The ARM architecture has been quite productive and successful for Amazon. The eCommerce giant’s Amazon Web Services or AWS will soon start offering the 2nd generation of Graviton-Powered ARM-based EC2 instances. The new Graviton2 processors, built on the advanced 7nm fabrication process, promise up to 7x the performance of the first generation of ARM processors. Based on the performance improvements and rapid adoption by AWS customers, Amazon is planning to deploy the ARM processors for multiple AWS services.
ARM’s use in HPCs and Data Centers has been quite small compared to x86 systems. The field has been traditionally dominated by Intel. We had recently reported about Nvidia introducing a reference design platform allowing companies to build GPU-accelerated ARM-based servers. It appears ARM’s CPUs are now increasingly powering multiple and intensive cloud-computing instances for several remote users of AWS. Moreover, owing to the increasingly favorable response from users, Amazon will soon offer the second generation of ARM-based, Graviton-Powered EC2 instances. These will be available as general-purpose, compute-optimized, as well as memory-optimized.
AWS To Get Graviton2-Powered Second Generation of ARM-based EC2 Instances:
The first generation (A1) of ARM-based, Graviton-powered EC2 instances have been successfully powering different types of scale-out workloads including containerized microservices, web servers, and data/log processing, claims Amazon. The company added that several Operating System Vendors (OSV) and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) communities have been quick to embrace the ARM architecture and the A1 instances.
— Drew Henry (@drewhenry) December 3, 2019
Amazon offers a large selection of Linux and Unix distributions including Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu, Red Hat, SUSE, Fedora, Debian, and FreeBSD. Additionally, users can choose between three container services (Docker, Amazon ECS, and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service), get multiple system agents, and also several developer tools (AWS Developer Tools, Jenkins, and more). Simply put, there’s a lot of flexibility, but all the instances are currently powered by A1.
Amazon claimed that the majority of customers are extremely satisfied, and are ready to use ARM-based servers on their more demanding compute-heavy and memory-intensive workloads. Accordingly, the next generation of ARM-based EC2 instances will reportedly power Amazon EMR, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon ElastiCache, and other AWS services.
The new AWS Arm64 cores are up to 7x faster than the old ones! https://t.co/zbPyI3rRMU
— Justin Cormack (@justincormack) December 3, 2019
Graviton2-Powered Second Generation of ARM-based EC2 Instances Specifications and Features:
The next generation of ARM-based EC2 instances are built on AWS Nitro System and will be powered by the new Graviton2 processor. Essentially, the processor is based on a custom AWS design that is built using a 7 nm manufacturing process. The processor is based on 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores. According to Amazon, the new Graviton2 processor can deliver up to 7x the performance of the A1 instances, including twice the floating-point performance.
— Matthew S. Wilson @ AWS #reInvent (@_msw_) December 3, 2019
Amazon has three types of Graviton2-powered EC2 instances: General Purpose, Compute-Optimized, and Memory-Optimized. While each of the instances gets anywhere between 1 and 64 vCPUs, the general-purpose gets up to 256 GB of memory, while the Compute-Optimized and Memory-Optimized get up to 128 GB, and 512 GB of memory respectively. All the instances have up to 25 Gbps of network bandwidth, and 18 Gbps of EBS-Optimized bandwidth.
Needless to mention, the increasing use of ARM processors, has hurt Intel. The company’s market capitalization took a rather nasty dive after Amazon indicated it would push ARM-based servers on AWS.
Intel's stock at the moment AWS announced it's new Arm based instances and Graviton2 processors… cost Intel approx $7B in market cap pic.twitter.com/LwNeC2rIfL
— Ant Stanley back in Blighty (@IamStan) December 3, 2019