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EC2 Bare Metal



Introduction


The Bare Metal are typically in demand for Appliance transition to Cloud for performance and control with scale.
This is competitive to Bare Metal Compute - Oracle Cloud.

The EC2 Bare Metal story started with VMware asking to run the VMware's virtualization stack directly on the hardware, within the AWS Cloud, giving VMware's customers access to the elasticity, security, and reliability (not to mention the broad array of services) that AWS offers.

AWS moved the networking, storage, and other EC2 features out of the virtualization platform to lay the foundation for bare metal solution. This work is Now Available – Compute-Intensive C5 Instances for Amazon EC2, includes a set of dedicated hardware accelerators.

Customers wanted access to the physical resources for applications that take advantage of low-level hardware features such as performance counters and Intel® VT that are not always available or fully supported in virtualized environments, and also for applications intended to run directly on the hardware or licensed and supported for use in non-virtualized environments.

Benefits

  1. Performance
  2. Control with scale
  3. Dedicated hardware accelerators
  4. Hardware features performance counters and Intel® VT

New Bare Metal Instances

AWS launched a public preview the i3.metal instance, the first in a series of EC2 instances that offer the best of both worlds, allowing the operating system to run directly on the underlying hardware while still providing access to all of the benefits of the cloud. The instance gives customer direct access to the processor and other hardware, and has the following specifications:
  • Processing – Two Intel Xeon E5-2686 v4 processors running at 2.3 GHz, with a total of 36 hyperthreaded cores (72 logical processors).
  • Memory – 512 GiB.
  • Storage – 15.2 terabytes of local, SSD-based NVMe storage.
  • Network – 25 Gbps of ENA-based enhanced networking.
Bare Metal instances are full-fledged members of the EC2 family and can take advantage of Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, Amazon CloudWatch, Auto Recovery, and so forth. They can also access the full suite of AWS database, IoT, mobile, analytics, artificial intelligence, and security services.

Customer can now bring his specialized applications or his own stack of virtualized components to AWS and run them on Bare Metal instances. If customer is using or thinking about using containers, these instances make a great host for CoreOS.

An AMI that works on one of the new C5 instances should also work on an I3 Bare Metal Instance. It must have the ENA and NVMe drivers, and must be tagged for ENA.

EC2 Bare Metal instances are available for preview on the I3 instance family in the form of the “i3.metal” instance type. You can request access to EC2 Bare Metal instances by completing our request form here.

Transition Requirement for AWS EC2 Bare Metal


The below requirement is w.r.t. AMI generation

C5 instances


The Amazon EC2 Compute-Intensive C5 instances are available in six sizes for launch in three AWS regions - US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) Regions in On-Demand and Spot form (Reserved Instances are also available)

These instances are designed for compute-heavy applications like batch processing, distributed analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding. 
The new instances offer a 25% price/performance improvement over the C4 instances, with over 50% for some workloads. They also have additional memory per vCPU, and (for code that can make use of the new AVX-512 instructions), twice the performance for vector and floating point workloads.

The C5 instance type incorporates the latest generation of the hardware offloads, and also takes another big step forward with the addition of a new hypervisor that runs hand-in-glove with AWS hardware. The new hypervisor allows to give customer access to all of the processing power provided by the host hardware, while also making performance even more consistent and further raising the bar on security.

The C5 instances are available in six sizes:



Each vCPU is a hardware hyperthread on a 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Platinum 8000-series processor. This custom processor, optimized for EC2, allows you have full control over the C-states on the two largest sizes, allowing you to run a single core at up to 3.5 GHz using Intel Turbo Boost Technology.

Because all networking and storage functionality is implemented in hardware, C5 instances require HVM AMIs that include drivers for the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) and NVMe. 
The latest Amazon Linux, Microsoft Windows (Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016), Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS, SLES, Debian, and FreeBSD AMIs all support C5 instances. 

If you are doing machine learning inferencing, or other compute-intensive work, be sure to check out the most recent version of the Intel Math Kernel Library. It has been optimized for the Intel® Xeon® Platinum processor and has the potential to greatly accelerate your work.


Recap EC2 Instances


CC1 – Launched in 2010, the CC1 was designed to support scale-out HPC applications. It was the first EC2 instance to support 10 Gbps networking and one of the first to support HVM virtualization. The network fabric that we designed for the CC1 (based on our own switch hardware) has become the standard for all AWS data centers. 

C3 – Launched in 2013, the C3 introduced Enhanced Networking and uses dedicated hardware accelerators to support the software defined network inside of each Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Hardware virtualization removes the I/O stack from the hypervisor in favor of direct access by the guest OS, resulting in higher performance and reduced variability. 

C4 – Launched in 2015, the C4 instances are EBS Optimized by default via a dedicated network connection, and also offload EBS processing (including CPU-intensive crypto operations for encrypted EBS volumes) to a hardware accelerator. 

C5 – Launched in 2017, the hypervisor that powers the C5 instances allow practically all of the resources of the host CPU to be devoted to customer instances. The ENA networking and the NVMe interface to EBS are both powered by hardware accelerators. The instances do not require (or support) the Xen paravirtual networking or block device drivers, both of which have been removed in order to increase efficiency.

I3 - Launched in 2017, the i3.metal instance, the first in a series of EC2 instances that offer the best of both worlds, allowing the operating system to run directly on the underlying hardware while still providing access to all of the benefits of the cloud. The instance gives you direct access to the processor and other hardware.

References


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