Migrate AWS ElastiCache to Graviton2: Get Immediate cost savings and performance benefits with no risks – Deep Dive

Why do Graviton2 Instances offer better price/performance ratios?

The AWS Graviton2 (Alpine ALC12B00) is a 64-core 2.5GHz ARMv8.2 SoC built on the Neoverse N1 architecture designed by Amazon (Annapurna Labs) for Amazon’s own infrastructure, serving as a successor to the original AWS Graviton.  Each core of the AWS Graviton2 processor is a single-threaded vCPU, in contrast to Intel chips that implement Simultaneous multithreading (SMT) where multiple threads are executed simultaneously on one CPU core. Intel and AMD EC2 instances can map a physical CPU core to between 2 – 8 vCPUs. So even though the Graviton2 processor only runs at 2.5GHz, while the Intel Xeon runs faster at 3.1GHz, the per-thread performance is higher on the Graviton2 because the Graviton2 core runs only one thread.

At full utilization of CPU resources, Graviton2 instances offer approximately 40% and 23% better single-threaded performance than the equivalent Intel and AMD instances, respectively. AWS prices a Graviton2 vCPU at 20% less than an equivalent Intel based vCPU. This lower price and higher performance result in high price performance ratios.

Redis deployed on AWS Graviton2 provides up to 35% more throughput, with 24% reduced latency and a 20% cost benefit compared to the equivalent x86 based EC2 instances.

Redis, by the way, is single threaded – so high per-thread performance directly translates into high Redis performance

Memcached on AWS Graviton2 instances provides 51% greater throughput, 12% lower latency than the equivalent x86 based EC2 instances, in addition to a 20% cost benefit.

Future Performance

The ARM roadmap commits to 30% year-over-year performance improvements through 2021. In April 2021, ARM released the Neoverse V1 architecture, which has improved scalability, security and single-thread performance over the Neoverse N1 (on which the AWS Graviton2 is built). The Neoverse V1 has on average a 50% IPC (instructions per cycle) increase over Neoverse N1 for most workloads and a mind boggling ~7X improvement over N1 for vector workloads (cryptography, packet processing, ML, etc).  We expect that the next version of the Graviton chip (perhaps built on the 2021 ARM Neoverse V1 architecture perhaps) will see a similar performance improvement.

How to upgrade your instances

To change Node Type, select the Cache Cluster in the AWS Management Console and click on Modify. Then select the new Graviton2 Node Type, decide if you want to apply the change immediately, and click on Modify to proceed.

References

  • Memcached: AWS Graviton2 benchmarking. (2021, January 28). Tools, Software and IDEs Blog – Arm Community Blogs – Arm Community. Retrieved October 24, 2021. Read more
  • Neoverse V1 Platform revolution in high performance. (2021, April 27). Architectures and Processors Blog – Arm Community Blogs – Arm Community. Read more
  • Redis performance benchmarking on AWS Graviton2. (2021, July 20). Tools, Software and IDEs Blog – Arm Community Blogs – Arm Community. Read more

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