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[Axiom-developer] Re: [sage-devel] Sage and Amazon EC2?

From: Tim Daly
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: [sage-devel] Sage and Amazon EC2?
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2010 01:19:41 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

I haven't used Sage on EC2 but I have done Axiom builds there
(about a 1.5 hour compile/test). Its simple to configure a machine.
They have hundreds of prebuilt instances. I used an ubuntu instance,
ssh'ed to it, added a few packages, did a build and test.
Worked as expected with no problems.

If you're used to working on linux nothing should come as a surprise.

Tim Daly

Dan Drake wrote:
The current thread about using the notebook server with classes of
students made me think about the possibility of using Amazon EC2
instances to do the computing for a notebook server.

I haven't used EC2 and don't know too much about it, but the idea seem
to be that you can spin up a web-accessible virtual machine very easily
-- it seems to be about as hard as creating a Google group. You pay for
the VM by the hour.

The notebook server does its computing by ssh'ing to an account and
running Sage there. Imagine you provision a bunch of EC2 machines with a
copy of Sage, and point the notebook server to those machines. If your
notebook server needs more power, you just make some more EC2 machines.
You only pay for what you use, so this seems like it could be a very
effective and efficient way to run a heavily-used notebook server.

I looked up prices, and it looks like about 17 cents an hour for a "CPU
intensive" instance. If 20 students each used a notebook server and each
accessed their own instance, that's $3.40 for each class hour. For a
45-hour semester-long class, that's roughly $150, which seems pretty
cheap. (Consider that for some classes, a single *textbook* is $150.)

Has anyone experimented with using EC2 and Sage? It seems like an
interesting possibility.


---  Dan Drake

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