Huan Liu's Blog

Amazon today announced a new instance type called “Micro instances” (t1.micro). The official announcement states that its comes with 613MB RAM, and up to 2 ECU compute units. It also supports both 32 and 64 bits. Starting at $0.02/hour, Micro instances are the least expensive instances offered by AWS.

To understand Micro instances, let us first see what is the underneath physical hardware powering them. In a previous post, we have analyzed AWS’s physical hardware and ECU. Using the same methodology, we see that Micro instances use the same physical hardware powering the standard instances, i.e., single-socket Intel E5430 processor based systems. In fact, they probably run on the same clusters as the standard instances.

To understand what is the actual computing power they deliver, we run a CPU-intensive application trying to grab as much CPU as we are allowed. We then use the UNIX command top to…

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