AWS Launches First Arm Cloud Instances

By Doug Black

November 28, 2018

AWS, a macrocosm of the emerging high-performance technology landscape, wants to be everywhere you want to be and offer everything you want to use (or at least try out). As such, the cloud computing services giant has furthered the spirit of technology disaggregation – processor diversity – with new Amazon Elastic Container Service (EC2) A1 instances powered by AWS Graviton processors based on the Arm architecture, a first for the cloud industry. The Graviton processors feature 16 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and custom silicon designed by AWS’s chip development group, Annapurna Labs.

With the new instances, AWS promises cost reductions of up to 45 percent for scale-out jobs in which the load is shared across a group of smaller instances, such as containerized microservices, web servers, development environments and caching fleets, according to the company.

Monday’s announcement at AWS’s annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas adds to AWS instances based on GPUs, FPGAs and, more recently, AMD Epyc CPUs, also a cloud first.

In addition, AWS announced 100 Gbps networking capability in new P3 and C5 instances for machine learning and for high-performance computing applications, such as computational fluid dynamics, weather simulation, video encoding and other scale-out, distributed workloads.

The Arm architecture, of course, has been on the cusp of broader adoption seemingly for years, and at least one industry analyst said Graviton A1 instances — powered by the Arm Neoverse-based CPU — could be a significant step forward in that process.

“I see this announcement as a big breakthrough for general purpose Arm processor use in the datacenter server,” said Patrick Moorhead, president/principal analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. “Many buyers consider AWS the gold standard for identification of the right compute options and I believe we could see more Arm at Azure and other cloud players.”

AWS said emerging scale-out workloads, such as containerized microservices and web tier applications that do not rely on the x86 instruction set, can gain cost and performance advantages from smaller 64-bit Arm processors that share an application’s computational load. Amazon said the A1 instances will deliver up to a 45 percent cost reduction (compared to other Amazon EC2 general purpose instances) for scale-out workloads. A1 instances are supported by several Linux distributions, including Amazon Linux, Red Hat and Ubuntu, as well as container services, including ECS and Amazon EC2 for Kubernetes (EKS).

Amazon EC2 A1 instances are available in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) regions. The five sizes provide between one and 16 vCPUs, which can be purchased as On-Demand, Reserved or Spot Instances.

On the networking front, AWS said its C5 instances and GPU-powered P3 instances are the first to deliver 100 Gbps networking performance “in a secure, scalable, and elastic manner so that customers can use it not just for HPC, but also for analytics, machine learning, big data, and data lake workloads with standard drivers and protocols.”

With “P3dn instances, customers can lower their training times to less than an hour by distributing their machine learning workload across multiple GPU instances,” AWS said, adding that the instances deliver a 4X increase in network throughput compared to existing P3 instances. P3dn instances include custom Intel CPUs with 96 vCPUs and support for AVX512 instructions, and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs each with 32 GB of memory.

“In August 2018, we were able to train Imagenet to 93 percent accuracy in just 18 minutes, using 16 P3 instances for only around $40,” said Jeremy Howard, founding researcher, fast.ai, a deep learning organization.

The new C5n instances offer 100 Gbps of network bandwidth, providing four times the throughput of C5 instances, enabling “previously network bound applications to scale up or scale out effectively on AWS,” the company said. Customers can also use the higher network performance to accelerate data transfer to and from Amazon S3 storage, reducing data ingestion time, according to the company.

AWS also announced Global Accelerator, designed to improve availability and performance of globally distributed applications by making it simpler to direct internet traffic from users to application endpoints running in multiple AWS regions. It uses AWS’s global network backbone and edge locations, directing clients to the right endpoint based on geographic location, application health and customer-configurable routing policies.

And AWS announced Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) for migrating HPC workloads to AWS to augment fixed-size, on-premises HPC systems. AWS said EFA enhances inter-instance communications critical for scaling HPC applications, providing elasticity and scalability. EFA is integrated with the Message Passing Interface (MPI), which allows HPC applications to scale to tens of thousands of CPU cores without modifications.

In other announcements, AWS launched Marketplace for Containers, designed to ease deployment of containers on Amazon ECS and EKS, which includes six new AI containers from Nvidia (for listing see Nvidia blog).

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

RIKEN Post-K Supercomputer Named After Japan’s Tallest Peak

May 23, 2019

May 23 -- RIKEN President Hiroshi Matsumoto announced that the successor to the K computer will be named Fugaku, another name for Mount Fuji, which is the tallest mountain peak in Japan. Supercomputer Fugaku, developed b Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray’s Emerging Market & Technology Director Arti Garg Peers Around HPC/AI Corner

May 23, 2019

In her position as emerging market and technology director at Cray, Arti Garg doesn't just have a front-row seat to the future of computing, she plays an active role in making that future happen. Key to Garg's role is understanding how deep learning scientists are using state-of-the-art HPC infrastructures and figuring out how to push those limits further. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Combining Machine Learning and Supercomputing to Ferret out Phishing Attacks

May 23, 2019

The relentless ingenuity that drives cyber hacking is a global engine that knows no rest. Anyone with a laptop and run-of-the-mill computer smarts can buy or rent a phishing kit and start attacking – or it can be done Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture: How to Power a Cloud

Learn how HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture provide critical infrastructure for leading Nordic HPC provider’s HPCFLOW cloud service.

For decades, HPE has been at the forefront of high-performance computing, and we’ve powered some of the fastest and most robust supercomputers in the world. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Who’s Driving Your Car?

Delivering a fully autonomous driving (AD) vehicle remains a key priority for both manufacturers and technology firms (“firms”). However, passenger safety is now a top-of-mind concern due in great part, to fatalities resulting from driving tests over the past years. Read more…

TACC’s Upgraded Ranch Data Storage System Debuts New Features, Exabyte Potential

May 22, 2019

There's a joke attributed to comedian Steven Wright that goes, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" Users of advanced computing can likely relate to this. The exponential growth of data poses a steep challenge to efforts for its reliable storage. For over 12 years, the Ranch system at the Texas Advanced Computing Center... Read more…

By Jorge Salazar, TACC

Cray’s Emerging Market & Technology Director Arti Garg Peers Around HPC/AI Corner

May 23, 2019

In her position as emerging market and technology director at Cray, Arti Garg doesn't just have a front-row seat to the future of computing, she plays an active role in making that future happen. Key to Garg's role is understanding how deep learning scientists are using state-of-the-art HPC infrastructures and figuring out how to push those limits further. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Combining Machine Learning and Supercomputing to Ferret out Phishing Attacks

May 23, 2019

The relentless ingenuity that drives cyber hacking is a global engine that knows no rest. Anyone with a laptop and run-of-the-mill computer smarts can buy or re Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

HPE to Acquire Cray for $1.3B

May 17, 2019

Venerable supercomputer pioneer Cray Inc. will be acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise for $1.3 billion under a definitive agreement announced this morning. T Read more…

By Doug Black & Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

CCC Offers Draft 20-Year AI Roadmap; Seeks Comments

May 14, 2019

Artificial Intelligence in all its guises has captured much of the conversation in HPC and general computing today. The White House, DARPA, IARPA, and Departmen Read more…

By John Russell

Cascade Lake Shows Up to 84 Percent Gen-on-Gen Advantage on STAC Benchmarking

May 13, 2019

The Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC) issued a report Friday comparing the performance of Intel's Cascade Lake processors with previous-gen Skylake u Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Claims 6000x Speed-Up for Stock Trading Backtest Benchmark

May 13, 2019

A stock trading backtesting algorithm used by hedge funds to simulate trading variants has received a massive, GPU-based performance boost, according to Nvidia, Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

Arm Unveils Neoverse N1 Platform with up to 128-Cores

February 20, 2019

Following on its Neoverse roadmap announcement last October, Arm today revealed its next-gen Neoverse microarchitecture with compute and throughput-optimized si Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Cascade Lake Xeons with Up to 56 Cores

April 2, 2019

At Intel's Data-Centric Innovation Day in San Francisco (April 2), the company unveiled its second-generation Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) family and debuted it Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Announcing four new HPC capabilities in Google Cloud Platform

April 15, 2019

When you’re running compute-bound or memory-bound applications for high performance computing or large, data-dependent machine learning training workloads on Read more…

By Wyatt Gorman, HPC Specialist, Google Cloud; Brad Calder, VP of Engineering, Google Cloud; Bart Sano, VP of Platforms, Google Cloud

In Wake of Nvidia-Mellanox: Xilinx to Acquire Solarflare

April 25, 2019

With echoes of Nvidia’s recent acquisition of Mellanox, FPGA maker Xilinx has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Solarflare Communications, provider Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Claims 6000x Speed-Up for Stock Trading Backtest Benchmark

May 13, 2019

A stock trading backtesting algorithm used by hedge funds to simulate trading variants has received a massive, GPU-based performance boost, according to Nvidia, Read more…

By Doug Black

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This