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It’s one thing to monitor the public cloud infrastructure that your web application depends on and always be ready to reboot hardware. It’s a whole other thing for developers to let Amazon do the hard work of restarting instances — slivers of physical servers — whenever trouble arises.

Amazon today announced that it has added just such a capability, in the form of a feature called Auto Recovery. Arriving as it is on the biggest public cloud around — initially for C3, C4, M3, R3, and T2 flavors of cloud instances in Amazon’s US East (Northern Virginia) region — the feature could increase the generally accepted level of automation in application deployment in clouds. Don’t be surprised if other cloud providers move to provide similar capability in the months to come.

“With this week’s launch, you can now arrange for automatic recovery of an EC2 instance when a system status check of the underlying hardware fails,” Jeff Barr, the Amazon cloud’s chief evangelist, wrote in a blog post about the new feature. “The instance will be rebooted (on new hardware if necessary) but will retain its Instance Id, IP Address, Elastic IP Addresses, EBS Volume attachments, and other configuration details.”

The new feature itself is free. The cost lies in the potentially greater reliance on alarms that engineers can set with Amazon’s CloudWatch cloud monitoring feature.

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