AWS' Graviton2 M6g instances generally available: Watch demand closely

AWS' M6g instances are generally available and the company plans more options shortly. Now we'll see if AWS' home-grown ARM processors are going to be disruptive.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Amazon Web Services will soon find out what demand looks like for its home-grown ARM-based Graviton2 instances.

The company said its 6th generation Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) General Purpose instance is generally available. These instances, dubbed M6g, run on AWS' Graviton2 processor, an Arm chip designed by the cloud provider and its Annapurna Labs unit.

As detailed previously at AWS re:Invent 2019, the Graviton2 effort is going to be closely watched. For starters, AWS is squeezing more out of its servers and boosting returns and data center efficiency. And by passing on Graviton2 savings to customers there is a decent chance that select workloads will move from Intel and AMD instances to Graviton2.

AWS said in a blog post that it will develop compute optimized C6g instances and memory optimized R6g instances based on its Graviton2 chip.

The ARM-based instances are enabled by AWS' Nitro virtualization layer that abstracts hardware.

M6g instances are available in 8 sizes with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 48, and 64 vCPUs and as bare metal. Configurations are available with up to 256 GiB of memory, 25 Gbps of network performance, and 19 Gbps of EBS bandwidth.

AWS has claimed up to a 40% boost on cost-performance relative to its M5 instances. M6g instances are best suited for application servers, gaming servers, mid-size databases and caching fleets.

The Graviton2 instances have been in preview with a bevy of customers including Netflix, Redbox, Nielsen and Hotelbeds. The M6g instances are available in AWS regions including US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo).

Wedbush strategist Brad Gastwirth said: 

We see AWS' new parts as another threat to Intel's server CPU monopoly, though we believe any transition will be elongated. If this architecture gains traction, TSMC (which we believe fabs Amazon's current Graviton2 parts) is a likely beneficiary.

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