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Oracle debuts low-cost Arm compute instances

Oracle is offering Arm instances powered by Ampere’s Altra processors at one cent per core hour as enterprises look to deploy more Arm-based workloads

Oracle is offering Arm-based compute services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to address the growing number of workloads designed to take advantage of the price and performance benefits of the Arm architecture.

Called OCI Ampere A1 Compute, the service will provide Arm compute instances powered by Ampere Computing’s Altra processors at one cent per core hour, a price point that is the first of its kind in the industry, according to Moor Insights & Strategy (MI&S).

The efficiency, scalability and flexibility of the Arm architecture makes it suitable for a wide variety of workloads, from internet of things (IoT) devices to supercomputers and servers.

In Asia-Pacific, in particular, businesses are deploying more industry-edge applications, real-time analytics and IoT as they seek to improve operations and deliver new experiences for customers,” said Chris Chelliah, Oracle’s senior vice-president for technology and customer strategy in the region. “This is what ARM architectures deliver and with the price performance on offer we expect to see rapid uptake in the region.”

Along with the launch of Ampere AI, Oracle is also doing its part to grow the Arm ecosystem through Oracle Cloud Free Tier and a free access programme that gives developers four Ampere A1 cores and 24 GB memory.

Kuba Stolarski, research director for infrastructure systems, platforms and technologies group at IDC, said with its low entry cost, variable deployment size and ability to deploy in the public cloud or on-premise 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,” he added.

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MI&S said based on performance profiles, Ampere A1 Compute is well-suited for bare metal servers running workloads that require isolation, visibility and complete control, as well as performance-hungry workloads such as machine learning inferencing, among others.

On what separates Ampere A1 Compute from the crowd, MI&S said apart from the low cost and openness of the service, the ability to shape virtual environments tailored to specific needs – from one to 80 cores and up to 512GB of DDR4 memory – enables customers to pay for actual resources consumed.

“Contrast this with other billing models where a customer orders a sized instance that is usually calculated to support peak usage. At the end of a billing cycle, that size is paid for, even as unused compute capacity is left on the table,” it added.

The technology consulting firm noted that Oracle’s embrace of Arm to drive its next-generation cloud speaks to the validity of Arm in the enterprise market.

“Long gone are the days of proprietary hardware supporting a proprietary software stack that increases in cost and complexity over time,” it said.

Oracle is the latest cloud supplier to offer Arm compute instances following similar moves by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Alibaba Cloud which have either started offering Arm-based compute services or are planning to do so.

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