The new C5 instance family is now available from Amazon Web Services (AWS) after at least one year of development.
The C5 was first announced at the AWS reInvent conference in November. It is optimized for computationally challenging workloads such as scalable multiplayer gaming and video encoding. The C5 is currently being used by AWS customers such as Netflix, Rescale supercomputing provider, and Grail, a life sciences firm.
The C5 family offers six sizes of configurations (as shown in the table below). The smallest configuration supports two virtual CPUs, has 4GiB memory and can transmit data at up to 2,250 Mbps. The largest supports 72 virtual processors, has 144GiB memory, and has EBS bandwidth up to 9,000 Mbps.
[Click on the image to see a larger view.] Available sizes for C5 instances. Source: AWS. The C5 replaces C4 which was almost three years old. It is the highest-capacity, compute-optimized instance family within the Elastic Compute cloud (EC2). According to AWS’ Monday press release, the C5 can scale to twice the number of virtual CPUs than C4 and promises a performance to price ratio that’s anywhere between 25 to 50 percent higher.
The C5 instances are powered by Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8000 processors. It’s also supported by a “new lightweight hypervisor” which AWS claims will be used to power future EC2 instance.
In a Monday blog post, Jeff Barr, AWS evangelist, stated that the unnamed hypervisor “runs in-glove with our Hardware.” Barr stated that the new hypervisor “allows us to give you access all of the processing power offered by the host hardware while also making performance even better and raising the security bar.”
According to The Register, an AWS FAQ indicates that the new hypervisor is based upon the KVM Linux virtualization infrastructure and not the Xen hypervisor, which is often preferred by AWS. Barr stated that the instances do not require or support the Xen paravirtual network or block device drivers. These have been removed to improve efficiency.
AWS stated that it will share more information on the new hypervisor at its annual re-Invent conference in Las Vegas which kicks off Nov. 27.
The C5 instances are currently available in AWS’ Northern Virginia and Oregon regions. More information is available here.