Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon runs a set of web-based services, which provide on-demand computing and storage resources. The Pricing is interesting since Amazon does not charge monthly based fees, but takes into account resource usage only (measured by network traffic, cpu hours etc.). Basically, the user allocates computing and storage resources for a certain time and runs his self-built (or preinstalled) virtual machines. There are also several assisting services, which concern about making the system development on Amazon resources easier for the developer.
The main services for our concerns (experiment data analysis) are:
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud delivers scalable, pay-as-you-go compute capacity in the cloud.
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the Web.
- Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)
Amazon Simple Queue Service provides a hosted queue for storing messages as they travel between computers, making it easy to build automated workflow between Web services.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
Amazon EC2 is a virtual computing environment. The user creates an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) or uses a pre-configured, templated AMI, sets up his application environment and runs the AMI. Starting and Stopping an AMI, Access control and static IP endpoint configuration, security and block storage attachment is done via web service APIs. The AMIs are stored on Amazon S3.
Key attributes of the EC2 are:
Running an AMI easily scales in number of instances. Amazon speaks of running thousands of instances of a single AMI simultaneously.
- Completely Controlled
Web service APIs enable the user to have full control over his instances. The user has root access to his machines and can remotely interact with it in any way he would interact with physical machines. One has access to machine's console output -- What about console input? -- DennisKlein
The User can choose from a wide range of operating systems (including numerous Linux distributions, Microsoft Windows Server and OpenSolaris), software packages (Yet to determine what is meant by this. -- DennisKlein) and virtual hardware profiles - http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/