Qubole announces per second billing for AWS customers

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October 13, 2017 by Updated November 29th, 2018

Qubole is proud to announce that our flagship Qubole Data Service (QDS) will switch to billing all customer usage in “per-second” increments for all AWS customers beginning November, 2017 billing cycle.

Earlier last week Amazon announced the introduction of per-second billing for two of their services: EC2 and EBS.  This replaces the per-hour billing that AWS has used since it’s introduction over 10 years ago.  Qubole has likewise billed QDS on AWS customers in per-hour increments, called Qubole Compute Unit Hours (QCUH).  Qubole has saved customers over $100M in EC2 instance charges through optimization features.  With per-second billing the opportunity to optimize EC2 spend will increase substantially.

The most obvious benefit of the shift to per-second billing will be that compute nodes can be terminated when they are not in use immediately, instead of waiting for the hour boundary.  This will result in some cost savings.   Invoices will reflect fractional QCUH, representing seconds of usage.  For example, a 5 node m1.xlarge cluster that runs for 62 minutes and 30 seconds would have been billed for 10 QCUH (5 nodes x 2 hours).  Under per-second billing it will now be 5.21 QCUH (5 nodes x 1.041 hours).

The QDS platform has always had features that intelligently optimized the per-hour boundary on AWS.  These features, such as auto-termination only on hour boundaries and downscaling nodes on hour boundaries, improved the cost efficiency by avoiding excessive upscaling/downscaling.

Per-second billing offers new opportunities for QDS to improve the cost efficiency and performance of big data workloads.  Existing features, like workload-aware auto-scaling will become even more beneficial and we will introduce new features that provide more granular control and insights between cost and performance.  Our recently announced AIR features (Alerts. Insights and Recommendations) and intelligent Cloud Agents will be updated with new capabilities that take full advantage of per-second billing environments.  Details on these enhancements will come shortly so stay tuned!

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