Google Cloud has joined Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, and other cloud providers and has now announced new Arm-based instances. The new Google Cloud Tau T2A instances utilize Ampere Altra processors to bring Arm to the Google Cloud.
Google Cloud Adds Ampere Altra with new Tau T2A Instances
The new Tau T2A instances have 1-48 vCPUs spanning seven different instance types. The vCPU to memory ratio is 1 vCPU to 4GB across the line and one can get up to 32Gbps of egress bandwidth in the instances.
What is interesting here is that Google is not using 80 core or 128 core Ampere products. Instead, these are 64C 3.0GHz SKUs.
Here is the hourly pricing in us-central1 for the new T2A instances:
Here is the monthly pricing:
The instances are not exactly on parity with many of GCP’s offerings at this point. For example here is the, quite long, list of limitations from GCP on the T2A instances:
The Tau T2A machine series does not support:
- Custom machine types
- Sole tenant nodes
- Nested virtualization
- Extreme persistent disk
- Local SSD
- Regional persistent disk
- Virtio-SCSI Storage Controller and Virtio-Net Ethernet Adapter
- Windows Server or Windows Client OS
- 32-bit mode ELO (guest userspace support)
- Committed and Sustained-use discounts
- Secure boot (Source: Google.)
The instances are still in pre-GA status with limited availability zones as well, so it feels like these are less polished and flexible with longer-running machine types.
Google is also offering trials with up to 8 vCPU T2A instances to help jump-start the adoption of the machines. Unlike with AWS Graviton3, one can actually purchase Ampere-based servers both from lower-margin OEMs as well as the HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 and take these to an on-prem private cloud as well.
At STH we are working on a few very unique Arm server articles, including with the Ampere Altra Max, over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more on this.