Amazon has just added the Dedicated Instance concept to its Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), which makes it possible to run hardware dedicated to a single customer within a customer's VPC. Amazon says that this new capability enables users to take advantage of on-demand elastic provisioning, pay only for what they use, and have a private, isolated virtual network--all while ensuring that their Amazon EC2 compute instances will be isolated at the hardware level.
According to an Amazon blog, Dedicated Instance was introduced to address a minority of customers that have regulatory or other restrictions that require physical isolation. Each VPC and each EC2 instance running in a VPC now has an associated tenancy attribute. Customers will incur a $10/hour charge whenever they have at least one Dedicated Instance running in a Region, as well as a "modest" premium to the On-Demand pricing for the instance to represent the added value of being able to run it in a dedicated fashion.
As noted by Gartner, dedicated servers are not new to this market. StrataScale announced a hybrid hosting solution that integrates physical managed servers and virtualized cloud servers in March 2010. Another Amazon competitor, GoGrid, announced a dedicated private cloud solution at the start of 2011.
While Amazon may be among the last to the dedicated-server party, Robert Mahowald, research VP, SaaS and cloud services, IDC, doesn't think the absence of dedicated non-virtualized servers has hurt it in the least. "It's just not been the primary focus of its business model to first offer rentable dedicated non-virt servers, they don't yield scale, and leading with them would take Amazon back to the days of co-location--dedicated networking, servers, SANs, routing, etc. for each customer," he says