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Save Earth and Save Cloud Cost: The Benefits of AWS Graviton

In recent years, the Arm-based processors of Amazon Web Services (AWS), known as AWS Graviton, have created quite a stir in the public cloud market. Traditionally, the Arm architecture has been associated with less demanding devices such as smartphones. However, AWS has leveraged this technology for enterprise-grade purposes, causing a seismic shift in the cloud computing landscape.

This blog post delves into the world of AWS Graviton, its evolution into Graviton2, and what it means for businesses and the environment.

Introducing AWS Graviton

In 2018, AWS launched Graviton - a series of server processors built on Arm architecture. These were designed for the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) virtual machine instances. With its custom silicon and 64-bit Neoverse cores, the EC2 A1 instances support Arm-based applications, including web servers, distributed data centers, caching fleets, and containerized microservices.

The birth of Graviton was fueled by the realization that many Amazon EC2 customers were underutilizing their EC2 capacities. AWS seized this opportunity to offer a broader choice and cater to Arm-based applications, while also ensuring high availability, security, and decent server performance at lower prices.

The Evolution: Graviton2

Fast forward to 2020, and AWS unveiled Graviton2 - a quantum leap in terms of performance and efficiency. This new processor promised 40% better price-performance than comparable X86 processors, and 7X better than the first-generation AWS Graviton. Alongside these impressive stats, Graviton2 boasted 4X more compute cores, 5X faster memory, and 2X larger caches.

Graviton2 also introduced key improvements for developers to create secure, scalable cloud-native apps, including the always-on 256-bit DRAM encryption.

Graviton: A Green Technology

One of the most significant benefits of the Graviton processors is their lower power consumption. This is an essential aspect of green technology - offering superior performance while reducing energy usage. By consuming less power, Graviton processors help to reduce the carbon footprint of data centers.

This eco-friendly advantage aligns with the increasing focus on environmental sustainability within the tech industry. Businesses can not only improve their performance and efficiency but also contribute to a greener planet by choosing Graviton.

Increased Performance at a Lower Cost

Graviton processors don't just offer green benefits; they also deliver superior performance at a lower cost. This is a game-changer for cloud computing providers as it allows them to scale their infrastructure swiftly without investing in additional hardware.

The enhanced virtualization capabilities further contribute to the cost-effectiveness of Graviton processors. They can support multiple virtualized workloads on a single processor, allowing for greater scalability and more efficient resource utilization. As such, cloud providers can quickly and comfortably adjust the resources allocated to each virtualized workload, ensuring customers receive optimal performance at the lowest possible cost.

AWS Graviton Benchmarks

Several benchmarks have shown that AWS Graviton2 processors outperform their x86 counterparts in many scenarios, despite being cheaper. Both AnandTech and InfoWorld's benchmark tests have demonstrated that Graviton2-based instances often lead in raw performance and provide up to 40% better price-performance than comparable x86-based instances.

Wrapping Up

With high performance, cost-effectiveness, and green technology, AWS Graviton and Graviton2 processors offer a compelling alternative to traditional x86 servers. The transition to ARM architecture may require some initial work, but the long-term benefits in terms of cost savings, performance improvements, and environmental impact make it a worthwhile investment for many organizations.

As we move towards a greener and more cost-efficient future, the adoption of ARM-based servers like AWS Graviton is set to soar.

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