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Amazon Web Services announced today that its latest high-performance cloud virtual machines are generally available for customers. That means businesses will be able to spin up C5 instances in the cloud that are built to handle applications requiring large amounts of compute capacity.

For example, the new instances will be well-suited to applications like video encoding, running multiplayer gaming systems, and serving advertisements. These instances are designed to offer higher performance at a lower price than their predecessors, the C4 line.

Customers will be able to choose from instances with 2, 4, 8, 16, 36, or 72 virtual CPUs. This offers greater scale-up capabilities than the C4 line, which topped out at 36 vCPUs per instance. At the same time, a basic C5 instance costs 8.5 cents per hour when served from AWS’ Northern Virginia region, compared to 10 cents per hour for a C4 instance.

These new instances could help AWS capture more workloads that are well-suited to the public cloud. One of the key benefits of renting instances in another company’s datacenter is that it’s possible for customers to spin up arbitrarily large amounts of compute at a moment’s notice if they need to take on demanding tasks. C5 instances are designed especially for that use case.


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The news comes roughly a year after AWS first announced the C5 instances at its Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. This year’s iteration of Re:Invent will take place in a few weeks, and the cloud titan is expected to launch a whole smorgasbord of new services.

Right now, the C5 instances are currently available through AWS’ Northern Virginia, Oregon, and Ireland cloud regions, with other regions launching soon.

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