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AWS: GA of Arm-based Instances Boost Price/Performance 40% for HPC, Inferencing Workloads

Launched last December, Amazon Web Services today announced general availability of its sixth generation of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, with three new instances powered by AWS-designed, Arm-based Graviton2 processors, that the company said delivers 40 percent better price/performance over current x86-based instances.

Amazon said (C6g) instances are designed for compute-intensive workloads, such as high performance computing, scientific modeling, distributed analytics, CPU-based machine learning inference, batch processing and video encoding. Memory-optimized (R6g) instances are designed for workloads that process large data sets in memory, such as open source databases (MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL) or in-memory caches (Redis, Memcached, and KeyDB), and real-time big data analytics, according to Amazon.

The new Arm-based instances offer up to 7x more performance, 4x more compute cores, and 5x faster memory than the A1 instances, while delivering up to 40 percent better price/performance over comparable current generation x86-based instances, according to AWS.

AWS Graviton2 processors use 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and custom silicon designed by AWS and built using 7nm manufacturing technology, which – when compared to first generation Graviton processors – provide 2x faster floating point performance per core for scientific and high performance computing workloads, optimized instructions for faster machine learning inference, custom hardware acceleration for compression workloads, always-on fully encrypted DDR4 memory, and 50 percent faster per core encryption performance to further enhance security, according to AWS.

The new instances provide up to 64 vCPUs, 25 Gbps of enhanced networking, and 19 Gbps of EBS bandwidth. AWS said services like Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon ElastiCache, and Amazon Elastic Map Reduce “have found superior price/performance in testing, and plan to move the services into production on Graviton2-based instances in the coming months.”

The Arm-based instances offer up to 7x more performance, 4x more compute cores, and 5x faster memory than the A1 instances, while delivering up to 40 percent better price/performance over comparable current generation x86-based instances, according to AWS.

The instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a collection of AWS-designed hardware and software technologies that AWS said deliver flexible and secure cloud services with isolated multi-tenancy, private networking and fast local storage. These instances will also be available soon with a local NVMe-based SSD block-level storage option for applications that need access to high-speed, low latency local storage.

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