AWS News Blog

New – Storage-Optimized Amazon EC2 Instances (I4i) Powered by Intel Xeon Scalable (Ice Lake) Processors

Over the years we have released multiple generations of storage-optimized Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances including the HS1 (2012) , D2 (2015), I2 (2013) , I3 (2017), I3en (2019), D3/D3en (2020), and Im4gn/Is4gen (2021). These instances are used to host high-performance real-time relational databases, distributed file systems, data warehouses, key-value stores, and more.

New I4i Instances
Today I am happy to introduce the new I4i instances, powered by the latest generation Intel Xeon Scalable (Ice Lake) Processors with an all-core turbo frequency of 3.5 GHz.

The instances offer up to 30 TB of NVMe storage using AWS Nitro SSD devices that are custom-built by AWS, and are designed to minimize latency and maximize transactions per second (TPS) on workloads that need very fast access to medium-sized datasets on local storage. This includes transactional databases such as MySQL, Oracle DB, and Microsoft SQL Server, as well as NoSQL databases: MongoDB, Couchbase, Aerospike, Redis, and the like. They are also an ideal fit for workloads that can benefit from very high compute performance per TB of storage such as data analytics and search engines.

Here are the specs:

Instance Name vCPUs
Memory (DDR4) Local NVMe Storage
(AWS Nitro SSD)
Sequential Read Throughput
(128 KB Blocks)
Bandwidth
EBS-Optimized
Network
i4i.large 2 16 GiB 468 GB 350 MB/s Up to 10 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
i4i.xlarge 4 32 GiB 937 GB 700 MB/s Up to 10 Gbps Up to 10 Gbps
i4i.2xlarge 8 64 GiB 1,875 GB 1,400 MB/s Up to 10 Gbps Up to 12 Gbps
i4i.4xlarge 16 128 GiB 3,750 GB 2,800 MB/s Up to 10 Gbps Up to 25 Gbps
i4i.8xlarge 32 256 GiB 7,500 GB
(2 x 3,750 GB)
5,600 MB/s 10 Gbps 18.75 Gbps
i4i.16xlarge 64 512 GiB 15,000 GB
(4 x 3,750 GB)
11,200 MB/s 20 Gbps 37.5 Gbps
i4i.32xlarge 128 1024 GiB 30,000 GB
(8 x 3,750 GB)
22,400 MB/s 40 Gbps 75 Gbps

In comparison to the Xen-based I3 instances, the Nitro-powered I4i instances give you:

  • Up to 60% lower storage I/O latency, along with up to 75% lower storage I/O latency variability.
  • A new, larger instance size (i4i.32xlarge).
  • Up to 30% better compute price/performance.

The i4i.16xlarge and i4i.32xlarge instances give you control over C-states, and the i4i.32xlarge instances support non-uniform memory access (NUMA). All of the instances support AVX-512, and use Intel Total Memory Encryption (TME) to deliver always-on memory encryption.

From Our Customers
AWS customers and AWS service teams have been putting these new instances to the test ahead of today’s launch. Here’s what they had to say:

Redis Enterprises powers mission-critical applications for over 8,000 organizations. According to Yiftach Shoolman (Co-Founder and CTO of Redis):

We are thrilled with the performance we are seeing from the Amazon EC2 I4i instances which use the new low latency AWS Nitro SSDs. Our testing shows I4i instances delivering an astonishing 2.9x higher query throughput than the previous generation I3 instances. We have also tested with various read and write mixes, and observed consistent and linearly scaling performance.

ScyllaDB is a high performance NoSQL database that can take advantage of high performance cloud computing instances. Avi Kivity (Co-Founder and CTO of ScyllaDB) told us:

When we tested I4i instances, we observed up to 2.7x increase in throughput per vCPU compared to I3 instances for reads. With an even mix of reads and writes, we observed 2.2x higher throughput per vCPU, with a 40% reduction in average latency than I3 instances. We are excited for the incredible performance and value these new instances will enable for our customers going forward.

Amazon QuickSight is a business intelligence service. After testing, Tracy Daugherty (General Manager, Amazon Quicksight) reported that:

I4i instances have demonstrated superior performance over previous generation I instances, with a 30% improvement across operations. We look forward to using I4i to further elevate performance for our customers.

Available Now
You can launch I4i instances today in the AWS US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) Regions (with more to come) in On-Demand and Spot form. Savings Plans and Reserved Instances are available, as are Dedicated Instances and Dedicated Hosts.

In order to take advantage of the performance benefits of these new instances, be sure to use recent AMIs that include current ENA drivers and support for NVMe 1.4.

To learn more, visit the I4i instance home page.

Jeff;

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.