recommended for the ones who runs their infrastructure in on-premises,  have partnership with companies like Microsoft for Licensing and wish to migrate to cloud as part of their business strategy without diluting the software licenses procured already.

 

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