If there is any one thing that Amazon Web Services is doing a poor job of it's that of slowing down the pace at which they inject game changing features into their web services ecosystem, therefore freeing up the time I would otherwise be spending writing about these new features.
It could just be me, but something tells me NoOne@AWS plans to take pity on my lack of available free time anytime soon which, to be quite honest, is perfectly fine by me!
So what is it that's got me all in a tizzy this go round, throwing around my "free time" like I just won the "Free Time Lottery"? How about reducing my EC2 bill each month by a potential of 33 to 50% for starters? Or providing a service that guarantees me access to hardware resources when I need them as opposed to when resources equal to a desired instance type become available? Both?
In fact, guaranteed resources and massive potential cost reduction is exactly what Amazon has done with the release of EC2 Reserved Instances. From the recent announcement listed under News & Events on http://aws.amazon.com/:
We are excited today to introduce Reserved Instances, an additional pricing option for Amazon EC2 that gives you an option to make a low, one-time payment for an instance to reserve capacity and further reduce hourly usage charges. Reserved Instances are complementary to existing Amazon EC2 On-Demand Instances and give businesses even more flexibility to reduce computing costs. As with On-Demand Instances, you will still pay only for the compute capacity that you actually consume, and if you do not use an instance, you will not pay usage charges for it.
To learn more about Reserved Instances, go to http://aws.amazon.com/ec2
So what makes this such a game changing announcement? Well, let me answer that question with another question:
What's the best way to jump start a stalling economy?
Of course there's differing opinions from people who know far more about this subject matter than I do. But one way is to provide opportunity for people to spend more money by reducing costs for goods they're already paying for, freeing up capital to be invested into places they otherwise would not be invested into.
Enter Amazon Web Services and the introduction of EC2 Reserved Instances.
While Amazon isn't going to single-handedly bring this economy out of its current recession with the release of Reserved EC2 Instances, they're certainly making every effort to do their part by finding ever creative ways to reduce their own costs to then pass along their savings directly to their customers instead of hoarding up that cash and reporting ever impressive quarterly and annual profits as a result.
That's not to suggest ever impressive profits are a bad thing. But putting more money back into the hands of more people is far more important to our collective economy at the moment than is Jeff Bezos ability to expand his ever impressive personal space program by purchasing even more of Texas than he already owns for building and launching space craft.
Don't get me wrong: I've got nothing against expanding our horizons by pushing the boundaries of space exploration. But at the moment we need more money being spent by Texans (as well as all the other states in the union and regions abroad) rather than for Texas. Of course, generally speaking, what comes around goes around, something that tends to translate into an increasing cash flow finding its way back into any given companies financial ecosystem. In this case Amazon will more than likely see an increased growth rate of EC2 instances being consumed by any given customer and/or expanding their usage of other AWS products such as SimpleDB, or SQS. All good things, /especially/ at a time when survival is a /much/ more common word being used on Wall Street than is growth.
Keep the good growth coming, Amazon!