Posted On: May 8, 2018

Today, we are announcing the availability of Optimize CPUs for Amazon EC2 instances. This feature provides customers greater control of their EC2 instances on two fronts. First, customers can specify a custom number of vCPUs when launching new instances to save on vCPU-based licensing costs. Second, they can disable Intel Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel HT Technology) for workloads that perform well with single-threaded CPUs, like certain high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

Customers running database workloads like Oracle and SQL Server on EC2 today want high memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth but do not require a high vCPU count since these workloads are rarely compute-bound. Memory-optimized instance families such as Amazon EC2 X1 instances and Amazon EC2 R4 instances offer high RAM-to-vCPU ratio to help customers select appropriately sized EC2 instances. With Optimize CPUs, customers now have the added flexibility of specifying a custom number of vCPUs for new instances, while enjoying the same memory, storage, and bandwidth of a full-sized instance. For example, a x1e.4xlarge instance currently offers 16 vCPUs by default but customers can now launch x1e.4xlarge with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14 vCPUs. This enables Bring Your Own license (BYOL) customers to optimize their vCPU-based licensing costs. Please note that CPU optimized instances will have the same price as full-sized EC2 instances of the same size.

We are also offering customers ability to disable Intel HT Technology on EC2 instances. While, Intel HT Technology is enabled by default on EC2 instance types, certain applications such as high-performance computing (HPC) applications are not designed to benefit from Intel HT Technology. Compute-intensive workloads experience performance degradation due to context switching when Intel HT Technology is enabled. By disabling Intel HT, customers can fine-tune their application performance, optimize BYOL usage and save on license costs.

Optimize CPUs is now available in all commercial public Amazon EC2 Regions. For a list of supported instance types and valid vCPU counts, see Optimize CPUs documentation. For further questions on Optimize CPUs, visit the EC2 FAQ Page. To get started with Amazon EC2, visit here.