Oracle launches Arm instances, support for Arm-based app development

The new OCI Ampere A1 instances are priced at one cent per core hour.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Oracle on Tuesday announced that its first Arm-based compute offering, OCI Ampere A1 Compute, is available on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). 

In conjunction with the launch, Oracle is working with the open-source and CI/CD community to support Arm-based application development. It's also offering the new Arm instances via its free tier, and it's expanding its free tier offerings with a program called Arm Accelerator.

Also: Ampere Altra Max 128-core server processor available as the company lays out a 5 nm roadmap

The new instances are priced at only one cent per core hour, which Oracle says is the best price-performance compared to any other x86 instance on a per core basis. Additionally, Oracle offers flexible VM sizing. Customers can now deploy Arm-optimized applications on containers, bare-metal servers, virtual machines in OCI or in Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer deployments. 

Oracle's launch adds to the growing list of partners Arm has that are bringing specialized processing to the cloud, HPC and elsewhere.

"Arm has dominated the mobile industry, the IoT industry, and we're at an inflexion point where Arm is ready and able to take on server-side computing," Bev Crair, SVP of Compute for Oracle, said to ZDNet

Now, Crair continued, "in order to get application developers on the server-side environment really enabled in an Arm environment, you actually have to invest in the Arm ecosystem." 

To that end, Oracle's development stack is available on the A1 instances, which includes Oracle Linux, Java, MySQL, GraalVM and the Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) service. Oracle has also created an Oracle Linux Cloud Developer image to help customers to install, configure, and launch a development environment that includes all of the OCI client tools. 

Oracle is also ensuring that developers' favorite tools are available. For instance, teams using the Oracle Cloud can now easily deploy GitLab, GitHub or Jenkins using a "Deploy to Oracle Cloud" button. Oracle also announced that it is joining the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), an open-source, vendor-neutral community for sustaining CI/CD open source projects.

Developers can access A1 instances using the Oracle Cloud Free Tier, which offers $300 in free credits for 30 days. The Always Free Arm access gives developers four A1 cores and 24 GB memory. The new Arm Accelerator program offers Oracle Cloud credits for a 12-month period. 

In addition to serving developers in the mobile and IoT space, Crair said there's interesting Arm development happening in the HPC space. The University of Bristol, for instance, gained early access to Oracle's Ampere A1 instances to scale its HPC workloads. 

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