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AWS CEO Andy Jassy: 6th-Gen EC2 Instances A ‘Game-Changer’

‘This is a big step forward over our current instance types, and it's why we're leading with Graviton,” said James Hamilton, vice president and distinguished engineer at AWS. ‘Even I was slightly surprised by the Graviton performance, despite the fact that I was there on day one.’

New sixth-generation Amazon EC2 C6g and R6g instances powered by Arm-based AWS Graviton2 processors should be a “game-changer,” according to Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy.

“Excited to bring customers the next gen of Amazon EC2 instances powered by #AWS-designed, Arm-based Graviton2 processors that deliver up to 40% better price/performance than comparable current x86 instances,” Jassy tweeted Thursday night. “Should be a game changer!”

AWS Thursday announced the general availability of the new AWS-designed, compute-optimized C6g and memory-optimized R6g instances after unveiling them at AWS re:Invent in December and dropping its general-purpose EC2 M6g instances in May.

The C6g instances were designed for compute-intensive workloads, including high-performance computing, batch processing, video encoding, gaming, scientific modeling, distributed analytics, ad-serving and CPU-based machine learning inference. The R6g instances are for workloads that process large data sets in memory, including open-source databases such as MySQL, MariaDB and PostgreSQL; in-memory caches such as Redis, Memcached and KeyDB; and real-time, big data analytics.

The new C6g, R6g and M6g instance types deliver up to 40 percent better performance at 20 percent lower costs, resulting in 40 percent better price-performance over comparable current-generation x86-based Amazon EC2 C5 instances, according to James Hamilton, vice president and distinguished engineer at AWS.

“This is a big step forward over our current instance types, and it's why we're leading with Graviton,” Hamilton said in a video shared on YouTube, recorded from his boat anchored off the coast of Scotland. “Even I was slightly surprised by the Graviton performance, despite the fact that I was there on day one.”

The C6g, R6g and M6g instances each are available in nine instance types and all include bare metal instance types.

“We have up to 64 cores, up to 25 gigabits per second of enhanced networking and up to 19 gigabits per second of EBS storage bandwidth,” Hamilton said.

The Arm-based AWS Graviton2 processors allow for up to 7x greater performance, 4x more compute cores and 5x faster memory than the Arm-based EC2 A1 instances powered by AWS’ first-generation Graviton processor, which AWS introduced a year ago. Customers wanted to run more demanding workloads that required larger AWS Graviton-based instance sizes and greater capabilities, including faster processing, higher memory capacity and increased networking bandwidth, according to AWS.

AWS’ Graviton2 processors, which use 64-bit Arm Neoverse N1 cores and custom silicon designed by AWS, are built using advanced 7-nanometer manufacturing technology. AWS will move services including Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon Elastic Map Reduce into production on Graviton2-based instances in the coming months.

The C6g, R6g and M6g instances are built on the AWS Nitro System of AWS-designed hardware and software.

“Nitro is one of the reasons why we have, by far, the broadest range of instance types in the cloud computing industry, and Nitro is one of the ways we are investing deeply to ensure this remains true over time,” Hamilton said.

The Amazon EC2 C6g and R6g instances currently are offered in AWS’ U.S. East (northern Virginia and Ohio), U.S. West (Oregon), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland) and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) cloud regions.

They are supported by operating systems and services from independent software vendors and AWS. They include Linux distributions (Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Fedora and Debian), FreeBSD/NetBSD, the Amazon Corretto distribution of OpenJDK, container services (Amazon ECR, Amazon ECS, Amazon EKS, Docker and Rancher), agents (Amazon CloudWatch, AWS Systems Manager, Amazon Inspector, CrowdStrike, Datadog, Dynatrace, Honeycomb.io, Qualys, Rapid7 and Tenable), and developer/automation tools (AWS Code Suite, Chef, GitLab, Jenkins and TravisCI).

“The ecosystem truly is ready, and developers can build their open source apps on Graviton2 today with confidence,” Hamilton said.

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