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For me, the issue is using as much as possible of the hour, since the whole hour has been bought on Amazon EC2. If you were to fire up lots of instances to finish the queue, and the average instance lifetime was 30 minutes then I'm paying 100% more to Amazon than I need to. So, my point is can you do some clever scheduler stuff to make sure instances live for 59 minutes, or 1 hour 59 minutes, ad infinitum?