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October 14, 2019updated 31 Jul 2023 9:47am

AWS Rolls Out Bare Metal Arm Instances

"Cost savings for customer workloads that can run Arm instructions"

By CBR Staff Writer

AWS is now offering bare metal Arm elastic cloud compute (EC2) instances in the cloud, describing the offering as a “great fit for scale-out workloads e.g. web front-ends, containerised microservices or caching fleets.”

The move comes a year after the company introduced its so-called “A1” instances: Arm-powered EC2 instances underpinned by AWS Graviton Processors that feature 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and custom silicon designed by AWS.

(Most cloud servers use Intel x86 chips. Arm servers are significantly more energy efficient: an incentive for AWS, which is paying the power bills…)

Bare metal instances let users lease the underlying server for given period; giving them exclusive access to the underlying hardware, not just the virtualised workloads it might otherwise be running as per a typical public cloud workload.

AWS said: “A1 instances deliver cost savings for customer workloads that can run Arm instructions and fit within the available A1 memory footprint.

“These include applications such as web servers, containerized microservices, caching fleets, distributed data stores, as well as development environments.

The company added: “These instances will also appeal to developers, enthusiasts, and educators across the Arm developer community.”

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AWS Arm Instances: Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian… 

AWS’s Julien Simon said: “You can run on A1 instances Amazon Machine Images for popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Debian, and of course Amazon Linux 2.

“Applications such as the Apache HTTP Server and NGINX Plus are available too. So are all major programming languages and run-times including PHP, Python, Perl, Golang, Ruby, NodeJS and multiple flavors of Java including Amazon Corretto, a supported open source OpenJDK implementation.

Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS both support A1 instances. Docker has announced support for Arm-based architectures in Docker Enterprise Edition, and most Docker official images support Arm.”

Among AWS’s regions, a1.metal instances are available (outside the US) in Ireland, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Mumbai and Sydney.

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