2020 Vision Brings Hardware and Software Together for 2021


In our first end-of-year blog, we reflected on key product milestones in 2020, highlighting how Ampere is innovating at a rate not seen before in the processor industry. This included the launch of Ampere® Altra™ and Ampere® Altra Max™, as well as third-party reviews touting our performance, scalability, and power efficiency across common benchmarks and applications. In this blog, with all the hardware and software pieces needed for true cloud native finally coming together under one strong ecosystem, we summarize some of the key work being done by partners and customers.

Building the Ecosystem with Widespread Partner and Customer Support
Having leadership performance is important to enable differentiation for customers and across the ecosystem. Ampere is excited to be driving the growing Arm ecosystem in the cloud, where we are setting a new standard for the hyperscale market with highly scalable processing capability and reduced power consumption.

Many partners and customers have announced their support for Ampere Altra, are sampling, have developed platforms, or have built solutions. Below are a few examples.

  • Oracle has built an Ampere Altra-based platform and optimized its software, including Oracle Linux, Oracle Java, and Oracle Database for Ampere Altra. They also announced their upcoming Ampere Altra offerings in Oracle Cloud.
  • Microsoft shared how it values our nimbleness, product performance, resilience and security in this video, discussed the benefits it would bring to their cloud.
  • Cloudflare has been evaluating Ampere Altra and publicly stated that it was excited with the preliminary performance benchmarks they were seeing.
  • Equinix Metal delivered an early access program that gives access to pre-production systems through a cloud option that allows customers and developers to test their uses cases and push the boundaries of performance for cloud-native application development.
  • 1&1 Ionos looks forward to partnering with Ampere to deliver outstanding performance per TCO in containerized services and publicly stated the potential of Ampere Altra to significantly reduce the TCO of their hyper-scalable cloud services platform.
  • Scaleway began evaluating Ampere Altra for its cloud instances and publicly stated that Ampere Altra brought them a new world of performance on the Arm architecture and enabled new cross usage in the cloud for all sizes of workloads.
  • GIGABYTE introduced new Ampere Altra platforms like the R272 1U/2U Server and the E252-P30 Edge Computing Server to their server portfolio.
  • Wiwynn introduced its novel SV328 2-Socket platform based on the Ampere Altra processor.
  • NVIDIA announced that it is bringing GPU and DPU acceleration to the Arm ecosystem and partnered with Ampere to extend the two socket Ampere Altra Mt. Jade server platform with four NVIDIA T4 GPUs and an NVIDIA Mellanox BlueField-2 DPU to cloud gaming serving 128 gaming users simultaneously.
  • Phoenics Electronics, an Avnet Company, began offering Ampere products to provide its customers with key solutions for cloud, storage, edge and other server applications.

Open Source Brings Software and Hardware Together in a Modern Cloud
Equally important is the open source community and optimizing Ampere Altra to work across many cloud-native workloads. This year we demonstrated use cases like virtualization, containerization, cloud gaming, computational intense workloads, and more. Here are a few examples of use cases and open source support:

  • Canonical Anbox Cloud is running on Ampere Altra, enabling developers to run all applications natively to deliver the performance and low power needed for Android operating systems. One stand-out example is using the power-efficiency and speed advantage of Ampere Altra for cloud gaming across a vast number of users.
  • Ceph distributed filesystem running on Ampere platforms and was able to achieve the top Ceph-based score on Arm in the IO500 10 Node Challenge benchmark list.
  • Genymobile announced that their Genymotion software, which runs Android virtual devices in the cloud, was ported to Ampere platforms for its unparalleled scalability and density.
  • Kinvolk has optimized Kubernetes on the Ampere platform and has been impressed with the scalability offered to date, especially in terms of throughput and memory I/O.
  • VMware has brought Arm support to ESXi with the ESXi Arm-fling and has demonstrated ESXi running on Ampere platforms. They have stated that Ampere Altra’s power efficiency and the wide range of core counts make it appealing for a variety of compute intensive applications at the edge.
  • • We added support for gVisor, an active open source software project originally created by Google that provides a more secure application kernel for containers.
  • • We are supporting a number of Linux initiatives: one of the first Arm platforms with LinuxBoot; added core underlying Linux operating system support from Debian; certified and validated DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit) to accelerate network performance when using Ampere processor platforms; and we worked with Cloudbase to enable Linux on the Hyper-V hypervisor for Ampere platforms.
  • • Ampere Altra is also working on OpenStack running on Ampere platforms to enable new emerging use cases such as AI, edge computing, 5G and cloud-native applications.
  • • Ampere provided platforms to Oregon State University to support FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) projects to develop and test 32 bit Arm and AArch64 software on the Ampere platform.

Celebrating the New Year with a New, Modern Cloud
While the pandemic prevented the same level of physical interaction in 2020 as in the past, we discovered new ways to live and work. The cloud is and will remain an integral part of staying connected in the future. Change will be unpredictable and growth will be sudden. This will drive an even greater need for increased agility, elasticity and scalability in the cloud with requirements that are different than anything our industry has developed for in the past. With Ampere Altra and Altra Max, Ampere is delivering a new cloud-native processor to meet these needs and upon which to innovate.

2021 is going to be exciting year for us, our partners, customers, and the entire cloud native ecosystem. Arm-based servers are already experiencing incredible growth, with IDC reporting 430.5% growth in Q3 2020. Now that all the hardware and software is coming together on Ampere platforms, imagine what we can expect in 2021.



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