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Optimize Your Workload Using Flexible Virtual Machines on Oracle Cloud

Sanjay Pillai
Principal Product Manager

Have you ever wished that you could select exactly how many cores and how much memory your virtual machine uses? Now you can, with Oracle Cloud’s flexible VMs!

We’re excited to announce the next step in the evolution of flexible virtual machines (VM) on Oracle Cloud. Earlier this year, we launched the second generation of AMD EPYC-based E3 VM instances with the ability to choose a specific number of cores. Now you can select the specific number of cores and the amount of memory when creating or resizing your VM. This flexibility lets you build VMs that better match your workload so that you can get the best performance while optimizing on cost.

Industry-Leading Flexibility, Available on Oracle Cloud

With Oracle Cloud’s E3 flexible VM instances, when you create a VM you can pick an exact number of cores, from 1 to 64. This number can be any specific value—for example, 3 cores, 6 cores, or 63 cores. You can then select an amount of memory from 1 to 64 GB per core, up to a total of 1024 GB for the instance. This number can also be any specific value—for example, if you choose 9 cores, then you can choose from 9 GB to 576 GB, in 1-GB increments.

You pay independently for the OCPU and memory provisioned. Each E3 OCPU is a full processor core with two hyperthreads and is priced at US$0.025 per OCPU per hour. The memory resource is priced at US$0.0015 per GB per hour. These resources are billed at a per-second granularity with a one-minute minimum for VM shapes.

Optimize for Your Workload, Adapt to Changes

The E3 VM instance is designed with 16 GB per OCPU by default, to meet the workload requirements of most of our customers. At this default ratio, the E3 VM is significantly cheaper than comparable instances offered by our competitors. But we wanted to do better. Now you can optimize your costs even further by choosing the exact shape that you need to match your workload.

  • Memory Intensive: For applications like in-memory databases or big data processing engines, you can configure an E3 VM instance with a high core-to-memory ratio. With the ability to select up to 64 GB per OCPU, you can create an E3 flexible VM with 16 OCPU and 1024 GB, with savings of 38% over an E3 VM with the default memory-to-core ratio (64 OCPU and 1024 GB).

  • Compute Intensive: For applications like media processing or machine learning, you can configure the VM to maximize the compute processing power by choosing a low core-to-memory ratio. You can configure an E3 flexible VM with 64 OCPU and as little as 64 GB (that is, a 1:1 core to memory ratio). This reduces your cost up to 46% as compared to an E3 VM with the default memory to core ratio.

  • Low Cost: or application workloads like microservices or development environments, you can build a VM without paying for any OCPU or memory that you don’t need. The smallest E3 flexible VM is now a 1-OCPU, 1-GB VM, which costs you US$0.0265 per hour or US$19.716 per month (before additional storage or other resources). This option enables you to deploy lightweight applications to the cloud in the most cost-effective manner possible.

In the real world, application workloads are not static. They change as your business grows or according to seasonality. And flexible VMs are ideal for this. You can modify flexible VMs anytime you want, as often as you want. With a couple of clicks, you can reconfigure your VM while preserving key instance properties including private and ephemeral public IP addresses. This functionality lets you scale up for increased performance or scale down to optimize costs. This is the power of flexible VMs: ensuring that the cloud adapts to your application workload rather than the other way around.

Flexible VM Configuration

With other cloud vendors, you have to pick from a dizzying array of options to select the VM that performs best for your workload. When you create an E3 VM in Oracle Cloud, you now see a slider for the cores and another slider for memory. Simply move the slider to choose the number of OCPUs that you want, and then move the second slider to choose the memory in GB.

A screenshot that shows the page where you can choose the number of OCPUs and the amount of memory, using sliders or text boxes.

Figure 1: Selecting OCPUs and Memory for a Flexible VM

In the preceding example, I selected 9 OCPUs. The memory selection changes to 144 GB based on the default 16-GB memory-to-core ratio. The bolded portion of the memory slider indicates the allowable range of memory that I can select. By moving the memory slider, I can create a VM with 9 OCPU and 389 GB. You can also use the numeric input option to the right of the slider to directly set the OCPU and memory values. That’s it!

Changing the instance shape to adapt to your workload is also straightforward. Click Edit in the instance details view in the Console (or use the UpdateInstance API call) to change the shape. You can choose the slider to modify the cores and memory. In the time it takes you to reboot your instance, you can configure your instance to match what your workloads needs.

Try Flexible VMs on Oracle Cloud

Flexible VMs are available to use in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console, SDK, and CLI, and also in Terraform for your automation needs. This capability is automatically enabled for all your existing and new E3 VM instances in commercial regions. Learn more about E3 Flexible VM instances.

You can benefit from this performance by deploying and migrating your workloads to these compute instances today. And if you haven’t yet tried Oracle Cloud, sign up for a free trial.

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