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Amazon today announced its Spot Instance pricing model, which allows users to bid on unused capacity at lower-than-standard rates, thus saving money for workloads that might be amenable to periodic spurts of processing. The one drawback to this feature is that it requires users to build and manage applications in a manner that utilizes constant saves or checkpoints, and that likely uses Amazon’s Elastic Block Storage, to ensure work recently completed is not lost due to an unexpected termination. Given that the requisite development knowledge to take advantage of Spot Instances might not be second nature for many users, I wonder how long it will be until Amazon adds tools for this kind of optimization into its management interface?