A View from Erica Naone

Amazon Taking Bids for Computing Resources

Amazon’s new cloud computing product auctions off processing power.

  • December 15, 2009

Amazon has launched a new product that offers up cloud computing possibilities in a model reminiscent of Google AdWords.

Called Spot Instances, it allows users to specify the price they want to pay for access to to resources in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. Users can set other parameters, too, such as the region where they’d like a job to run.

For its part, Amazon gives its unused resources a “spot price” which fluctuates based on how heavily its cloud is being used at a given time. When a user’s bid exceeds the spot price, the job runs.

This is obviously a great deal for Amazon, since the company can ensure that it’s getting paid for as much of its capacity as possible at any given moment. It’s interesting to see the auction model popularized by Google’s wildly successful advertising network moving into other types of Internet business.

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