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Amazon Closes Cloud Performance Gap With 'Bare Metal Instances'

Mitch Wagner

LAS VEGAS -- AWS re:Invent -- Amazon Web Services kicked off its annual re:Invent conference with a new service designed to make its cloud more competitive to enterprise IT in performance and security.

EC2 Bare Metal Instances gives enterprises the "best of both worlds," Peter DeSantis, Amazon Web Services Inc. vice president of global infrastructure, said, launching the service at a Tuesday night keynote. "You get direct access to the underlying hardware, with the elasticity, scalability and security of the AWS Cloud."

An instance is a virtual server. A "bare metal" server is where a virtual machine runs directly on hardware, for improved performance.

EC2 Bare Metal Instances is designed for non-virtualized workloads, for workloads needing access to a specialized hypervisor, and for "workloads with customer-hostile licensing" DeSantis said -- in other words, applications with licensing terms that make them otherwise unsuitable for cloud deployment.

EC2 Bare Metal Instances is available initially in public preview, and will roll out over the coming months, DeSantis said.

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Bare Metal Instances is based on the first silicon developed by AWS since it acquired Annapurna in 2015 for ASIC development. The service uses a new hypervisor based on an optimized version of the Linux KVM, DeSantis said.

AWS faces competition in the bare metal cloud. Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) introduced its own bare metal service last year. Packet provides bare metal services, and wrote a welcome-to-the-party blog post when AWS's bare metal offering was rumored earlier this month. And IBM also has its own cloud bare metal service.

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— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Follow me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

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