Faster and cheaper: The cloud is becoming harder to resist

Amazon's C4 instances are the latest salvo in a price/performance war that will benefit enterprises for several years

Announced back in November, Amazon Web Services' C4 instances will soon be available. And you'll be able to get greater cloud performance as a result.

The C4 instances run on Intel Xeon E5-2666 v3 ("Haswell") chips customized exclusively for Amazon -- part of a trend to cloud-specific chips. That should provide heavy-duty computing power to cloud users, more than the memory and storage optimization instances that AWS has introduced in the past.

Google is getting some great ink around its IaaS cloud price/performance ratio, and I’m sure that’s driving the release of AWS's new, higher-performing services. But Google hasn't paused: It's rapidly replacing chips inside its data centers with faster ones as well.

Enterprises will benefit from the price/performance wars now under way. You can expect Google to push out faster services in response to AWS's C4 debut; no doubt that Microsoft will enter the fray as well.

To make that happen, cloud providers are engineering their clouds down to the chip level. Cloud providers are customizing every aspect of their respective platforms to optimize performance and minimize costs. Despite the investment, prices are not increasing with the performance. Instead, they're typically decreasing.

Thus, the cloud services you use today will likely get better and cheaper as time goes on. I know many people fear that cloud computing prices will rise once enterprises are hooked, but I don't think we'll see that happen for three or more years. Providers are still in the mode of getting you addicted through low prices and ever-better capabilities.

Enjoy it as long as it lasts!


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