Faculty Advisor

Brown, Donald R.


This project sought to determine whether Amazon EC2 is an economically viable environment for scientic research-oriented activities within a university setting. The methodology involved benchmarking the performance of the cloud servers against the best systems available at the WPI ECE department. Results indicate that the newest ECE server outperformed the best EC2 instance by approximately 25% in most cases. A comprehensive cost analysis suggests that EC2 instances can achieve up to 60% better cost to performance ratios in the short-term when compared against the ECE servers. However, a long-term projected cost analysis determined that the overall cost of owning a large set of reserved instances comes out to almost 60% more than the cost of comparable in-house servers.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2011


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering