Powerset Taps Amazon’s EC2

Today, Powerset announced that we are using Amazon’s EC2(Eclectronic Cloud 2) service and Jeff Bezos talked about it at Web 2.0.  Below is Amazon’s description of their service:

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.  Pay only for what you use.

  • $0.10 per instance-hour consumed (or part of an hour consumed).
  • $0.20 per GB of data transferred outside of Amazon (i.e., Internet traffic).
  • $0.15 per GB-Month of Amazon S3 storage used for your images (charged by Amazon S3)

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How EC2 Helps Powerset Compete with Large Scale Search Providers 

For Powerset, EC2 represents the opportunity to create a large scale search infrastructure without paying the upfront capital costs. The advantages for Powerset are the following:

  • Grow to large scale quickly
  • Focus on our core business (Natural Language and AI)
  • Replace huge upfront fixed costs with controllable variable costs
  • Increases our optionality

What it was like before EC2

Until now, startups trying to compete with Google had a fundamental challenge – its really expensive to build out the datacenter to have a complete index and be able to serve millions of users.

Until now the landscape of options were very limited:

  • Build your data center with equity or debt financing
  • Build a smaller data center and grow as you grow in volume

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