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InfoQ Homepage News Google Announces New Infrastructure Offerings with C3 Virtual Machines and Hyperdisk

Google Announces New Infrastructure Offerings with C3 Virtual Machines and Hyperdisk


At the latest Cloud Next'22 conference, Google announced two new infrastructure platform offerings with the Compute Engine C3 machine series optimized for high-performance computing and next-generation block storage called Hyperdisk optimized for data-intensive workloads such as Hadoop and DBMS.

The new C3 machine series, currently in private preview, is the first to include Google's custom Intel Infrastructure Processing Unit (IPU) and the Intel Sapphire Rapids CPU (also known as 4th Gen Xeon Scalable processor). The IPU is an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit), a programmable network device that accelerates system-level infrastructure resources by securely accelerating those functions.

The company claims the C3 instance delivers a 20% performance gain over the previous C2 instance, made possible by combining CPUs and an IPU to provide more efficient use of processing resources. At the Cloud Next'22 event Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said in the keynote:

The instances are virtual machines that can take on workloads that require a heavy dose of storage and networking, with the Sapphire Rapids CPU offloading computing to the IPU.

In an Intel press release, Nick McKeown, Intel senior vice president, Intel Fellow, and general manager of Network and Edge Group, said:

We are pleased to have codesigned the first ASIC infrastructure processing unit with Google Cloud, which has now launched in the new C3 machine series. A first of its kind in any public cloud, C3 VMs will run workloads on 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors while they free up programmable packet processing to the IPUs securely at line rates of 200 gigabits per second.

In addition, Google states in a blog post that introducing system-on-a-chip architecture in C3 VMs can enable better security, isolation, and performance. 

The C3 machines work well together with the next-generation block storage solution Hyperdisk, announced in a preview earlier by the company. The architecture behind Hyperdisk decouples compute instance sizing from storage performance to deliver 80% higher IOPS per vCPU. Nirav Mehta, Sr. director of product management, Cloud Infrastructure Solutions, explains in a blog post:

Compared with the previous generation C2, C3 VMs with Hyperdisk deliver 4x higher throughput and 10x higher IOPS. Now, you don’t have to choose expensive, larger compute instances just to get the storage performance you need for data workloads such as Hadoop and Microsoft SQL Server.

Customers can reach out to a Google sales representative or account manager to access C3 Virtual Machines of Hyperdisk previews.

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