Amazon offers cheaper, smaller instances
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is innovating yet again on its product line, this time with "Micro instances" that come at even lower prices. The new instances start at $0.02 per hour for Linux or $0.03 per hour for Windows, and the t1.micro has 613 MB of RAM and a "small amount of consistent CPU resources [that] allow you to burst CPU capacity when additional cycles are available," according to Amazon's Jeff Barr in a blog post.
This competes favorably with Rackspace's ultra-low powered instances types, which are only offered in Linux and sell at $0.015 per hour for 256 MB of RAM or $0.03 per hour for 512 MB of RAM. AWS says the CPU capacity of a standard instance, the Elastic Compute Unit (ECU), is equivalent to a 1.7 GHz CPU, but some researchers say it's not that simple.
Based on price alone, however, it can be estimated that the t1.micro is a quarter of the dedicated available CPU of an m1.small, or about the equivalent of a 533 MHz processor. That and 613 MB of RAM is more than enough to do many things, like run a messaging server, a DNS server or a router. Clearly AWS intends to prove it has room to spare in its margins and no shortage of new ideas.
Salesforce.com launches Chatter Mobile
Saying its company strategy is based on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Salesforce.com has rolled out a mobile update to its "enterprise micro-blog" feature, Chatter. Users can now get Chatter on all of the major mobile platforms. The company says that uptake is high; customers like Dell are reporting 20,000 Chatter users in an attempt to strengthen the link between inside the office and on the road.
Salesforce.com said that technology inside the office was now far behind what technology users encountered in their private life, and social media was becoming the dominant theme. Chatter will help bridge that gap, and Chatter Mobile reduces even further the amount of exposure for company communication to outside systems or confusion. Of course, there's always the danger that your company Chatter ends up looking like Facebook: nothing but cat pictures and meaningless status updates…