New EC2 Cluster Compute Instances

When I heard the news that Amazon Web Services has just released there new “Cluster Compute Quadruple Extra Large” instance (cc1.4xlarge), I couldn’t help but give it ago. On paper this instance should have more CPU power then any other instance, at around 33.5GHz witch is substantially more then the c1.xlarge that has only 20Ghz of CPU power. This coupled with a 10 Gigabit Ethernet connection makes this instance ideal for High Performance Clustered Applications.

So does it live up to expectations, well I’m going to run some LINPACK benchmarks on this new instance to see how fast it relay is, and compare it to the other amazon instances. So…

I’ll start with the trusty m1.small, this is a good base as its only got 1 EC2 Compute Unit (Around 1GHz) so the new Cluster Compute Quadruple Extra Large should be 33.5 times faster then this instance. So the results were:

Instance Type Average GFlops Max GFlops Full Reults
m1.small 3.2785 3.3107 Full Reults
c1.medium 13.7706 13.8657 Full Reults
c1.xlarge 35.0406 37.4739 Full Reults
cc1.4xlarge 55.3171 63.6472 Full Reults

Well, I didn’t expect that, obviously I knew it was going to be much faster then the “m1.small” instance, but I didn’t think it would be much faster then “c1.xlarge” and it turns out the new cc1.4xlarge its nearly twice as fast. The nice thing about using LINPACK as a benchmark is we can directly compare it to the top 500 supercomputer list and the new “Cluster Compute Quadruple Extra Large” has around the same CPU as the “Thinking Machines Corporation CM-5/1024” which was one of the fastest supercomputers in the world in 1994.  Being able to cluster this kind of power over a 10Gigabit Ethernet connection gives us a  huge amount of CPU power, good luck finding something to do with it though. For more info on amazons new Cluster Compute instance go to

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  1. #1 by Exercise Balls on July 16, 2010 - 5:36 pm

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  2. #2 by Ernesto Armijo on August 2, 2010 - 9:59 pm

    I wish you would write a detailed tutorial (like or the windows one) about how to use this new instance. It is beyond my (limited) technical skills. I would like for instance to run R in a cluster of 3 or 4 of those instances (33 ecs X 4, 23GB x 4).

    • #3 by Tyler Allen on August 3, 2010 - 9:08 am

      I’ll try and write a tutorial on setting up and running HPC Clusters on Amazon EC2 with the Management Console as they can be a bit of a pain to get running.


  3. #4 by zerodtkjoe on October 20, 2010 - 9:29 am

    Thanks for the info

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