Amazon adds compute-heavy C5 instances to EC2

AWS logo on black background
(Image credit: AWS)

AWS has announced its C5 instances are now available in the company's US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) regions, enabling businesses to run compute-intensive applications such as batch processing, distributed analytics, ad serving, high-intensity multiplayer gaming and video encoding.

The company explained its new instances provide substantial performance improvements over its previous C4 instances, with 50% more efficiency (provided on a price/performance basis).

"Over the years we have been working non-stop to provide our customers with the best possible networking, storage, and compute performance, with a long-term focus on offloading many types of work to dedicated hardware designed and built by AWS," AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr explained in a blog post.

"The C5 instance type incorporates the latest generation of our hardware offloads, and also takes another big step forward with the addition of a new hypervisor that runs hand-in-glove with our hardware."

This hypervisor will provide access to the hardware's processing power, boosting security and performance, the company said.

AWS's C5 instances are available in five sizes, from 4GB with 2vCPUs, all the way up to 144GB across 72vCPUs, with a mammoth 9Gbps EBS bandwidth and 25 Gbps network bandwidth. All vCPUs in the instance run on a 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Platinum 8000-series processor that has been custom designed for EC2.

Barr warned that users shouldn't use C5 instances with sc1 or st1 volumes, because its NVMe driver has not been optimised for high-performance sequential workloads. However, AWS is working on a solution for the issue and will redesign the driver in due course.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.