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Amazon Web Services (AWS), the biggest public cloud infrastructure provider, today announced the availability of a new service called EC2 Dedicated Hosts. The feature can help companies run the software they pay for with licenses on multiple Amazon virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical server. This is in contrast to the usual pattern of using AWS, which involved getting access to VMs but not knowing where exactly they were running.

The feature gives more power to admins when it comes to getting VMs going on Amazon’s servers.

“You can exercise fine-grained control over the placement of EC2 instances on each of your Dedicated Hosts,” AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post on the news.

This is the sort of addition that can make Amazon more appealing to enterprises with extensive supplies of software licenses that are priced by the number of CPU cores or sockets. The launch should help Amazon further outdo competitors, especially Microsoft Azure, whose parent company sells plenty of license-based software. Google Cloud Platform and IBM SoftLayer are also growing in the cloud infrastructure business. Meanwhile Oracle, a major legacy enterprise database vendor, is just starting to get going in this market.


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Amazon talked about Dedicated Hosts for the first time last month. Barr wrote that companies can now use the service in the following AWS regions: US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), US West (Northern California), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and South America (Brazil).

There are certain restrictions here: Dedicated Hosts require the use of AWS’ Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) service, and the feature can’t work with AWS’ Auto Scaling tool for automatically provisioning more or less infrastructure in response to demand.

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