Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company has announced the general availability of its sixth generation of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with three new instances powered by AWS-designed, Arm-based Graviton2 processors. The new general purpose (M6g), compute-optimized (C6g), and memory-optimized (R6g) instances deliver up to 40% better price/performance over comparable current generation x86-based instances. These sixth generation Amazon EC2 instances include:
- M6g instances: designed for general-purpose workloads with balanced compute, memory, and networking, such as application servers, mid-size databases, microservices, and caching fleets.
- C6g instances: designed for compute-intensive workloads, such as high performance computing, batch processing, video encoding, gaming, scientific modeling, distributed analytics, ad-serving, and CPU-based machine learning inference.
- R6g instances: 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.
Since their introduction a year ago, Arm-based Amazon EC2 A1 instances (powered by AWS’s first generation Graviton processor) have provided customers running scale-out workloads (e.g. containerized microservices and web tier applications) with significant cost savings. Given the cost savings, along with the increasing Arm support from a broad ecosystem of operating system and independent software vendors, customers now want to be able to run more demanding workloads on AWS Graviton-based instances. These diverse workloads require enhanced capabilities beyond those supported by A1 instances, such as faster processing, higher memory capacity, increased networking bandwidth, and larger instance sizes. The M6g, C6g, and R6g instances are powered by new AWS-designed, Arm-based AWS Graviton2 processors that offer up to 7x more performance, 4x more compute cores, and 5x faster memory than the A1 instances–while also delivering up to 40% better price/performance over comparable current generation x86-based instances.
“Today more than ever, customers are looking for innovative ways to increase performance and reduce cost, and Arm processors have emerged as an exciting and mainstream alternative to x86 processors for a wide variety of existing and emerging workloads,” said David Brown, Vice President, Amazon EC2, at AWS. “The new Amazon EC2 instances powered by AWS-designed, Arm-based, Graviton2 processors represent a significant generational leap for customers, delivering 40% better price/performance over comparable x86-based instances, and already we’ve seen a broad set of customers embrace them across a wide variety of general purpose, compute optimized, and memory optimized workloads.”
In addition to superior price/performance, AWS Graviton2 processors also introduce a number of powerful optimizations, features, and capabilities. AWS Graviton2 processors use 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and custom silicon designed by AWS, built using advanced 7 nanometer manufacturing technology. When compared to the first generation Graviton processors, AWS Graviton2 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% faster per core encryption performance to further enhance security. AWS Graviton2-powered instances provide up to 64 vCPUs, 25 Gbps of enhanced networking, and 19 Gbps of EBS bandwidth. Already, AWS 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.
M6g, C6g, and R6g instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a collection of AWS-designed hardware and software innovations that enable the delivery of efficient, flexible, and secure cloud services with isolated multi-tenancy, private networking, and fast local storage. M6g, C6g, and R6g instances are available in a bare metal option for workloads that benefit from access to physical resources. These instances will also be available soon with a local NVMe-based SSD block-level storage option (M6gd, C6gd, and R6gd) for applications that need access to high-speed, low latency local storage. All AWS Graviton2-based instances are available to be purchased as On-Demand, Reserved Instances, Spot Instances, Savings Plans, or as Dedicated Hosts. All new AWS Graviton2-based instance types are supported by popular open source operating system distributions (Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Fedora, Debian, and FreeBSD), language runtimes (Amazon Corretto distribution of OpenJDK, NodeJS, Python, and Go), container services (Docker Desktop, Amazon ECS, Amazon EKS, and Amazon ECR), agents (Amazon CloudWatch, AWS Systems Manager, and Amazon Inspector), developer tools (AWS Code Suite, Chef, Drone.io, GitLab, Jenkins, and Travis CI), and security and monitoring solutions (CrowdStrike, Datadog, Honeycomb.io, Qualys, Rapid7, Tenable, and more). M6g, C6g, and R6g instances are generally available today and are available in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) regions, with availability in additional regions planned in the coming months.
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 158 million memberships in 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. “We use Amazon EC2 M instance types for a number of workloads inclusive of our streaming, encoding, data processing, and monitoring applications,” said Ed Hunter, Director of Performance and operating systems at Netflix. “We tested the new M6g instances using industry standard LMbench and certain Java benchmarks and saw up to 50% improvement over M5 instances. We’re excited about the introduction of AWS Graviton2-based Amazon EC2 instances.”
Nielsen is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. “Our OpenJDK based Java application is used to collect digital data, process incoming web requests, and redirect requests based on business needs. The application is I/O intensive and scaling out in a cost-effective manner is a key requirement,” said Chris Nicotra, SVP Digital, at Nielsen. “We seamlessly transferred this Java application to Amazon EC2 A1 instances powered by the AWS Graviton processor. We’ve since tested the new Graviton2-based M6g instances and it was able to handle twice the load of an A1. We look forward to running more workloads on the new Graviton2-based instances.”
Datadog is the monitoring and analytics platform for developers, operations, and business users in the cloud age. “We’re excited the AWS Graviton2-based instances are now generally available. We’ve seen our own developer productivity increase as these instances have boosted the performance of key continuous integration pipelines by 50%,” said Jimmy Caputo, Product Manager at Datadog. “With the Datadog Agent for Graviton/Arm, all AWS customers can use Datadog to monitor AWS Graviton2 instance performance alongside the rest of their infrastructure.”
Honeycomb.io provides an observability tool for introspecting and interrogating production systems, designed and evolved to meet the needs of platforms, microservices, serverless apps, and complex systems. “The initial transition process took about 15 hours to get Amazon EC2 M6g instances up and running as first-class citizens of our ingest worker test fleet,” said Liz Fong-Jones, Principal Developer Advocate, at Honeycomb.io. “Comparing to existing C5 instances, we observe M6g instances to be superior in every aspect—they cost less, have more RAM, exhibit lower median and significantly narrower tail latency, and run cooler with the same proportional workload per host. Converting our entire ingest worker fleet to M6g instances has allowed us to run 30% fewer instances, and each instance costs 10% less.”
Hotelbeds is the world’s leading bedbank, redefining accommodation, transfers, activities, and car rental products with a global network of travel distributors. “Hotelbeds is constantly exploring new technologies to ensure we offer the best products and services to our customers,” said Guillem Cantallops, Technology Architect for Hotelbeds. “We were excited to test out the new AWS Graviton2 processors for our globally distributed API workload developed using Java11 + SpringBoot2. Our initial testing showed that the Amazon EC2 M6g instances deliver up to 43% better price/performance vs. the current generation M5 instances. Based on these results we foresee a seamless adoption of the M6g instances and expect to expand our use as soon they become available in additional regions.”
LexisNexis Risk Solutions is a global data and analytics company that provides data and technology services, analytics, predictive insights, and fraud prevention for a wide range of industries. “We tested our Java application based on OpenJDK8 on the Amazon EC2 M6g instances. This application handles a significant amount of encryption processes and is used to provide message level encryption to meet the security needs of our customers,” said Tim Miller, Senior Consulting Software Engineer for the Health Care segment of LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “Compared to our baseline C5 instance, the M6g instance was able to handle 30% more traffic. These are very exciting results.”
CrowdStrike is a global cybersecurity leader in cloud-native endpoint protection built from the ground up to stop breaches. “CrowdStrike Falcon delivers full spectrum runtime protection and visibility for hosts and hosted containers leveraging a cloud-native platform and a single lightweight sensor, without requiring any additional deployments or integrations,” said Amol Kulkarni, Chief Product and Engineering Officer at CrowdStrike. “AWS Graviton2 Arm64-based instances offer compelling performance and cost benefits which will help drive adoption across a much wider variety of workloads. Under the shared responsibility model, AWS customers require consistent and seamless protection across their Amazon EC2 compute fleet, regardless of the underlying processor architectures. That is why we are delighted to extend CrowdStrike Falcon protection and visibility for all Graviton-based EC2 instances.”