The News: Arm Neoverse based platforms provided the basis for Microsoft’s preview access of Microsoft Azure virtual machines featuring the Ampere Altra processors. The new VMs are engineered to run scale-out workloads, web servers, application servers, open-source databases, cloud-native as well as .NET applications, Java applications, gaming servers, media servers, and other capabilities. The new VM series include general-purpose Dpsv5 and memory optimized Epsv5 VMs. Read more on this at Arm.
Arm Arms Microsoft Azure VMs Preview Featuring Ampere Altra Processors
Analyst Take: Arm is diligently using the Microsoft Azure VMs preview announcement to tout the progress of its Arm Neoverse software ecosystem. The Ampere Altra-based Azure VMs are designed to run Linux based workloads across the stack, supporting Azure customers looking to take advantage of the broadening software ecosystem support for Arm processors, typically as an alternative to the dominant data center microprocessor market presence of the x86 architecture. This includes the ecosystem-wide influence of the x86 architecture throughout the software development community, including especially data center software developers.
I see Arm making inroads throughout the open-source ecosystem in supporting software projects that provide multi-architecture support to drive such software development initiatives. This includes an expanding array of independent software vendors (ISVs) who provide commercial support to software for customers, especially across cloud to edge environments.
The Arm System Ready program provides standards-based certification for Arm operating systems such as the Ampere Altra platform. The program validates Linux-based operating systems, which all support 64-bit Arm architecture, including SUSE/Open SUSE, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, AlmaLinux, and Ubuntu.
Moreover, Arm provides the developer tools essential to enabling application development throughout cloud environments, including native build capabilities across the languages widely used for building enterprise workloads such as collaboration with Microsoft on .Net on Arm development. To up its ecosystem influence, Arm is also prioritizing taking a proactive approach toward powering projects to be multi-architecture including easing the deployment of containerized applications.
Key Takeaways on Arm’s Ecosystem Role Across Microsoft Azure VM Preview Featuring Ampere Altra Processors
I believe in the post-pandemic era the cloud will play an increasingly critical role in how organizations administer their distributed workforces and fulfill their overall strategic business objectives. Arm cited how today’s workplace features employees using more than 30 cloud-based services such as file sharing and data security daily. As such, cloud service providers need to affordably scale while delivering the compute performance required to process the 100 zettabytes of data projected to be stored in the cloud by 2025.
Equally important, Microsoft’s preview of VMs on its Azure cloud platform powered by Arm-based Ampere Altra server CPUs should help propel Arm’s sales and marketing momentum after the collapse of the $40 billion acquisition attempt by NVIDIA of the company. As a result, Arm is now planning to cut up to 1,000 jobs, or 15% of the workforce, as parent company Softbank plans to take the company public.
Through the Microsoft Azure VM and Ampere Altra collaboration, I see Arm demonstrating that the company will not take its eye off expanding Neoverse ecosystem influence by enabling key partners to augment the overall cloud experience through more predictable performance, linear scalability, and power efficiency across increasingly diverse workloads.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: Arm
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Ron is an experienced research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets. He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including software and services, infrastructure, 5G/IoT, AI/analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.