back to article Amazon cloud offers protection from falling meteors

Now that you can purchase future compute power on its intercontinental cloud, Amazon is pitching the sky-high operation as a safe haven for anyone worried that their earthbound data center may soon be hit by a falling meteor. Last week, Amazon introduced "reserved instances" on its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2, for short), letting …

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They claim they will reserve capacity that you're not paying for?

Something doesn't work there. If enough people pay a one-off upfront fee for 'reserved instances' that tie up Amazon resources with no revenue coming in then it's hard to see how that works financially.

Which makes you think that they're being economical with the truth somewhere. It has the ring of a 'something for nothing' argument.

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Whatever.

"All of which begs the question: Just how much capacity is up there on that cloud? But as usual, Amazon is mum."

Exactly.

My clients know EXACTLY what kind of capacity they have.

This new variation of centralized computing called "Cloud" is a non-starter.

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Reserved 'Seats'

They could sell time/cycles in the reserved instances, at a cheap rate on the condition that the user accepted a random service drop out followed by a slow reestablishment on a lower tier service somewhere else. Many non critical but CPU-heavy modeling application users would accept a short halt followed by reestablishment at a lower priority if this was reflected in the lower cost of the service. If you've waited all week for your global warming climate model to produce its predictions, you wouldn't mind waiting until Monday morning for it to complete, especially if it's Friday lunchtime.

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Four dimensional computing!

Amazon have finally realised my dream of selling the future run-time of their computers - you'll know in advance when the machine breaks or is taken down for maintenance because the program won't work when you schedule it for those time periods!

Of course you'll never be able to turn it off... even when you have used all of its future time and have to buy another one...

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