If you like your Amazon EC2 instances biggie-sized, Amazon has some good news for you. The AWS folks have introduced a CC2 instance type that comes fully loaded with "incredible specifications" for anyone using AWS for High Performance Computing (HPC) applications. Amazon grabbed the 42nd spot on the Top 500 list using 1,064 CC2 instances, and delivered a speed of 240.09 teraFLOPs. Now you too can run your own supercomputer.

The official name for the instance is the Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large, but they're dubbing it CC2. It sports two 8-core Intel Xeon processors with Hyper-Threading enabled, which gives the beast 32 hardware execution threads. Amazon's Jeff Barr writes that this will provide 88 EC2 Compute Units, or 90 times the rating of the original EC2 small instance.

The CC2 instance type comes with 60.5 GB of RAM, and 3.37 TB of instance storage. Amazon recommends using its Linux AMI or Windows 2008 R2, and has a guide for setting up Windows HPC clusters if that's your thing.


The CC2 comes with a price tag that reflects its girth. Standard pricing is $2.40 per hour, and that goes up to $2.97 per hour for Windows instances. For comparison, a micro instance is only $0.02 an hour, and the default (small) instance is $0.085 per hour. That would be about $1,728 per month for the CC2 instance.

If you're going to be doing a lot of computing with the CC2 type, you can pay up-front for a reserved instance and get significantly cheaper hourly pricing. The 1-year-term pricing is $4,146 up-front and that drops the hourly pricing to just $0.54 per hour for the Linux instance, and $0.75 per hour for the Windows instance.

The CC2 instance is likely to be overkill for most organizations, but if you really need horsepower, it's good to know you can spin it up quickly. Using AWS for HPC? Tell us all about it in the comments!