At AWS, we are constantly innovating on behalf of our customers so they can run virtually any workload, with optimal price and performance. Amazon EC2 now includes more than 475 instance types that offer a choice of compute, memory, networking, and storage to suit your workload needs. While we work closely with our silicon partners to offer instances based on their latest processors and accelerators, we also drive more choice for our customers by building our own silicon.

The AWS Graviton family of processors were built as part of that silicon innovation initiative with the goal of pushing the price performance envelope for a wide variety of customer workloads in EC2. We now have 12 EC2 instance families powered by AWS Graviton2 processors – general purpose (M6g, M6gd), burstable (T4g), compute optimized (C6g, C6gd, C6gn), memory optimized (R6g, R6gd, X2gd), storage optimized (Im4gn, Is4gen), and accelerated computing (G5g) available globally across 23 AWS Regions. We also announced the preview of Amazon EC2 C7g instances powered by the latest generation AWS Graviton3 processors that will provide the best price performance for compute-intensive workloads in EC2. Thousands of customers, including Discovery, DIRECTV, Epic Games, and Formula 1, have realized significant price performance benefits with AWS Graviton-based instances for a broad range of workloads. This year, AWS Graviton-based instances also powered much of Amazon Prime Day 2021 and supported 12 core retail services during the massive 2-day online shopping event.

To make it easy for customers to adopt Graviton-based instances, we launched a program called the Graviton Challenge. Working with customers, we saw that many successful adoptions of Graviton-based instances were the result of one or two developers taking a single workload and spending a few days to benchmark the price performance gains with Graviton2-based instances, before scaling it to more workloads. The Graviton Challenge provides a step-by-step plan that developers can follow to move their first workload to Graviton-based instances. With the Graviton Challenge, we also launched a Contest (US-only), and then a Hackathon (global), where developers could compete for prizes by building new applications or moving existing applications to run on Graviton2-based instances. More than a thousand participants, including enterprises, startups, individual developers, open-source developers, and Arm developers, registered and ran a variety of applications on Graviton-based instances with significant price performance benefits. We saw some fantastic entries and usage of Graviton2-based instances across a variety of use cases and want to highlight a few.

The Graviton Challenge Contest winners:

  • Best Adoption – Enterprise and Most Impactful Adoption: VMware vRealize SRE team, who migrated 60 micro-services written in Java, Rust, and Golang to Graviton2-based general purpose and compute optimized instances and realized up to 48% latency reduction and 22% cost savings.
  • Best Adoption – Startup: Kasm Technologies, who realized up to 48% better performance and 25% potential cost savings for its container streaming platform built on C/C++ and Python.
  • Best New Workload adoption: Dustin Wilson, who built a dynamic tile server based on Golang and running on Graviton2-based memory-optimized instances that helps analysts query large geospatial datasets and benchmarked up to 1.8x performance gains over comparable x86-based instances.
  • Most Innovative Adoption: Loroa, an application that translates any given text into spoken words from one language into multiple other languages using Graviton2-based instances, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Translate.

If you are attending AWS re:Invent 2021 in person, you can hear more details on their Graviton adoption experience by attending the CMP213: Lessons learned from customers who have adopted AWS Graviton chalk talk.

Winners for the Graviton Challenge Hackathon:

  • Best New App: PickYourPlace, an open-source based data analytics platform to help users select a place to live based on property value, safety, and accessibility.
  • Best Migrated App: Genie, an image credibility checker based on deep learning that makes predictions on photographic and tampered confidence of an image.
  • Highest Potential Impact: Welly Tambunan, who’s also an AWS Community Builder, for porting big data platforms Spark, Dremio, and AirByte to Graviton2 instances so developers can leverage it to build big data capabilities into their applications.
  • Most Creative Use Case: OXY, a low-cost custom Oximeter with mobile and web apps that enables continuous and remote monitoring to prevent deaths due to Silent Hypoxia.
  • Best Technical Implementation: Apollonia Bot that plays songs, playlists, or podcasts on a Discord voice channel, so users can listen to it together.

It’s been incredibly exciting to see the enthusiasm and benefits realized by our customers. We are also thankful to our judges – Patrick Moorhead from Moor Insights, James Governor from RedMonk, and Jason Andrews from Arm, for their time and effort.

In addition to EC2, several AWS services for databases, analytics, and even serverless support options to run on Graviton-based instances. These include Amazon Aurora, Amazon RDS, Amazon MemoryDB, Amazon DocumentDB, Amazon Neptune, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon OpenSearch, Amazon EMR, AWS Lambda, and most recently, AWS Fargate. By using these managed services on Graviton2-based instances, customers can get significant price performance gains with minimal or no code changes. We also added support for Graviton to key AWS infrastructure services such as Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon EKS, Amazon ECS, and Amazon CloudWatch to help customers build, run, and scale their applications on Graviton-based instances. Additionally, a large number of Linux and BSD-based operating systems, and partner software for security, monitoring, containers, CI/CD, and other use cases now support Graviton-based instances and we recently launched the AWS Graviton Ready program as part of the AWS Service Ready program to offer Graviton-certified and validated solutions to customers.

Congrats to all of our Contest and Hackathon winners! Full list of the Contest and Hackathon winners is available on the Graviton Challenge page.

P.S.: Even though the Contest and Hackathon have ended, developers can still access the step-by-step plan on the Graviton Challenge page to move their first workload to Graviton-based instances.