AWS adopts AMD for some cloudy servers

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AWS adopts AMD for some cloudy servers

Pitched as a cost-saving solution for cloud workloads.

Semiconductor vendor AMD has scored itself a place in Amazon Web Services' data centres, announcing a partnership to offer EC2 instances based on its AMD Epyc processors.

The instances will be available in three variants of the existing R5 and M5 EC2 instance types. AMD-powered T3 instances will become available in the future.

The R5 and M5 instances will be available in six sizes going up to 69 vCPUs, providing up to 768 GB of memory. The T3 instances will be available in 7 sizes with up to 7 vCPUs and 32 GB of memory. All new instances can be purchased on-demand, reserved or in spot instances.

AMD and AWS pitched the new instances as a cost-saving alternative available for general purpose and memory optimised cloud workloads. AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr said the customised EPYC processors run at 2.5 GHz and cost 10 percent less than comparable instances.

"They are designed to be used for workloads that don’t use all of compute power available to them, and provide you with a new opportunity to optimise your instance mix based on cost and performance," Barr added.

AMD senior vice president of data centre and embedded solutions Forrest Norrod added that the addition of AMD-based instances marked a significant milestone for the adoption of high-performance CPUs in the cloud.

“The powerful combination of cores, memory bandwidth and I/O on AMD EPYC processors create a highly differentiated solution that can offer lower TCO for our customers and lower prices for the end-user," Norrod said.

"Working with AWS, the number one provider in cloud services, has been amazing for the AMD team and we are excited to see the new instances come online today for their customers.”

The AMD-based instances are already available in some AWS data centres across the Asia-Pacific, the US and Ireland.

The news is sure to come as a blow to Intel, which has hitherto dominated Amazon's server fleet. Intel's share price was approximately down 1.5 percent after the announcement, while AMD's stock rise by close to four percent.

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