Amazon Web Services (AWS Cloud) has announced the availability of C5 cloud instances, the “next generation” of compute optimized instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Designed for compute-heavy applications like batch processing, distributed analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding, the C5 cloud instances feature 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Scalable processors (Skylake-SP) up to 72 vCPUs, and 144 GiB of memory – twice the vCPUs and memory of previous generation C4 cloud instances.

Optimized to deliver the right combination of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity for a wide range of workloads, all latest generation Amazon EC2 cloud instance families – including C5 – feature AWS Cloud hardware acceleration that would deliver consistent, high performance, low latency networking and storage resources. C5 instances provide networking through the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA), a scalable network interface built by AWS to provide direct access to its networking hardware.

Netflix on AWS

One of AWS’ customers, Netflix – the world-known Internet television network with 104 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day – has been able to test the Amazon EC2 C5 cloud instances.

“In our testing, we saw significant performance improvement on Amazon EC2 C5, with up to a 140 percent performance improvement in industry standard CPU benchmarks over C4,” said Amer Ather, Cloud Performance Architect at Netflix. “The 15 percent price reduction in C5 will deliver a compelling price-performance improvement over C4.”

Cost Efficiency of Virtualization

Additional dedicated hardware and network bandwidth for Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) would enable C5 cloud instances to offer high-performance storage through the scalable NVM Express (NVMe) interface. C5 cloud instances introduce a new, lightweight hypervisor that allows applications to use practically all of the compute and memory resources of a server. C5 instances are available in six sizes – with the four smallest cloud instance sizes offering “substantially more Amazon EBS and network bandwidth than the previous generation of compute-optimized instances.”

“Customers have been happily using Amazon EC2’s unmatched selection of instances for more than 11 years, yet they’ll always take higher and more consistent performance if it could be offered in a cost-effective way,” said Matt Garman, Vice President, Amazon EC2, AWS. “One of the challenges in taking this next step is how to leverage the cost efficiency of virtualization while consuming hardly any overhead for it. We’ve been working on an innovative way to do this that comes to fruition with Amazon EC2 C5 instances. Equipped with our new cloud-optimized hypervisor, C5 instances set a new standard for consistent, high-performance cloud computing, eliminating practically any virtualization overhead through custom AWS hardware, and delivering a 25 percent improvement in compute price-performance over C4 instances – with some customers reporting improvements of well over 50 percent.”

AWS customers can purchase Amazon EC2 C5 cloud instances as On-demand, Reserved, or Spot Instances. C5 instances are generally available today in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon) and, EU (Ireland) regions, with support for additional regions coming soon. They are available in six sizes with 2, 4, 8, 16, 36, and 72 vCPUs.

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