Oracle recently announced support for Ampere ARM architecture for both cloud and on-premises deployments. Specifically, Oracle Database 19c Enterprise Edition (the current long-term support release of Oracle Database), is now certified and available using Ampere® Altra® processors.
The press release is keen to point out that both deployment options (OCI and on-prem) provide “highly economical price points,” for customers. While there appeared to be some initial press confusion as to what this meant, it is due to the more favourable Core Factor attributed to Ampere processors vs X86 (among others).
ARM Ampere CPUs (Altra/AltraMax and AmpereOne) have a Core Factor of 0.25 in comparison to AMD/Intel’s 0.5…making Ampere ARM half the cost of X86 CPUs. Note that all other ARM CPUs have a factor of 1.0. This also puts Ampere on the same footing as Oracle’s own SPARC processors (among others).
For reference, here is a snapshot of the full Core Factor table from Oracle below.
* Note this is a live document which may be updated from time-to-time, so we recommend you download it directly from Oracle here: https://www.oracle.com/assets/processor-core-factor-table-070634.pdf
This is a big deal for ARM in the cloud, and Ampere specifically. Amazon previously validated ARM when it deployed its Graviton CPU-based instances, removing some of the barriers for Ampere to move into other cloud solutions. This is a positive next step for Ampere.
It is worth noting that Oracle has invested about $850 million in Ampere, so it is no surprise to see them putting their money where their mouth is here.
With a growing track record for high performance and energy efficiency – now combined with such favourable licensing – is Ampere now on your radar? Could you foresee using an ARM-based cloud? Or if you’re one of the many who are facing a 2x – 10x increase in Java license costs, thanks to the recent Oracle Java licensing changes, does this just feel like a drop in the ocean?