MMS • Renato Losio
Amazon recently announced the availability of the M7a instances powered by the 4th generation AMD EPYC (Genoa) processors. The new general-purpose instances are priced higher than the previous generation AMD M6a and the latest Intel M7i instances.
Previewed in June, the new M7a instances provide a maximum frequency of 3.7 GHz. According to AWS, they deliver up to 50% higher performance compared to the M6a instances powered by previous-generation AMD EPYC Milan processors. Channy Yun, principal developer advocate at AWS, writes:
M7a instances support AVX-512, Vector Neural Network Instructions (VNNI), and brain floating point (bfloat16). These instances feature Double Data Rate 5 (DDR5) memory, which enables high-speed access to data in-memory, and delivers 2.25 times more memory bandwidth compared to M6a instances for lower latency.
The new M7a instances are SAP-certified and designed for high-performance and high-throughput workloads such as financial applications, application servers, gaming, and caching fleets. The cloud provider highlights that the new architecture enables support for convolutional neural network-based algorithms, financial analytics, and video encoding. Yun adds:
With M7a instances you can attach up to 128 EBS volumes to an instance compared to up to 28 EBS volume attachments with M6a instances.
Similarly to previous M6a instances, the new instances support up to 50 Gbps enhanced networking and 40 Gbps EBS bandwidth. Ganesh Swaminathan, managing director at JPMorgan Chase, started an thread questioning the pricing:
M7a is pricey! (…) That is almost 35% higher cost than M6a! That is the biggest price increase on the next instance type I remember (…) AMD instances used to be 10% cheaper than equivalent generation Intel. M6a is about 11% cheaper than M6i but M7a is 15% more expensive than M7i.
The Intel-based M7i and M7i-flex instances were also announced recently and covered separately on InfoQ. The pricing was the main question during the preview, with Reddit users already predicting the price increase:
The days of things only ever getting cheaper (by the hour) seem to be over.
The M7a introduces a new medium instance with 1 vCPU and 4 GiB. With 12 different sizes available, the largest size now is called m7a.metal-48xl and provides 192 vCPUs and 768 GiB. Jeremy Simmons, senior software engineer at ProsperOps, challenges the naming convention:
It was not a good idea to change the standard name for the metal instance. All instance families have always used “metal”. No suffix was necessary (…) Please don’t re:invent new conventions that break existing data.
The M7a instances are currently available in only four AWS regions: Ohio, Northern Virginia), Oregon, and Ireland.