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SAN FRANCISCO — Public cloud heavyweight Amazon Web Services just keeps on building on its lead, with news today on lower prices and new infrastructure designed for specific kinds of applications.

Today Amazon announced new instances — or slices of physical servers in Amazon data centers — boasting hefty memory and large storage.

The new r3 instances are “the best place to run memory-optimized workloads in AWS,” Amazon Web Services head Andy Jassy said at the Amazon Web Services Summit in San Francisco today.

The instances offer up to 244 GB of RAM, and they call on fast solid-state drives as well, Jassy said. They’ll be available in the coming weeks, along with what Jassy characterized as “a refresh” for the HS1’s.


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Additionally, it announced a slew of price cuts.

Amazon is the public cloud to beat — at least at this point. It provides a wide-spanning portfolio of services, features, and integrations, as well as a large community of users and partnering tech vendors. Part of that has to do with the lead Amazon picked up by premiering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) products in 2006.

Legacy technology companies like Cisco and VMware have been investing in the establishment of public clouds as that market expands. And Google, which made its IaaS generally available in December, is pushing Amazon and other IaaSes this week with price cuts and new services. But while the No. 2 public-cloud spot is generally thought to be in play, Amazon currently has a lock on the No. 1 spot.

Today Amazon pushed forward more by making its WorkSpaces virtual-desktop service generally available after first announcing it just four months ago. That service lets people boot up Windows 7 on their computers as a service that runs from Amazon’s pool of servers.

Also today, Amazon played up new security clearance that could net it more big government business. It now has provisional authorization for certain security levels to run workloads on behalf of U.S. Department of Defense agencies, according to a blog post.

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