A few years ago we covered the Oracle Cloud Gets an Always Free Tier. Previously, one would get two AMD EPYC based compute VMs with 1/8 OCPU and 1GB of memory each. Let us call that what it is, not much. The bonus though is that, unlike the AWS Free Tier, this is an Always Free tier. Now, Oracle is upping the ante (significantly) with its new Ampere Arm A1 offering.
Oracle Cloud Giving Away Ampere Arm A1 Instances Always Free
Although this has been announced for some time, the Oracle Cloud Ampere Altra offering is finally live. One can see that in the list of available “shapes” we have a bare-metal machine offering. These machines each have two Ampere Altra 80 core 3.0GHz CPUs. Beyond that, there is 100Gbps networking and 1TB of memory.
Why you are likely here though is due to the virtual machine. One can see this is Always Free Eligible. We can select the Ampere instance which is on the main Shapes listing not as a “specialty” instance type. Here we can make a VM.Standard.A1.Flex instance.
Flex allows one to configure the amount of CPU and memory in an instance. In the Always Free tier, we get four cores and up to 24GB of memory so, in theory, we could make smaller instances. Still, we decided to go big and make one large instance.
Above, you can see the quad-core Ampere Altra (A1) Arm instance with just over 46GB of storage and 24GB of memory. The overall setup takes minutes to get running.
To us, this is a big deal. This is perhaps one of the best “free” instances that one can get. Something that we really like about Oracle’s Always Free tier is that one can use it without being as worried about overages as with Amazon’s offering. AWS has a size advantage, but Oracle has a great Always Free Tier offering.
Beyond the free tier, the pricing on the A1 instances is very low. We get $0.01/ hr per core costs as well as $0.0015/GB per GB hour of memory.
That makes the instance we have, less storage, worth around $0.076/ hour. To put this another way, the Amazon AWS EC2 a1.xlarge has 4 cores and 8GB of memory for $0.102 on-demand so Oracle is offering 3x the memory at about a 25% discount over what Amazon is offering.
Expect more on this from STH in the near future. As always, you can learn more about Ampere Altra on STH.