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X86 or Arm? AWS now lets you choose both at once for Kubernetes

Elastic Kubernetes Service clusters can mix and match architectures for production workloads

Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) now runs and is supported for production workloads on the cloud colossus’ Arm-powered servers.

Amazon says the change means “you can mix x86 and Arm based EC2 instances within a cluster, and easily evaluate Arm-based application in existing environments.”

One does not simply walk into multi-architecture Kubernetes clusters. AWS’ documentation points out that you may need to upgrade your cluster so that Kubernetes can handle code cut for the different chips, and that of course your apps will need to be ready to run on Arm. Even with those chores done, you’ll have to do without Cluster Storage Interface drivers with Arm.

On the upside, AWS has already made sure its container registry can handle multi-architecture containers.

The chance to include Arm servers in Kubernetes clusters arguably makes it easier to consider testing out the architecture. And once you do, both AWS and Arm believe you’ll stick around.

AWS says its Arm instances can be considerably cheaper than its Xeons and EPYCs, especially when running containers. Arm asserts that its many-core architectures are ideal for workloads like containers that may not be around for long but like having dedicated resources while they run.

And now you, dear readers, have a way to put those claims to the test with a single cloud account and the K8s tooling you may already know and love.

Game on! ®

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