AWS and Intel have a long history of developing custom cloud solutions, including Amazon EC2 instances powered by Intel processor technologies. AWS’s recent release of new bare metal instances powered by Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors represents the latest chapter in this history of the two companies working together to empower customers to move faster and adopt next-generation technologies. Beneficiaries of these new bare metal instances will include customers of VMware Cloud on AWS, among others.
VMware Cloud on AWS
Three years ago, the launch of VMware Cloud on AWS introduced a fully managed offering in which the VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) stack ran directly on bare-metal AWS infrastructure. This offering brought VMware’s enterprise-class SDDC software to the AWS Cloud as a service. It also enabled customers to run production applications across VMware vSphere-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments, with optimized access to AWS services.
This on-demand service enables IT teams to seamlessly extend, migrate, and manage their cloud-based resources with familiar VMware tools. It accelerates cloud migrations by eliminating the need to re-architect enterprise applications, thanks to consistent infrastructure across VMware vSphere-based private clouds and the AWS Cloud.
Most customers of VMware Cloud on AWS have been using Amazon EC2 i3.metal powered by Intel Xeon E5-2686 v4 (Broadwell) processors with up to 36 hyper-threaded cores and 512 GiB of memory. The latest release of VMware Cloud on AWS, which can now run on i3en.metal instances powered by 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, includes new capabilities that provide an enhanced solution for disaster recovery and application migration to the cloud.
New host type for VMware Cloud on AWS
AWS recently announced the general availability of EC2 I3en.metal instances, powered by 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) processors with up to 48 hyper-threaded cores and 768 GiB of memory.
These new I3en.metal instances, optimized for data-intensive workloads, are now the ideal host for VMware Cloud on AWS. With faster processors, more cores, more memory, more storage, and more network bandwidth, “each dollar investment in i3en.metal can potentially yield a 22% increase in performance value over i3.metal,” according to VMware.
Intel® Mesh architecture optimizes data sharing and memory access between all vCPUs to fully take advantage of the 1.5x more memory for efficient and scalable data flow in virtualized environments. This architecture maximizes performance while enabling consistent, low latencies.
AWS has also lowered the entry price 33% by making available a new 2-host configuration, whereas the previous entry level had been a 3-host configuration. This option is attractive for customers who might want to start slowly with a relatively simple use case such as disaster recovery.
Enabling powerful virtualized scenarios
This new I3en.metal instance will benefit virtualized workloads with higher storage densities and those that need high read/write performance from storage. Examples of workloads that will benefit from these new instances include high-performance computing and analytics, data warehousing, distributed file systems, and large databases of all kinds.