Google Cloud launches its first Arm-based VMs, with Ampere chips

Ampere Altra chip

Google Cloud has launched its first Arm-based virtual machines, joining Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services in offering the instruction set architecture family on its cloud service.

The Tau T2A VMs use Ampere Altra Arm-based processors, which are also used by Microsoft Azure, Tencent, Equinix Metal, and Oracle.

Ampere claims that its Altra Cloud Native Processors on Google outperform current generation x86 VMs by up to 31 percent and lead on price-performance by up to 65 percent using on-demand pricing guidance, due to lower power usage (it did not include memory and storage costs, which are the same on both).

The Google Cloud Tau Ampere Altra-based T2A VMs are currently in preview in several Google Cloud regions – us-central (Iowa – Zone A,B,F), europe-west4 (Netherlands – Zone A,B,C) and asia-southeast1 (Singapore – Zone B,C) and will be generally available in the coming months. They are available in various configurations with up to 48 vCPUs.

“T2A VMs deliver exceptional single-threaded performance at a compelling price, making them ideal for scale-out, cloud-native workloads,” Google Cloud product managers Subra Chandramouli and Jamie Kinney said in a blog post.

“Developers now have the option of choosing the optimal architecture to test, develop and run their workloads.”

Google also launched a new fully managed service, Batch, which automatically manages job queues, provisions and autoscales resources, runs jobs, executes subtasks, and deals with common errors.