In what may be the least surprising release this year, Amazon AWS EC2 now supports Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs with a new generation of C5 instances. Amazon AWS is certainly considered one of the major consumers of server infrastructure so it is little surprise to see that they are not using an off-the-shelf CPU. We know Intel does customizations for its largest customers and disables IP blocks/ alters features for retail CPUs. This is the latest example of that trend.
New Amazon AWS EC2 C5 Instances
Here are the quick specs on the new instance types including pricing.
|Model||vCPU||Memory (GiB)||Storage||EBS Bandwidth||$/hour
|c5.large||2||4||EBS Optimized||Up to 2,250 Mbps||0.085|
|c5.xlarge||4||8||EBS Optmized||Up to 2,250 Mbps||0.17|
|c5.2xlarge||8||16||EBS Optimized||Up to 2,250 Mbps||0.34|
|c5.4xlarge||16||32||EBS Optimized||2,250 Mbps||0.68|
|c5.9xlarge||36||72||EBS Optimized||4,500 Mbps||1.53|
|c5.18xlarge||72||144||EBS Optimized||9,000 Mbps||3.06|
Amazon AWS EC2 C5 instances are powered by 3.0GHz CPUs with a max single core turbo boost of 3.5GHz. At the time of this writing, Intel has three listed CPUs with that base clock, the Intel Xeon Platinum 8158, the Gold 6154 and Gold 6136. All three CPUs have a 3.7GHz max turbo frequency. Intel and Amazon did not comment on the model number as they have done with previous generations.
What AWS and Intel did discuss was the fact that the new instances have more memory, more vCPUs and more memory to vCPUs than the previous generation C5 instances. AWS also touts that customers can use the new AVX-512 instruction set for 2x the FLOPS per cycle. This makes us believe that they are using dual port FMA AVX-512 as found on the Intel Xeon Platinum and Gold 6100 series.
If you want to read more about the AWS C5 compute instance type you can read more here. Overall new instance types are a good thing but we now see Amazon having to do something that on-prem IT admins have done for decades, differentiating features based on hardware generation even for simple compute nodes.