Startups Packet and Ampere are taking on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with their new partnership that puts Ampere’s Arm-based servers in Packet’s bare metal cloud data centers. AWS also offers Arm-based compute instances in its public cloud, but Packet and Ampere say theirs is more powerful.
Ampere is a chip company that launched in early 2018 by former Intel president Renee James. Its Arm-based eMAG processors have 32 cores operating at 3.3 GHz.
Packet is a bare metal cloud and edge computing company. Jacob Smith, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Packet, said the new Ampere platforms represent a major upgrade from its 2016 Arm-based servers. “It represents big-boy Arm, for serious workloads,” he said.
Under the partnership, Packet offers on-demand access to Ampere’s eMAG platform with 128 GB of RAM, 480 GB of SSD storage, and dual 10 Gb/s network ports. It costs $1 per hour, and it’s available from Packet’s five core data centers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, as well as its three edge sites in the U.S. These systems target high-performance compute and high-memory workloads such as web servers, distributed databases, big data analytics, IoT, and media streaming.
Mobile gaming company Hatch is a customer, and it used the new offering to scale its platform to meet growing demand, said Mikko Peltola, director of cloud operations at Hatch in a statement.
Versus AWS Graviton
AWS in November launched its EC2 instances powered by Arm-based AWS Graviton Processors. These are the only other publicly available Arm-based cloud instances in the market, said Matt Taylor, Ampere’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and business development. But, he added, Ampere’s Arm-based platform is more powerful than the AWS product.
“We think it’s a great thing that Amazon launched this,” Taylor said. “It’s great for the Arm ecosystem, but the performance that product is delivering is really in a different tier of performance than we are. They target the real low cost of entry. We’re delivering something that is significantly more powerful.”
The Packet-Ampere service costs more — Taylor said it’s about two times as expensive as Amazon’s. But it is also four times as powerful as AWS’ largest instance, he added. “So we believe the TCO [total cost of ownership] value of this is significantly better than what Amazon is offering, and the class of workloads you can run on a more powerful Arm instance are very different than what you can run on the Amazon instance.”