Frederick Giasson recently shared his experiences running the Open Semantic Framework on a Micro Instance. Giasson explains, “After releasing the new Open Semantic Framework Installer, we started to test it on machines with all kind of different specifications: different CPU limits, different amount of memory, etc. One of the setup that caught our attention was Amazon’s EC2 Micro Instance. The Micro Instance is a virtual server type that has been introduced by Amazon a little bit more than a year ago.”

Amazon describes Micro Instances thus: “Instances of this family provide a small amount of consistent CPU resources and allow you to burst CPU capacity when additional cycles are available. They are well suited for lower throughput applications and web sites that consume significant compute cycles periodically.” Giasson notes, “We were intrigued by this particular type of instance because we wanted to know how the complete Open Semantic Framework stack could operate on such a small server instance.”

He goes on, “Installing the stack on the Amazon Micro Instance, using the OSF Installer, is not the fastest experience in the World. In fact, installing the complete stack takes up to 10 hours (5 minutes of your time, but compiling and installing everything takes about 10 hours of CPU time). The problem is that installing OSF is a CPU intensive task, while the Micro instance is not. The micro instance can sustain small CPU bursts, but it can’t sustain the creation and compilation of the entire stack. That means that the CPU cycles won’t be available to the instance, and that the CPU consumption of that instance will be throttled by Amazon, which will significantly slow down the installation process.”

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Image: Courtesy Amazon