Arm Neoverse based platforms are designed to meet the ever-increasing compute demands for next-generation infrastructure providing best cost per throughput in the industry. This benefits a variety of workloads and applications with high performance, efficiency, and compute density. Software development on these platforms range from broad cloud software workloads to specialized software enabling edge and Telco use cases. From a developer perspective, these cloud-native applications are developed on a spectrum of native Arm platforms, whether be cloud instances, physical platforms, edge devices and laptops. With the growth in software development initiatives on Arm, it is critical that we continue to reduce the friction for developers to deliver their software releases for Arm64.
Today, we are excited to share that we are extending our Works on Arm initiative to include a wide range of cloud platforms available from our ecosystem partners – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Equinix Metal, Google Cloud, miniNodes, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab.
Works on Arm is a strategic initiative meant to enable the broader software ecosystem for Arm64 and provides free of cost access to Arm platforms and Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Development (CD) environments for software developers in the open source community and ecosystem. This enables developers to build, test, and optimize their projects for Arm64 architecture in the most frictionless way. Each of these environments provide unique Arm64 infrastructure offering providing choice and flexibility.
Here are the details in which access to each of these environments is enabled:
The AWS Graviton2 offering is the latest generation of Arm-based servers on the AWS cloud based on Arm Neoverse N1 architecture. These include Amazon general purpose (M6g,M6gd, T4g), compute optimized (C6g/C6gd/C6gn), and memory optimized (R6g, R6gd, X2gd).
Amazon EC2 T4g instances are the next generation low cost burstable instances and are ideal for running a broad spectrum of general-purpose applications including large scale micro-services and for developers to build, test, and deploy their applications natively on Arm64 architecture in the cloud. The T4g.micro instances are free to use for up to 750 hours/month until end of December 31st, 2021. Developers can get started with T4g instances here.
Arm partnered with Equinix (formerly Packet) in 2017 to provide free access to Arm64 based bare-metal machines from a variety of Arm server vendors to qualified OSS projects. The Works on Arm cluster on Equinix consists of both single and dual socket Ampere Altra platforms in single socket (80 cores, 128GB RAM, 1TB NVMe U.2 SSD) and dual socket (160 cores, 256GB RAM, 1TB NVMe U.2 SSD) configurations providing best performance.
OSS projects can request resources directly on the Works on Arm Equinix GitHub Cluster page. Each request is reviewed by the Arm Software Ecosystem team within two weeks.
Over the last four years, this initiative has enabled several OSS projects in various categories such as CI/CD, Operating Systems, Kernel, Compilers, Databases, GUI frameworks, Languages, ML libraries, Storage, etc. There are currently 50+ OSS projects running on this cluster, although it is not possible to cover all the projects in this blog here are a few highlights:
OCI offers Arm Neoverse based Ampere A1 compute instances that provide industry’s first 80-core Arm server at penny-per-core-hour. The OCI Ampere A1 compute platform provides deterministic performance, linear scalability, and a secure architecture.
OCI offers software developers with Oracle Cloud Free Tier that provides free resources and has Always Free option as well that provide access to the Ampere A1 instances and a wide range of cloud services. Access to these resources is easy and done directly with OCI. Arm and Oracle have partnered to support access to developer resources as part of the Works on Arm initiative.
To facilitate friction-less development on Arm, Oracle has created an Arm Developer Portal that lists all the that lists all the resources available for development on Arm.
The OSUOSL’s Arm64 cluster is based on Ampere eMAG servers available for community members to develop and test OSS projects on Arm64 architecture natively in an OpenStack environment with instances running on KVM accessible through OpenStack’s API/GUI interface. Currently there are 17+ projects actively developed via this initiative and the full list is available here.
Besides normal application porting and testing, running public CI pipelines for OSS projects happens to be one of the major use-cases for Works on Arm hardware resources. There are two major usage-models:
In addition to the platforms being made available, Arm is actively engaged with the cloud-native developers in the ecosystem in providing developer resources and ecosystem support to these projects. Through the Works on Arm program, we will continue to share learnings and best practices across the various projects being developed and we encourage developers to interact through the various social media channels available: Twitter, YouTube and Discord.
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