Alexandre Bourget

geek joy

Posts in category: Virtualization

Amazon EC2 vs Google Cloud Compute Engine

June 28, 2012 at 02:45 PM

Here is a quick comparison of the pricing between Amazon's EC2 and Google's newly released Cloud

Definition: GCEU (Google Cloud Engine Unit) ~= EC2 Compute Unit

Provider Name Virtual cores Memory Compute Unit HDD (GB) $ /hour $ /Unit /hour
Google n1-standard-1-d 1 3.75GB 2.75 420 $0.145 $0.053
Amazon m1.medium - Medium Instance 1 3.75GB 2 410 $0.160 $0.080
Google n1-standard-2-d 2 7.5GB 5.5 870 $0.290 $0.053
Amazon m1.large - Large Instance 2 7.5GB 4 850 $0.320 $0.080
Google n1-standard-4-d 4 15GB 11 1770 $0.580 $0.053
Amazon m1.xlarge - Extra Large Instance 4 15GB 8 1690 $0.640 $0.080
Google n1-standard-8-d 8 30GB 22 2 x 1770 $1.160 $0.053
Amazon m2.2xlarge - High-Mem Dbl-X-Large
Memory-equiv, 1.7x less CPU
4 34.2GB 13 850 $0.900 $0.069
Amazon c1.xlarge - High-CPU X-Large
CPU-equiv, 4.3x less mem.
8 7GB 20 1690 $0.660 $0.033
Amazon cc1.4xlarge - Cluster Compute 4x-X-Large
Pseudo-equiv., with tradeoffs
8 23GB 33.5 1690 $1.300 $0.039


  • There is no direct equivalent to Google's largest instance. You have to trade off memory or CPU each time. In that sense, Google seems to have more general purpose instances (for now).
  • Also, Amazon will give you less HDD space with the larger instances
  • Only the Linux instances were considered in the comparison, as Google only offers Linux (for now?)
  • I made now comparison of the different Compute Units from each provider. I pretty much assume to be equivalent.
  • The comparison is done using Amazon's regular instances. Google does not seem to provide adaptive pricing according to usage, but they claim you always have full power of your instance, and you don,t notice the other VMs. If this claim is true, then their VMs would be pretty much the equivalent of the high-utilisation VMs of Amazon.
  • The Amazon pricing list that was taken was for the cheapest region (USA East Virginia), so move around the globe and your Amazon bill could be up to ~1.8x higher.
  • This isn't a complete comparison as it doesn't take into account the network and storage fees. I might take a look if there is interest.

Conclusion: for now, Amazon has better fits and prices depending on your purpose for high-end instances, but Google seems to have better prices overall. I'm eager to discover their

Source: Google Cloud specs and pricing, Amazon's specs and pricing

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VirtualBox and importing OVF problems

January 02, 2010 at 07:18 PM

I've struggled with a WinXP machine not being able to be imported from OVF + VMDK.

At first, I tried to create a new machine, and attach it the .vmdk file directly. When booting Windows XP, it stalled with some UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME and some STOP 0x000000ED errors. I checked the knowledgebases, and surfed the web, only to find nothing.

I tried converting the .vmdk file to a .vdi file with VBoxManage convertfromraw old.bin new.vdi --format VDI (after running qemu-img convert file.vmdk old.bin, as suggested on some sites) without success - in fact, the .VDI file wasn't usable at all, and appeared as data, while other VDI files I had appeared as innotek VirtualBox Disk Image.

When trying to run VBoxManage import myfile.ovf, I kept getting errors like:

VirtualBox Command Line Management Interface Version 3.1.2
(C) 2005-2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Details: code NS_OK (0x0), component <NULL>, interface <NULL>, callee <NULL>
Context: "ImportAppliance" at line 261 of file VBoxManageImport.cpp

and sometimes the line with 0%... went up to 90%..., only to stall on the same error.

Just to find out that OVF files must be writable! I had my .ovf file copied from a DVD, so it was only -r--r--r--. Running chmod +rw * made the import feature work.

Still, VirtualBox, if it wants to be able to "write" in the .ovf it's going to import, should just state so, or check it before it runs the importation, or even better: remove the need or the bug that stops you from importing a machine that is read-only!

Btw, I'm using VirtualBox 3.1.2 on Ubuntu Karmic.

Hope this helps.

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