AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Technical Specifications for Amazon EC2 I4i.metal Instances for VMware Cloud on AWS

By Pat Brandel, Sr. Product Manager, EC2 – AWS
By Aarthi Raju, Sr. System Development Manager, EC2 – AWS

By Karthik Coimbatore Veradaraj, Sr. System Development Engineer, EC2 – AWS

Customers have been using VMware Cloud on AWS to quickly migrate their VMware workloads from on premises to cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS enables customers to extend their on-premises data centers and easily migrate workloads without having to convert machine image formats or undergo a re-platforming process.

We see a wide range of workloads such as transactional databases, NoSQL databases and, and virtual desktop interface (VDI) workloads being migrated, and each of these may have different compute, storage, and network requirements.

VMware Cloud on AWS has offered two bare metal instance types—I3.metal and i3en.metal. These have supported a variety of use cases including generic workloads, high-speed analytics, NoSQL databases, and distributed file systems. Please refer Figure 2 below for more details on I3.metal and I3en.metal use cases.

We are excited to announce the general availability of I4i.metal instances, a new bare-metal instance for VMware Cloud on AWS. This new instance type offers high memory, CPU, and storage configuration that is ideal for workloads needing fast access to datasets.

I4i.metal supports a variety of use cases which includes transactional databases (like MySQL, Oracle DB, MS SQL Server) and NoSQL databases (such as MongoDB and Couchbase). These instances are an ideal fit for workloads that can easily migrate or scale to the cloud, such as VDI workloads.

In this post, we will explore the technical specification of I4i.metal and the value it provides for VMware Cloud on AWS customers.

Technical Specifications of I4i.metal


I4i.metal instances come with 128 vCPUs and 1024 GiB of memory. I4i instances are powered by third-generation Intel Xeon Ice Lake with an all-core turbo frequency of 3.5 GHz. Hyper-threading is enabled by default to provide 128 logical cores or vCPUs especially suited for applications requiring increased CPU throughput.

Customers also have the option to configure software-defined data centers (SDDCs) with a custom CPU core count to optimize their application cost performance, starting with 8 to 64 physical cores.


I4i.metal instances offer 30 TB of NVMe storage from AWS Nitro SSDs, which are NVMe-based and custom-designed by AWS to provide high I/O performance, low latency, minimal latency variability, and security with always-on encryption.

The vSAN configuration will have two disks groups with one NVMe disk for cache and three NVMe disks for capacity per disk group. You will have ~20.5 TiB of raw storage capacity per host.

With storage optimization of VMware vSAN compression, and depending on workload characteristics and FTT/RAID settings, a three-node cluster can deliver ~28.5TiB of total usable capacity with all virtual machines (VMs) protected against a single host failure (FTT=1). Note that exact usable storage will vary depending on the type of workload.


Figure 1 – I4i.metal vSAN disk layout.


I4i.metal instances provides networking bandwidth up to 75Gbps. The newer version of Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) driver is installed on I4i.metal which is used for ESXi has ENA Low Latency Queue (LLQ) enabled. With ENA LLQ, the transmit packet headers are copied directly to the device memory and is used for routing calculations. LLQs will improve latency and packets-per-second (PPS).

VMware Cloud on AWS Instances Types and Specifications

Below are the different instance types and specifications available in VMware Cloud on AWS.


Figure 2 – Instance type and specifications.

Getting Started

Customers can choose to deploy a new SDDC with the I4i.metal instance or migrate their workloads from existing i3.metal and/or i3en.metal nodes to the new I4i.metal instance.

Just like I3.metal and I3en.metal instances, VMware Cloud on AWS will support single-host starter configuration and two-host production clusters for I4i.metal, providing a cost-effective entry point for customers.

Additionally, all available services on VMware Cloud on AWS will be supported on the I4i.metal instance—VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, VMware Site Recovery, VMware vRealize Automation Cloud, VMware vRealize Operations Cloud, VMware vRealize Log Insight Cloud, VMware vRealize Network Insight Cloud, VMware NSX Advanced Firewall, and more.

To take advantage of the increased storage, compute, memory, and security capabilities of I4i.metal instance with VMware Cloud on AWS, connect with our VMware Cloud on AWS team.