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Amazon Adds Power to Cloud, Launches P2 Instances for EC2

Read MoreHide Full Article, Inc.’s (AMZN - Free Report) Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched a new GPU instance type P2 for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) last Friday.

P2 instances have been designed particularly for compute intensive applications that need powerful GPU co-processors and huge parallel floating point performance.

The instances are especially suitable for artificial intelligence, computational finance, computational fluid dynamics, molecular modeling, seismic analysis, genomics, and rendering.

The company claims that, powered by 16 NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs, P2 instances can deliver the highest processing power for machine learning, big-data processing and high-performance computing.

Technical Details

P2 instances are equipped with up to 64 vCPUs using custom Intel Xeon E5-2686 v4 (Broadwell) processors, up to 732 GB of host memory, dedicated network capacity for I/O operation, and superior networking via the Amazon EC2 Elastic Network Adaptor.

The largest P2 instance can provide 16 GPUs , 192 Gigabytes (GB) of total video memory, 70 teraflops of single precision floating point performance, 40,000 parallel processing cores, more than 23 teraflops of double precision floating point performance, and GPUDirect technology for higher bandwidth and lower latency peer-to-peer communication between GPUs.


Benefits Galore

With P2 instances, customers will now be able to create and set up compute-intensive applications using OpenCL framework or CUDA parallel computing platform without making upfront capital investments. 

These instances are a notable improvement over G2 instances that AWS launched two years back. These offer 60 times the double precision floating point calculations than the largest G2 instance and seven times the computational capacity for single precision floating point calculations.


New P2-optimized Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) from AWS, NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) , and other sellers are available pre-installed with Caffe and MXNet and can now be found on the AWS marketplace.  Pre-installed drivers and CUDA toolkit are included in the AMI from NVIDIA.

Our Take

The newly launched capacities reflect AWS’s exceptional capabilities on the cloud computing front. With AWS, Amazon is miles ahead of the market in the fast-growing cloud computing services segment.

The company’s early start allowed it to get a large number of customers on board and because of the significant costs of switching to other vendors, Amazon has managed to lock them in. The fact that it continues to lower prices to below-industry levels further supports this lock-in, which in turn increases their dependence on it.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Currently, Amazon is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Better-ranked stocks in the in the broader technology sector include LinkedIn Corporation and Yirendai Ltd. (YRD - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Linkedin has seen estimates for the full year rise over the past 60 days by more than 100%. Over the same period, Yirendai saw its estimates go up by 33.6%.

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