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amazon awsAmazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a new service for the nervous server hugger: it gives users knowledge of the exact server that will be running their machines and also includes management features to prevent licensing costs escalating.

The new EC2 Dedicated Hosts service was created by AWS in reaction to the sense of unease that users experience when they never really know where their virtual machines (VMs) are running.

Announcing the new service on the company blog AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr says the four main areas of improvement would be in licensing savings, compliance, usage tracking and better control over instances (AKA virtual machines).

The Dedicated Hosts (DH) service will allow users to port their existing server-based licenses for Windows Server, SQL Server, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and other products to the cloud. A feature of DH will be the ability to see the number of sockets and physical cores that are available to a customer before they invest in software licenses. This improves their chances of not overpaying. Similarly the Track Usage feature will help users monitor and manage their hardware and software inventor more thriftily. By using AWS Config to track the history of instances that are started and stopped on each of their Dedicated Hosts customers can verify usage against their licensing metrics, Barr says.

Another management improvement is created by the Control Instance Placement feature, that promises ‘fine-grained control’ over the placement of EC2 instances on each Dedicated Host.

The provision of a physical server may be the most welcome addition to many cloud buyers dogged by doubts over Compliance and Regulatory Requirements. “You can allocate Dedicated Hosts and use them to run applications on hardware that is fully dedicated to your use,” says Barr.

The service will help enterprises that have complicated portfolios of software licenses where prices are calculated on the numbers of CPU cores or sockets. However, Dedicated Hosts can only run in tandem with AWS’ Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) service and can’t work with its Auto Scaling tool yet.

@BizCloud
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