Jeff Barr on S3/EC2/SQS

I attended a workshop/presentation by Amazon Web Services evangelist Jeff Barr yesterday at RUG-B, and thought I’d share some “insider” info about AWS that is not so easy to come by on the web.

  • Amazon currently has 260k developer accounts in their network. More than I thought.
  • Hierarchical filesystems is inherently hard to simulate on s3 as it’s a fully distributed system (no global locks, among other things). So we might not get satisfactory performance out of those abstraction layers anytime soon. Instead, Barr suggests, we should start thinking about new, web-savvy mass storage architectures. ElasticDrive and Nirvanix are intersting players to watch.
  • Although Barr did not mention a specific release date, I think we should expect a european S3 datacenter very soon. That is good news since s3 performance in Europe is currently rather poor. Currently S3 runs on a couple of data centers (or rings, actually) in the U.S.
  • We will have to take care of CDN integration ourselves for now, but there might also be support for that in S3 in the future.
  • We can expect more flexible EC2 configurations in the future. Both smaller and larger VM:s will be possible.
  • A “placement”-API will enable admins to place servers either very close to one another (same rack, for speed) or very far apart (for stability/security) in the future. Very cool.
  • There’s a nifty Firefox extension for controlling EC2 instances built by the EC2 team.