Amazon Web Services (AWS) has expanded the number of virtual machines based on the latest generation of its Graviton processors to include instances that support DDR-5 memory.
The latest Amazon EC2 instance types, dubbed M7g and R7g, that are now generally available are based on the AWS Graviton3 processors developed using an architecture created by Arm. Previously, these instances were only available as part of a technology preview program.
Rahul Kulkarni, director of product management at AWS, said these latest offerings take advantage of DDR-5 memory to provide 25% better performance than the previous sixth generation of Graviton instances. DDR5 memory increases the amount of bandwidth available by 50%, he noted.
Graviton processors now provide the lowest-priced instance of virtual machines in addition to the best performance and overall price/performance across the AWS portfolio, Kulkarni added.
AWS is making a case for employing its AWS Graviton processors for general-purpose workloads as more IT teams are being tasked with reducing costs as the overall number of applications being deployed in the cloud continues to increase. In fact, all of the top Fortune 50 companies have already deployed workloads on Graviton processors, noted Kulkarni.
While it’s not clear how many applications are being developed to run natively on Arm processors, the process of refactoring existing applications to run on Arm processors is not as intensive for most applications as it was when previously moving applications from one class of processors to another.
In addition, Kulkarni noted AWS has committed to providing a full range of DevOps services, including a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, to help facilitate any transition to Graviton processors.
There are, of course, multiple strategies for containing cloud costs that range from committing to consuming a specified amount of compute resources annually at discounted rates to relying more on spot instances that are available for limited amounts of time. Regardless of approach, the days when developers were allowed to invoke cloud resources at will appear to have come to an end as enterprise IT organizations become more aware of the total cost of IT. As a result, many of them are adopting financial operations (FinOps) best practices to maximize the utilization of cloud infrastructure resources.
AWS, like most cloud service providers, gives organizations a wide range of processor options. However, it’s apparent that AWS views Arm processors in the form of Graviton to be the most efficient from both a price and performance perspective. It’s not clear how quickly organizations are embracing Graviton in the cloud given the dominance of x86-based platforms, but it’s apparent there is now a clear alternative for general-purpose workloads. If fact, the more data-intensive those workloads become, the greater the interest in more efficient processor architectures.
Of course, x86 platforms are not going away anytime soon. But as more Arm-based processors find their way into the enterprise, DevOps workflows will only become more challenging to manage.