15-20% Performance improvement for Magento with the new C5 instances

Ana Oliveira Sousa —  February 28, 2018 — Leave a comment

Amazon EC2 C5 instances are the newest generation of Amazon EC2’s compute optimised instance family. The C5 family has definitely lived up to our expectations and proved itself superior in all aspect when compared to the equivalent instance types in the C4 family, especially when it comes to price and performance. Being C5 the new AWS efficiency leader in CPU throughput per dollar, it’s 4 to 15% more cost effective in terms of compute/memory per dollar. On C5 family the compute is cheaper, the memory is faster, and the network is also faster.

C5 instances are powered by 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and allow a single core to run up to 3.5 GHz using Intel Turbo Boost Technology. The Skylake processor has several improvements over the Haswell processor which is used in the C4 instance family.

Optimized to deliver the right combination of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity for a wide range of workloads, C5 features AWS hardware acceleration that provides consistent, high performance, low latency networking and storage resources. C5 instances are designed for running compute-heavy workloads like video encoding, batch processing, scientific modeling, high-performance computing (HPC), distributed analytics, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, machine/deep learning inference, high-performance web servers, and ad serving.

C5 High Compute Performance

C5 family introduced a new larger sized instance, c5.18xlarge, which provides 72 vCPU and 144 GiB of memory and delivers 25 Gbps of network bandwidth.
This configuration enables customers to effectively consolidate workloads, and there is no comparable instance type in any of the previous instance families.

C5 vs. C4

The C5 replaces the C4 as the highest-capacity compute-optimized instance family in the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The C5 scales to as much as twice as many virtual CPUs as the C4 and promises a performance-to-price ratio that’s anywhere from 25 to 50 percent better. The four smallest instance sizes of the C5 family offers substantially more Amazon EBS and network bandwidth than the previous generation of compute-optimized instances. The primary reason for C5 being a better fit than existing instances is the combination of a more powerful processor, lower costs and software licensing.

Nitro Hypervisor

C5 instances are powered by a new lightweight hardware-accelerated hypervisor that allows applications to use practically all of the compute and memory resources of a server – so it directs more resources to individual virtual machines, in this way, delivering reduced cost and even better performance.

The new hypervisor is based on the KVM Linux virtualization infrastructure, and not the Xen hypervisor that’s been usually favored by AWS.
Although it is built on core Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine technology, it does not include general purpose operating system components.

The new hypervisor for Amazon EC2 is a component that primarily provides CPU and memory isolation for C5 instances. VPC networking and EBS storage resources are implemented by dedicated hardware components that are part of all current generation EC2 instance families. In other words, network and storage are done elsewhere, rather than in the hypervisor, which concentrates on carving up CPU and memory resources.

AWS initially will use the new hypervisor with the new C5 instances, but the overall plan is to eventually have all new instances use the KVM-based hypervisor, though in the near-term some new instances will still rely on Xen.

The latest AWS hypervisor, Nitro, uses everything to provide a new hardware-assisted hypervisor that is easy to use and has near bare-metal performance. It’s an exciting development in cloud computing: hardware virtualization is now fast.

Improvements of C5 at a glance

Smarter way of having network connections

C5 instances provide networking through the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA), a scalable network interface built by AWS to provide direct access to its networking hardware. Next generation Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) and NVM Express (NVMe) technology provide C5 instances with high throughput, low latency interfaces for networking and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). C5 instances offer up to 25 Gbps of network bandwidth and up to 9 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth to Amazon EBS. C5 instances also feature significantly higher networking and Amazon EBS performance on smaller instance sizes.

Better performance & Boots faster (better architecture)

C5 instances are powered by 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and allow a single core to run up to 3.5 GHz using Intel Turbo Boost Technology. C5 instances offer higher memory to vCPU ratio. Additional dedicated hardware and network bandwidth for Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) enables C5 instances to offer high performance storage through the scalable NVM Express (NVMe) interface.

Lower/better price (more power for less price)

C5 instances are built using a new light-weight hypervisor, which provides practically all of the compute and memory resources to customers’ instances. As a result, C5 instances deliver the best price/compute performance in the EC2 product family, with a 25% improvement in price/performance compared to C4 instances and certain applications delivering greater than 50% improvement. C5 instances offer the lowest price per vCPU in the Amazon EC2 family.

Security

The new hypervisor allows Amazon to give their customers access to all of the processing power provided by the host hardware, while further raising the bar on security.

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