Amazon Linux 2022 Benchmarks - Offers Competitive Performance Against Ubuntu, CentOS
Last week Amazon Web Services released Amazon Linux 2022 in preview form and since then I've been trying out their new cloud-optimized Linux distribution. It's been working out well on AWS (to no surprise) but also great was the level of performance provided by this now-Fedora-based distribution.
Amazon Linux 2022 transitions to being a Fedora-based Linux distribution that AWS intends to support for at least the next five years. Amazon Linux to this point had been based on a combination of RHEL and Fedora packages. Besides shifting the package base to Fedora, AWS engineers have adjusted various defaults of the distribution, employed extra kernel hardening, other package updates/changes, forthcoming kernel live patching, and other alterations in the name of security and AWS performance.
My testing of the Amazon Linux 2022 preview over the past week has been working out well. As tested the current Amazon Linux 2022 "AL2022" stack used the Linux 5.10 kernel (Linux 5.15 LTS appears to be forthcoming), GCC 11.2.1 as the latest system compiler, usage of the XFS file-system, Python 3.9.8, and other bleeding-edge package versions.
For taking a quick look at the performance, I ran some comparison benchmarks of Amazon Linux 2022 against the former Amazon Linux 2 as well as Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and CentOS 8 as other popular cloud Linux distributions. All of these benchmarks were freshly conducted on an Amazon EC2 m6i.4xlarge Ice Lake instance type.
All of the Linux distributions in Amazon's cloud were tested in their out-of-the-box instance type. The "TLDR" version if going straight to the geometric mean of the various tests conducted:
Amazon Linux 2 was slower than CentOS 8 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS while now with the preview of Amazon Linux 2022 has jumped ahead of them. Amazon Linux 2022 managed to come out ahead of both CentOS 8 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as other enterprise Linux distributions widely used in the Elastic Compute Cloud. Amazon Linux 2022 preview had a 6% advantage over CentOS 8 (EL8) on this "M6i" Ice Lake instance.
Amazon Linux 2022 against CentOS 8 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is certainly in great shape but not necessarily the fastest... Especially with Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake", Intel's own Clear Linux is likely to show the true potential of the cloud instance. Unfortunately, however, Clear Linux on AWS as of testing was not compatible with the M6i instance types. Once that support is enabled, it will be very interesting to have a throwdown between AL2022 and Clear Linux for seeing how those optimized distributions can battle it out.
Let's move on and look at some of the individual benchmarks.