HPC

Oracle intros Arm-powered cloud, includes on-prem option for big spenders

Ampere’s Altra gets the gig at a cent-per CPU hour, with managed K8s for starters, managed MySQL coming soon


Oracle has made good on its promise to fire up an Arm-powered cloud by revealing it will offer Ampere's 80-core Altra processors for one US cent per hour per core.

Big Red will offer a single instance type – the A1 – but will offer it as virtual machines scaling up to 80 CPU cores or bare-metal instances running 160 cores. The silicon can be cranked to 3GHz. RAM will cost 0.0015 per GB per hour. VMs can use between one and 64GB of RAM, while a bare metal box can scale to 1TB of memory.

You can rent the Arm kit in Oracle's cloud or run it on-prem under the database giant's Cloud@Customer plan, which targets customers willing to spend at least half a million bucks a month.

Ampere's silicon strategy is to provide many-cored processors that are very good at isolating workloads. Oracle – an Ampere investor – has bought into that plan and is therefore advancing its new servers as just the thing for containerised microservices or jobs like streaming video.

The database giant will make developers of new applications its main target, in an acknowledgement that while cloud migrations are increasingly popular, the prospect of lifting and shifting an app and migrating it to a new platform may be a bridge too far. The company nonetheless has an eye on general IaaS buyers.

Oracle Linux, Java, MySQL, GraalVM, and the Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) are all offered for the new A1 instances. Jenkins is aboard, too, an important inclusion as it means Oracle's new service can be integrated into continuous delivery pipelines.

Oracle is also offering a managed service for OKE. Matt Leonard, Big Red's veep for compute, said a managed service for MySQL is also in the works and is Oracle's way of getting close to the highly packaged database experience it offers with its own brand x86 hardware and eponymous database.

Leonard also said that while Oracle is committed to an Arm cloud, and to Ampere, the newly announced Ampere Altra Max is no certainty to appear in the Big Red cloud.

"Whether we go with the Max or skip a generation remains to be seen," Leonard told The Register.

Oracle is not alone in offering Ampere-powered servers: Equinix already does so, but with the comparatively wimpy 32-core eMAG processor. AWS is also in the cloudy Arm market with its homebrew Graviton2 silicon.

Oracle told The Register that the new A1 instance will be offered in all its regions, though a couple of these regions are two weeks away from going live due to minor technical hitches. ®

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