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Press Release

Oracle Unlocks Power of Arm-based Processors at One Cent per Core Hour, Expanding Ecosystem, and Speeding App Development

Industry’s most generous free tier gives developers four Ampere A1 cores and 24 GB Always Free to build Arm-based apps on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

OCI Ampere A1 platform supported by investments in leading open source projects porting to Arm for efficiency and price-performance

Austin, Texas—May 25, 2021
Arm and Ampere

To help customers and developers take advantage of Arm® technology, Oracle is providing tools, solutions, and support to fuel Arm-based application development. Oracle today also announced that its first Arm-based compute offering, OCI Ampere A1 Compute, is available on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Now, customers can run cloud-native and general-purpose workloads on Arm-based instances with significant price-performance benefits. Oracle is the only major cloud provider offering Arm-based compute instances at only one cent per core hour, the industry’s lowest cost per core, with flexible VM sizing from 1 to 80 OCPUs and 1 to 64 GB of memory per core or as a bare-metal service with 160 cores and 1 TB of memory. Customers can now deploy Arm-optimized applications on containers, bare metal servers, and virtual machines in the Oracle public cloud, or Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer.

“We see increasing demand for server-side Arm computing and adding Arm-based compute instances to our extensive portfolio of offerings enables customers to pick and choose the right processors for their workloads,” said Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “Now customers who need an Arm platform for development can get the flexibility, scalability, and price-performance they need. We’re also making it really easy for developers to move their apps and develop new ones on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.”

“Ampere instances on OCI is a breakthrough for developers. Oracle’s Free Tier is a great offering that allows them to test the OCI Ampere A1 compute platform and experience the first-cloud native processor that delivers predictable performance, scalability and power needed,” said Renee James, founder, chairman and CEO, Ampere Computing. “The Oracle Cloud has all the tools developers need to try new technology, get excited about new platforms and develop new applications.”

“The infrastructure industry has been bound to a one-size-fits-all approach to computing, but the next era of compute relies on secure and powerful purpose-built processing,” said Chris Bergey, SVP and GM, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “By bringing to market Arm-based OCI Ampere A1 Compute instances, Oracle is giving customers and developers a choice that is flexible and able to deliver a new level of price-performance to further enable innovation in the cloud.”  

 

New Arm Accelerator Program, Oracle Cloud Free Tier, and App Development Ecosystem

Oracle is investing in the Arm ecosystem, providing developers with more choice in compute instances and superior price-performance compared to any other x86 instance on a per core basis. Three distinct offerings are available to developers to get started on OCI. With Oracle Cloud Free Tier, developers receive US$300 in free credits for 30 days. The Always Free Arm access gives developers four Ampere A1 cores and 24 GB memory – one of the industry’s most generous offerings. Lastly, with the newly launched Arm Accelerator program, open source developers, ISV partners, customers and universities with Arm-based development projects that need more resources beyond what the Oracle Cloud Free Tier provides, can apply to receive Oracle Cloud credits for a 12-month period.

Oracle’s development stack is available on Ampere A1 instances, including Oracle Linux, Java, MySQL, GraalVM, and the Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) service. To make it easy for developers to get started, Oracle created an Oracle Linux Cloud Developer image which enables customers to install, configure, and launch a development environment that includes OCI client tools, utilities, and common programming languages such as Java, GraalVM, Python, PHP, Node.js, Go and C/C++. The developer image is easily accessible and can be deployed from the OCI console.

To help customers take advantage of the latest in Arm technology, Oracle is working closely with a wide variety of technology and open source partners, such as GitLab, Jenkins, Rancher, Datadog, OnSpecta, NGINX, and Genymobile. To help grow and enrich the Arm developer ecosystem, Oracle also announced that it is joining the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), an open source, vendor-neutral community for sustaining the fastest growing CI/CD open source projects.

 

New Ampere® Altra® Processor Running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Arm architectures are extremely efficient, scalable and flexible, making the processor suitable for everything from smartphones, IoT devices, PCs, automotive and industrial applications, to supercomputers and servers. From the edge to the cloud, customers can take advantage of Oracle’s range of compute options, its powerful bare metal servers and one of the industry’s first Arm-based flexible virtual machine shapes so they can right-size their workloads. Now customers can more precisely build their virtual machines to match workload requirements, so they can get the best performance while optimizing costs. These compute shapes are truly general purpose and suitable for running a diverse set of compute-intensive workloads including:

  • General Purpose: The OCI Ampere A1 Compute provides superior price-performance for general purpose workloads, such as web servers, application servers and containers. These shapes offer balanced performance and an optimal price point for cloud-based scale-out workloads, such as NGINX and web applications.
  • In-memory Caches and Databases: From databases to analytics, Arm processors deliver predictable performance for databases, such as Redis and MySQL. Memory-heavy workloads and multithreaded applications, such as in-memory databases and key-value stores, experience superior performance.
  • Mobile Application Development: Ampere Altra’s high core count (up to 160) is ideal for the density and scale needed for mobile application development and testing. In addition, developing iOS or Android-based applications on the OCI Ampere A1 Compute eliminates the need for an emulator or nested virtualization, leading to superior performance.
  • Computationally-intensive and Scientific Applications: Arm processors provide the price-performance benefits that make it a commonly used platform for high-performance, compute-intensive and scientific applications such as AI/ML inferencing, media transcoding, and running HPC stacks like CFD, WRF, OPENFAM, GROMACS, BLAST, BeeGFS, and NAMD.

Powered by Ampere Altra processors, the OCI Ampere A1 Compute is the only flexible Arm-based virtual machine shape in the industry that can be customized based on memory and core requirements. It is one of the industry’s first penny-core server in the cloud at only $0.01 per core per hour and $0.0015 per GB of RAM per hour. Ampere’s choice of using a single threaded core, plus sustained 3.0Ghz maximum frequency, results in linear scaling with respect to the cores. This means performance-per-core scales well as the core count increases, helping ensure customers get exactly what they pay for. Ampere’s Altra processors can run all cores at the maximum frequency, ensuring that each A1 core offers predictable performance. In addition, the cores are completely isolated from the noisy neighbor impact of other workloads running on the same processor. Each core is single threaded by design with its own 64 KB L1 I-cache, 64 KB L1 D-cache and a huge one MB L2 D-cache. This helps ensure as much isolation as possible and guarantees predictable performance. The single threaded design also ensures that each thread has its own core and its own resources, eliminating the potential core sharing thread-security issues that have been demonstrated recently. The OCI Ampere A1 Compute shapes are available as both virtual machines up to 80 cores and bare metal instances up to 160 cores.

In terms of benchmarks, when running x264 video encoding workloads on OCI Ampere A1, Oracle saw up to a 10 percent performance increase, and up to a 22 percent price-performance benefit compared to x86 based systems. For NGINX reverse proxy workloads on OCI Ampere A1, Oracle saw up to a 46 percent performance increase, and up to a 62 percent price-performance benefit compared to x86 based systems.

 

What Customers, Analysts and Partners are Saying

“In our research, we need quick access to the latest computing technologies to help us solve complex scientific problems at breakneck speed. With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we have gained early access to the latest Arm-based Ampere A1 Compute to get the superior performance and power efficiencies needed to scale our High Performance Computing workloads instantly. In terms of performance per dollar and in terms of cost, it gets even more compelling, which is very exciting,” said Simon McIntosh-Smith, Head of the HPC Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol.

“Heterogeneous computing is the next front for Cloud Service Providers. As customers shift to cloud native approaches for their performance intensive computing applications, they will no doubt increase their investment in Arm-based instances from such providers. Oracle’s announcement on Arm-powered instances for OCI and Cloud@Customer is a timely move to tap into companies in the midst of this shift,” said Ashish Nadkarni, GVP, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group, IDC.

“The Oracle-Ampere collaboration has resulted in a compelling Arm-based platform for developers and enterprises alike. With low entry cost, variable deployment size and the ability to deploy in the public cloud or on premises with Cloud@Customer, the A1 Compute instance offers the best mix of long-term scalability and near-term accessibility. As the Arm ecosystem continues to develop, the breadth of deployments and use cases will only continue to grow with it, enabling further adoption of Arm-based infrastructure. The A1 instance is a great first step for OCI towards bringing that future forward,” said Kuba Stolarski, Research Director, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group, IDC.

“The need to optimize applications so they can deliver price, performance, and energy efficiency has seen attention shift from x86 to Arm-based processors. OCI with the Ampere Arm offering provides choice to Oracle customers, and the free for life offering is ideal for developers to use. With 4 cores and 24 GB RAM, developers have a really usable free offering for AI/ML training use cases,” said Roy Illsley, Chief Analyst, Omdia.

“Arm-based wafers are ten times the volume of any other chip design, which drives the fabrication learning curve quicker, makes the processors faster and lower power, and dramatically lowers the cost of compute. In addition, Arm has developed many different types of specialized SoC processors which can perform over ten times faster for specialized workloads,” said David Floyer, CTO and Co-Founder, Wikibon. “The Ampere A1 Compute processor is designed for cloud providers with hundreds of cores with consistent performance easily shared between large numbers of users. Oracle has migrated its OCI codebase and tools to Arm. A small investment by users to migrate and test their applications will lead to 20 percent plus faster performance and 40 percent plus lower price-performance—one cent per core hour. Wikibon recommends OCI users try it out on their high-cost workloads.”

“We at CDF believe that Jenkins adding support for the new Ampere A1 Compute offering on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is an important step forward. Jenkins automation support for the new Arm architecture on OCI will jumpstart the development of Arm native applications and drive more innovation,” said Tracy Miranda, executive director, Continuous Delivery Foundation. “Support of Jenkins on Oracle Cloud’s Intel, AMD, and Arm compute shapes is an example of Oracle’s laser-like focus on meeting customer requirements.”

“The Ampere A1 Compute platform on OCI with Genymotion gives developers the ability to build, test and deploy natively all on the same infrastructure. It provides better accuracy, performance, code coverage, and density of virtual devices on servers. We believe so strongly in the value proposition of Arm-based servers that we ported Genymotion software to Arm over a year ago. Genymotion customers who are using our platform for sales, demonstrations, VMI, gaming and social media use cases could experience a performance increase, in some cases as much as 10x, using OCI Arm-based Ampere A1 compute shapes,” said Tim Danford, CEO, Genymobile.

“We’re happy to announce the availability of Jenkins automation software on the Ampere A1 Compute platform for building, deploying, and automating projects on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” said Olivier Vernin, Infrastructure Officer, Jenkins. “Now developers can use Jenkins and start building the next generation of applications easily on the latest Arm-based processors in Oracle Cloud.”

“We are excited to announce that GitLab has extended and added CI/CD support for Arm Ampere A1 Compute shapes. Teams using Oracle Cloud can now easily deploy GitLab using the ‘Deploy to Oracle Cloud’ button, allowing developers to quickly build and deploy applications on both Arm and x86 platforms,” said Mayank Tahilramani, director of partnerships and alliances at GitLab. “With this capability and using the Always Free Arm on Oracle Cloud, customers can easily gain access to a cloud environment to build, test, and run continuous integration and deployment of Arm-based applications for as long as they want.”

“NGINX Plus for Arm-based deployments just got a lot easier. Developers using OCI Ampere A1 Compute instances can now quickly deploy NGINX Plus on both Arm and x86 platforms,” said Stuart Shader, senior manager, business development, NGINX. “With this capability and using the Always Free Arm on OCI, customers can gain access to a cloud environment to deploy NGINX Plus Arm-based applications for as long as they want.” 

“GitHub Actions provides developers powerful, flexible, secure automation right in GitHub. We are excited to work with Oracle to bring choice to developers by ensuring GitHub Actions is supported for the OCI Ampere A1 Compute platform. GitHub Actions runners support Arm architectures, and we are encouraged to see partners like Oracle validate this technology to bring GitHub Actions to more developers and teams,” said Joe Bourne, director, product management, GitHub.

“Customers are increasingly demanding multi-architecture support within the cloud-native environments—Oracle Cloud Infrastructure introduces innovation with Arm on this front. Our goal is to extend our Arm support even deeper with the new release of SUSE Rancher by adding support for provisioning multi-arch OKE clusters. When it comes to Arm, we simply want to say yes to most use cases—including Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, on premises or at the edge with Oracle Cloud Hybrid options,” said Keith Basil, vice president, product and cloud native infrastructure, SUSE.

“OnSpecta offers a Deep Learning Software Inference Engine (DLS) which optimizes and accelerates the performance of a customer’s Oracle Cloud Inference Instance when deployed on Ampere Computing Servers up to 10x. The Ampere A1 Compute platform is a great fit for AI inference workloads because its Arm-based architecture delivers superior performance per watt of power, resulting in a meaningfully lower total cost of ownership. Oracle cloud inferences, powered by Ampere Altra servers with OnSpecta’s inference engine deliver 3x the cost performance of Graviton and 2x the cost performance of Intel x86,” said Indra Mohan, CEO, OnSpecta.

“We’re excited to extend Datadog support to the new OCI Ampere A1 Compute shapes on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We’ve seen a growing number of Datadog customers choose the Arm platform to improve application performance and lower costs,” said Jimmy Caputo, director, product management, Datadog. “With the Datadog Agent for Ampere A1 on OCI, Oracle customers can use Datadog to determine the best shapes for their workloads, track migrations from other compute platforms, and get a unified view into the health and performance of their environment.”

“We chose OCI Ampere A1 for the enormous processing power it gives API AutoFlow, which allows our customers to run an unlimited number of microservices, transform data in real-time, and expose them through custom APIs,” said Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer, Interactor.

“Elotl is obsessed with enabling enterprises to consume right-sized cost-effective compute for Kubernetes applications. We are thrilled to see the arrival of the OCI Ampere A1 Compute in the cloud compute market! The Ampere A1 Compute provides a fantastic low-cost, high-performant commodity compute option for our customers like Ronin - we cannot wait to put them to use,” said Madhuri Yechuri, Founder and CEO, Elotl Inc.

“Ronin is working to significantly impact cancer treatment with data. We must take advantage of all healthcare-specific cloud-agnostic IaaS and PaaS offerings as they become available. We are thrilled to see Oracle’s newly released faster and cheaper Ampere A1 Compute instances and the ability to use these effortlessly via the Elotl interface,” said Denali Lumma, vice president, Engineering, Project Ronin.

“Canoncial’s Anbox Cloud solution now benefits from the performance and density associated with the new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Ampere A1 Compute instances. Ubuntu is now also available on the Ampere A1 instances. We’re excited to see Oracle take part in the expansion of the developer ecosystem and it’s great news, as running hundreds of Android containers for automation use cases just became so much easier and cost effective,” said Regis Paquette, vice president, Global Alliances, Public Cloud and Channels, Canonical.

 

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