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Amazon adopts 3rd gen AMD EPYC processors for compute-intensive AWS virtual servers

Amazon adopts 3rd gen AMD EPYC processors for compute-intensive AWS virtual servers
Photo Credit: AWS
15 Feb, 2022
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Amazon has announced that it will adopt the new AMD 3rd gen EPYC processors, codenamed ‘Milan’, for its compute intensive Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Called the AWS EC2 C6a instances, Amazon says that the move will help clients adopting its compute intensive web services to get 15 percent higher price to performance ratio over the previous generation C5a instances. They also cost 10 percent lesser than comparable virtual server configurations based on the Intel x86 architecture.

This is not the first AWS virtual server class to have adopted AMD’s EPYC processors. The company announced the use of the Milan server-grade processors for its EC2 m6a instances, meant for general purpose computing requirements, back at the AWS Reinvent 2021 conference in November 2021. In January 2022, it adopted the same generation of processors for the AWS EC2 hpc6a instances – or virtual cloud servers utilised for clients with the highest performance needs.

The AWS EC2 instances stand for virtual cloud servers that enterprises can use to run their services online, such as operating web servers and related businesses. Amazon states that the compute-intensive virtual servers can offer up to 50 Gbps network bandwidth. In a company statement on the new generation EC2 C6a instance processors, Channy Yun, principal developer advocate for AWS, states, “These instances are ideal for running compute-intensive workloads such as high-performance web servers, batch processing, ad serving, machine learning, multi-player gaming, video encoding, high performance computing (HPC) such as scientific modelling, and machine learning.”

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AMD will power features such as always-on memory encryption, as well as the Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (AVX2) instruction set, which optimises available storage for accelerated encryption algorithms.

AMD has seen an increasing adoption of its enterprise-grade EPYC processors among clients such as Amazon, which prompted the company to report record annual revenues for 2021. The company expects to see demand for its EPYC processors continue into the future. Beyond Amazon, Google has also announced the use of its 3rd generation ‘Milan’ EPYC processors to power high-performance cloud server platforms.