Amazon has just released a companion product to its online storage solution S3. With a name almost as surreal as Mechanical Turk (which is Amazon's collective intelligence service), the new 'compute' service is called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. It all sounds like a Terry Gilliam movie, but it is Amazon at its innovative best once again. Here's the official blurb:
"Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
Just as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) enables storage in the cloud, Amazon EC2 enables "compute" in the cloud."
For the tech skinny, check out Sergey Schetinin's write-up.
Interestingly Alex Iskold predicted a compute service from Amazon in a R/WW post just a couple of days ago!! If you haven't yet read Alex's Web Platform Primer - what's available via API?, then I thoroughly recommend it. He really captures the high level of why products like Amazon EC2 are increasingly important in today's Web landscape.
Note that Amazon EC2 is currently "a limited beta", available only to "a select group of developers [...] who have been making Amazon Web Services requests in the past month." Thanks Sergey and Alex for the heads-up (they both got the email announcement).