mersenneforum.org Unfavorable price trends for AWS EC2 spot instances?
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2017-12-07, 22:21   #2
chalsall
If I May

"Chris Halsall"
Sep 2002

11,087 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by GP2 We might have a better idea what's happening when we see what prices look like in mid-January. However I'm pessimistic and will start scaling back as existing assignments complete.
I'm not terribly surprised by this.

Anyone who used Google and Microsoft's clouds in addition to Amazon's were a little surprised by how inexpensive Amazon's spot prices were.

2017-12-07, 22:35   #3
Dubslow

"Bunslow the Bold"
Jun 2011
40<A<43 -89<O<-88

3·29·83 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by chalsall I'm not terribly surprised by this. Anyone who used Google and Microsoft's clouds in addition to Amazon's were a little surprised by how inexpensive Amazon's spot prices were.
The other possible reading of it is "no one was successfully competing with Amazon, so they had no incentive to not increase their own margins at no external penalty (or internal cost)".

2017-12-07, 22:41   #4
chalsall
If I May

"Chris Halsall"
Sep 2002

11,087 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dubslow The other possible reading of it is "no one was successfully competing with Amazon, so they had no incentive to not increase their own margins at no external penalty (or internal cost)".
I absolutely agree. Bezos isn't known to leave much money on the table.

Last fiddled with by chalsall on 2017-12-07 at 22:59

2017-12-08, 00:47   #5
GP2

Sep 2003

3·863 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by chalsall I absolutely agree. Bezos isn't known to leave much money on the table.
I actually disagree with this. Amazon has been notorious for plowing profits back into growth and expanding services, and so far their shareholders have been extremely patient with them.

The latest moves will probably cut costs considerably for the overwhelming majority of business customers, who'll be able to make greater use of spot instances instead of the far more expensive on-demand and reserved instances. Those are the folks whose spend is measured with six figures, not three. Numbercrunching hobbyists are surely a truly minuscule and insignificant market.

Google Compute Engine at 1.5 cents an hour per core (a fixed and non-fluctuating price) will always be an alternative. Unfortunately, the hardware Google uses is significantly slower than Amazon's, so the true apples-to-apples cost equivalence point on AWS is higher than that, at least 1.8 or 1.9 cents I think.

2017-12-08, 01:10   #6
chalsall
If I May

"Chris Halsall"
Sep 2002

11,087 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by GP2 Unfortunately, the hardware Google uses is significantly slower than Amazon's, so the true apples-to-apples cost equivalence point on AWS is higher than that, at least 1.8 or 1.9 cents I think.
For GPUs, Google and M$Azure all offer the same kit as Amazon. Tesla K80s and P100s. Having run all of them, I actually find that Google and Azure are pretty good. Before this price change Amazon spot instances were still the best bang for the buck, but perhaps that has now changed. 2017-12-08, 01:19 #7 GP2 Sep 2003 50358 Posts Quote:  Originally Posted by chalsall For GPUs, Google and M$ Azure all offer the same kit as Amazon. Tesla K80s and P100s. Having run all of them, I actually find that Google and Azure are pretty good. Before this price change Amazon spot instances were still the best bang for the buck, but perhaps that has now changed.
You can't attach GPUs to a preemptible virtual machine (equivalent of spot instance) on Google Compute Engine. You can on AWS EC2, but it's just not cost effective, the demand for machine learning keeps the prices too high. As for Azure, I'm not even sure if they offer preemptible/spot instances yet.

If AWS c4 instances stay at 1.6 to 1.7 cents per hour per core in us-east-2, Amazon will still have the best bang for the buck, but in the last 10 days ever since the recent changes, the spot price has been climbing steadily and I'm worried about the coming days and weeks.

2017-12-08, 03:27   #8
Mark Rose

"/X\(‘-‘)/X\"
Jan 2013

2×1,553 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by GP2 I actually disagree with this. Amazon has been notorious for plowing profits back into growth and expanding services, and so far their shareholders have been extremely patient with them.
Amazon makes a good chunk of their profit off AWS: https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatsp.../#1f86be564745

Quote:
 The latest moves will probably cut costs considerably for the overwhelming majority of business customers, who'll be able to make greater use of spot instances instead of the far more expensive on-demand and reserved instances. Those are the folks whose spend is measured with six figures, not three. Numbercrunching hobbyists are surely a truly minuscule and insignificant market.
If the spot prices are really so smooth now, I'll take another look at them.

2017-12-08, 03:57   #9
GP2

Sep 2003

50358 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mark Rose If the spot prices are really so smooth now, I'll take another look at them.
Why is it necessary for them to be smooth? (and yes they are now, very). That just means there are no price dips to take advantage of.

LL testing is very tolerant of interruptions and downtime. It uses very little memory and the savefiles are small. I would set low limit prices, and sometimes a single LL test would end up running on dozens of different physical machines, maybe with only a few minutes or a few hours worth of iterations on each one, between each spot relaunch and termination.

You might think that's living dangerously, since just one bad machine will spoil the end result, but AWS servers use ECC memory and Amazon retires them as soon as they detect that the hardware is acting up, and in any case I only do strategic double checks, and all of the residues have been verified good so far (either right away, or on the triple check where necessary).

Maybe it's time to look at AWS Batch, although the underlying infrastructure there is spot instances (and containers), so there's probably no cost savings to be had, for the time being anyway.

Last fiddled with by GP2 on 2017-12-08 at 04:00

 2017-12-08, 05:15 #10 retina Undefined     "The unspeakable one" Jun 2006 My evil lair 1A1E16 Posts With the nature of long term LL testing over many years I'm not so convinced that using "cloud" servers gives any cost advantage. For one-off highly compute intensive jobs I can see the advantage of not having to purchase dedicated hardware for a job of only a few weeks/months. But for something that runs continuously with no end (or at least until the prime exponents run out) buying your own machine(s) just feels like the better way IMO. There are fewer uncertainties when having your own: 24/7 always, known costs, private data, doesn't need always-on Internet, real CPU (not virtualised) Summary: Long-term: BYO Short-term: Cloud (if privacy is not an issue)
2017-12-08, 05:30   #11
Dubslow

"Bunslow the Bold"
Jun 2011
40<A<43 -89<O<-88

160658 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by retina With the nature of long term LL testing over many years I'm not so convinced that using "cloud" servers gives any cost advantage.
I believe the main factors that can make a cloud cheaper are 1) cheaper power at the datacenter's physical location (compared to the user), and 2) economies of scale in cooling. Either is certainly capable of dropping the recurring cost below that of home-operated computers, nevermind the economies of scale in capital investment (or time spent on maintenance and upkeep of home computers). Rest assured that the people here who make extensive and continued use of GIMPS-on-the-cloud have performed the price analysis before so quickly jumping on the bandwagon (and often it's a supplement to their home power, not a replacement).

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