Under the name Hpc6a, Amazon is introducing a new EC2 instance type for its AWS cloud. It should – the name High Performance Computing or HPC suggests – offer particularly high performance. At the same time, however, it should set itself apart from other instance types previously used for this through the lower costs during operation.
The heart of the Hpc6a is always an AMD processor of the third Epyc generation called Milan. Each instance offers 96 cores – which are explicitly physical cores of the processor and not threads, as is usually the case with vCPUs. The reason for this is that Amazon deactivates Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT). Even if AWS does not provide any precise information about the equipment of the servers, this indicates the choice of two Epyc 7643 with 48 cores each. The maximum turbo clock frequency of 3.6 GHz and the only bookable size hpc6a.48xlarge also fit this.
The CPUs are supported by 384 GiB of RAM. In order to be able to move large data sets to the cloud in a meaningful way, Amazon promises a maximum transfer rate of 100 gigabit / s. Here the provider uses its Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA), which is also used for other instance types designed for HPC performance. However, this only applies to the AWS itself; outside of the Amazon cloud, this is reduced to up to 25 gigabit / s. With mass storage, users can only use Elastic Block Store (EBS).
As part of a cluster, booked systems can also be combined with other instance types at Amazon. AWS promises its customers that Hpc6a is up to 65 percent cheaper than other instance types optimized for compute performance. The costs also depend on whether users book the systems on demand or as dedicated hosting. At the start, however, Hpc6a is only available in the cloud regions US East (Ohio) and GovCloud (US West). All information can be found in the announcement.