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!

Is Amazon’s Plunge into Server Chips a Watershed Moment?

December 11, 2018

For several years now the big cloud providers – Amazon, Microsoft Azure, Google, et al – have been transforming from technology consumers into technology creators in hardware and software. The most recent example bei Read more…

By John Russell

Mellanox Uses Univa to Extend Silicon Design HPC Operation to Azure

December 11, 2018

Call it a corollary to Murphy’s Law: When a system is most in demand, when end users are most dependent on the system performing as required, when it’s crunch time – that’s when the system is most likely to blow up. Or make you wait in line to use it. Read more…

By Doug Black

Clemson’s Cautionary Cryptomining Tale

December 11, 2018

In some ways, the bigger the computer, the more vulnerable it is to cryptomining as Clemson University discovered after cryptominers dug into its Palmetto supercomputer. When a number of nodes on Clemson University’s P Read more…

By Staff

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

AI Can Be Scary. But Choosing the Wrong Partners Can Be Mortifying!

As you continue to dive deeper into AI, you will discover it is more than just deep learning. AI is an extremely complex set of machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement, and analytics algorithms with varying compute, storage, memory, and communications needs. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Blurring the Lines Between HPC and AI @ SC18

The dominant topic at SC18 was the convergence of HPC and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with some of the biggest research and enterprise HPC users providing perspectives on how HPC and AI are moving closer together. Read more…

Data West Brings Technology Leaders to SDSC

December 6, 2018

Data and technology enthusiasts from around the world descended upon the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC) for the third annual Data West conference, which is taking place this week on the campus of the University o Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Topology Can Help Us Find Patterns in Weather

December 6, 2018

Topology--–the study of shapes-- seems to be all the rage. You could even say that data has shape, and shape matters. Shapes are comfortable and familiar conc Read more…

By James Reinders

Zettascale by 2035? China Thinks So

December 6, 2018

Exascale machines (of at least a 1 exaflops peak) are anticipated to arrive by around 2020, a few years behind original predictions; and given extreme-scale performance challenges are not getting any easier, it makes sense that researchers are already looking ahead to the next big 1,000x performance goal post: zettascale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Robust Quantum Computers Still a Decade Away, Says Nat’l Academies Report

December 5, 2018

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine yesterday released a report – Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects – whose optimism about Read more…

By John Russell

Revisiting the 2008 Exascale Computing Study at SC18

November 29, 2018

A report published a decade ago conveyed the results of a study aimed at determining if it were possible to achieve 1000X the computational power of the the Read more…

By Scott Gibson

AWS Debuts Lustre as a Service, Accelerates Data Transfer

November 28, 2018

From the Amazon re:Invent main stage in Las Vegas today, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy introduced Amazon FSx for Lustre, citing a growing body of applicati Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Launches First Arm Cloud Instances

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 Read more…

By Doug Black

Move Over Lustre & Spectrum Scale – Here Comes BeeGFS?

November 26, 2018

Is BeeGFS – the parallel file system with European roots – on a path to compete with Lustre and Spectrum Scale worldwide in HPC environments? Frank Herold Read more…

By John Russell

DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar Interviewed at SC18

November 21, 2018

During the 30th annual SC conference in Dallas last week, SC18 hosted U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul M. Dabbar. In attendance Nov. 13-14, Dabbar delivered remarks at the Top500 panel, met with a number of industry stakeholders and toured the show floor. He also met with HPCwire for an interview, where we discussed the role of the DOE in advancing leadership computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM at Hot Chips: What’s Next for Power

August 23, 2018

With processor, memory and networking technologies all racing to fill in for an ailing Moore’s law, the era of the heterogeneous datacenter is well underway, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

TACC’s ‘Frontera’ Supercomputer Expands Horizon for Extreme-Scale Science

August 29, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the Texas Advanced Computing Center announced today that a new system, called Frontera, will overtake Stampede 2 as the fast Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE No. 1, IBM Surges, in ‘Bucking Bronco’ High Performance Server Market

September 27, 2018

Riding healthy U.S. and global economies, strong demand for AI-capable hardware and other tailwind trends, the high performance computing server market jumped 28 percent in the second quarter 2018 to $3.7 billion, up from $2.9 billion for the same period last year, according to industry analyst firm Hyperion Research. Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

Germany Celebrates Launch of Two Fastest Supercomputers

September 26, 2018

The new high-performance computer SuperMUC-NG at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) in Garching is the fastest computer in Germany and one of the fastest i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Houston to Field Massive, ‘Geophysically Configured’ Cloud Supercomputer

October 11, 2018

Based on some news stories out today, one might get the impression that the next system to crack number one on the Top500 would be an industrial oil and gas mon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Machine Learning “What-If” Analysis Tool

September 12, 2018

Training machine learning models has long been time-consuming process. Yesterday, Google released a “What-If Tool” for probing how data point changes affect a model’s prediction. The new tool is being launched as a new feature of the open source TensorBoard web application... Read more…

By John Russell

The Convergence of Big Data and Extreme-Scale HPC

August 31, 2018

As we are heading towards extreme-scale HPC coupled with data intensive analytics like machine learning, the necessary integration of big data and HPC is a curr Read more…

By Rob Farber

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