Google Cloud launches first Arm-based virtual machines

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Google's cloud division has announced its first Arm-based virtual machine (VM) that's set to feature within its Tau VM portfolio.

The move follows rivals AWS and Microsoft, which recently launched similar services with Graviton and Azure VMs, respectively.

Google Cloud's new VMs are now in preview with Arm-silicon set to replace the AMD Milan processors currently being used on the Tau line. The aim is to offer a better price-to-performance ratio.

"We are excited to extend the rich choices we already offer with Intel and AMD and enter the Arm ecosystem to provide our customers with even more choice and flexibility. We have support for a broad ecosystem of operating systems, databases, programming languages and other tools," Sachin Gupta, Google Cloud's VP and GM for infrastructure.

The chips will ship with pre-defined Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) with up to 48 vCPUs and each will have up to 4GB of memory. The VMs they power will offer up to 32 Gbps of networking bandwidth as well as support for a range of storage options within the Google Cloud ecosystem.

With these CPU specs, Google says the machines will be available for a wide range of workloads, such as web servers, containerised microservices, data-intensive applications, and much more.


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"In recent years, we have come to rely on Arm-based servers to power our engineering activity at lower cost and higher performance compared to legacy environments," said Mark Galbraith, VP of productivity engineering at Arm. "The introduction of the Arm Neoverse N1-based T2A instance allows us to diversify our use of cloud compute on Arm-based hardware and leverage the Google Compute Engine to build the exact virtual machine types we need, with the convenience of Google Kubernetes Engine for containerised workloads."

In addition to the new VMs, Google will also support their use as part of its Kubernetes Engine, Dataflow Stream and batch processing service.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.