Amazon began renting CPU time by the hour in 2006. Since then, Amazon’s cloud computing service, known as EC2, rapidly became popular with pharmaceutical corporations, digital design centers, and myriad other organizations requiring quick access to prodigious amounts of computer power. Since 2006, Amazon has reduced the price for its server time 19 times, and operates with razor thin margins. Although Amazon has never revealed how many servers they have in operation, a recent analysis suggested that Amazon ec2 may have nearly half a million servers in operation. The total number of servers employed by Amazon may be much higher. As impressive as Amazon’s computational capacity is, Google is estimated to have 900,000 servers. Each of these servers is roughly as fast as the fastest supercomputer in the world in 1993.
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