Arm and AWS: Working together to "Re:Invent" the cloud 

November 27, 2018

By: Drew Henry, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm

Last night was a seminal moment for the entire Arm ecosystem, a moment that many people have worked tirelessly towards for a long time.  At their annual Re:Invent conference, and during Peter Desantis' "Monday Night Live" keynote, AWS announced the immediate availability of Arm® Neoverse™-based application servers!

Before I go into more detail, let me recap the announcement we made last month at Arm Techcon.  Arm Neoverse is our new brand for the architectures, products, and solutions we specifically design for the rapidly transforming cloud to edge internet infrastructure needed to enable a world of a trillion intelligent devices. For years we have been developing technologies for the networking, storage, and compute platforms needed for the internet infrastructure and integrating those technologies into our existing Arm Cortex® products, but Cortex is best known as the leading processor architecture for smartphones and the emerging world of IoT devices, so we’ve segmented our product line and Neoverse is the result. During Techcon we shared our new Neoverse roadmap, building off our current "Cosmos" platform, followed annually by "Ares", "Zeus", and "Poseidon" platforms.

To date, Arm powered infrastructure solutions are doing very well. During Techcon we shared that Arm is now the leading processor architecture powering these solutions, and that Arm processors are being rapidly adopted into a new class of cloud servers that manage the networking, storage, and security workloads in modern cloud datacenters. What you may not realize is that these workloads, until recently, only ran on x86-based application servers. The Arm ecosystem will ship well over 1M of these servers this year!

Yet despite the success we are having, we are constantly asked when Arm-based application processors will be deployed in volume. Well, today is that day! AWS announced that they are running application workloads on Arm. These servers are powered by AWS Graviton, a world-class processor built by Annapurna Labs, a wholly owned AWS subsidiary, based on the Arm Neoverse “Cosmos” platform, and specifically built to run customer application workloads. The Arm-based Graviton processors are powering all new Amazon EC2 A1 instances.  The new instances will lower costs by up to 45%, and are being targeted for scale-out workloads, including containerized microservices, web servers, development environments, and caching fleets.  

If you don’t know who Annapurna Labs is, then you need to know their story. Bilik "Billy" Hrvoye and Nafea Bshara co-founded the company in Israel with a vision to build great products for the cloud. They chose Arm as their base architecture and we were an early investor in their start up. Billy and Nafea put together a world-class team and started designing storage and networking processors. AWS was an early customer and in 2015 they acquired Annapurna Labs since they knew that building their own silicon would allow them the control and design flexibility needed to rapidly expand the AWS cloud. James Hamilton, an AWS fellow and vice president, teased this vision in his 2016 Re:Invent keynote and in each subsequent year more of this vision was unveiled as new Annapurna designed processors were powering more of the core infrastructure within AWS.

Last night the Annapurna team proved how talented they truly are with the announcement of Graviton.

I am incredibly excited about this announcement and very proud of all the work the Arm Neoverse ecosystem has put in to make this happen.  From close collaboration with the most cutting-edge foundries in the world, through to a robust set of software offerings, the Arm Neoverse ecosystem is transforming the infrastructure.  The deployment of Arm Neoverse application processors by a hyperscaler is validation of our architectural choices, software maturity, and investment decisions.   For the Arm Neoverse ecosystem, yesterday’s announcement is proof of the broad applicability of the Arm architecture.  It means growth in the market for products within the Arm Neoverse ecosystem is accelerating.

We are particularly excited for Billy and Nafea and the entire team at Annapurna and the rest of AWS who built an amazing Arm-based application processor powering some innovative AWS solutions. Congratulations!

Kristen Ray

Director Public Relations, Arm
+1 (512) 939-9877

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