At AWS re:Invent 2018, we announced a new line of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances: the A1 family, powered by Arm-based AWS Graviton processors. This family is a great fit for scale-out workloads e.g. web front-ends, containerized microservices or caching fleets. By expanding the choice of compute options, A1 instances help customers use the right instances for the right applications, and deliver up to 45% cost savings. In addition, A1 instances enable Arm developers to build and test natively on Arm-based infrastructure in the cloud: no more cross compilation or emulation required.
Today, we are happy to expand the A1 family with a bare metal option.
Bare Metal for A1
|Instance Name||Logical Processors||Memory||EBS-Optimized Bandwidth||Network Bandwidth|
|a1.metal||16||32 GiB||3.5 Gbps||Up to 10 Gbps|
Just like for existing bare metal instances (M5, M5d, R5, R5d, z1d, and so forth), your operating system runs directly on the underlying hardware with direct access to the processor.
As described in a previous blog post, you can leverage bare metal instances for applications that:
- need access to physical resources and low-level hardware features, such as performance counters, that are not always available or fully supported in virtualized environments,
- are intended to run directly on the hardware, or licensed and supported for use in non-virtualized environments.
Working with A1 Instances
Bare metal or not, it’s never been easier to work with A1 instances. Initially launched in four AWS regions, they’re now available in four additional regions: Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), and Asia Pacific (Sydney).
From a software perspective, 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.
What about containers? Good news here as well! 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. In addition, millions of developers can now use Arm emulation to build, run and test containers on their desktop machine before moving them to production.
You can start using a1.metal instances today in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), and Asia Pacific (Sydney). As always, we appreciate your feedback, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the AWS Compute Forum, or through your usual AWS support contacts.