Google Cloud Tau VM Instances Deliver Better Performance, Price-Performance Than Graviton2 M6g
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 19 October 2021. Page 1 of 4. Add A Comment

Announced earlier this year for Google Cloud was a new family of virtual machines called Tau VMs. The initial T2D instances are powered by AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" processors to deliver leading performance and are also positioned to deliver great value in going up against the likes of Amazon's Graviton2 instances. Tau VM instances are now available as a preview and Google has provided us with gratis access to the new instance types for benchmarking.

Over a variety of tests we are seeing T2D providing over ~47% higher performance when compared to Graviton2 with M6g instances. While Tau T2D VM instances cost about 10% more than the M6g for on-demand pricing, the price-performance TCO savings Tau T2D VM deliver are still significant.

The Tau VM instances were born out of Google and AMD collaborating to come up with a new instance type that could offer leading performance, price, and streamlined integration. The T2D instances are designed for web services, container workloads, large Java applications, and other scale-out workloads.


Google's performance and value claims for Tau VMs from their June announcement.

Back in the June announcement of Tau VMs, Google cited up to 56% higher absolute performance and up to 42% higher price-performance over the general purpose VMs over other public cloud providers. The Tau VM family currently consists of instances up to 60 vCPUs and 4GB of system memory per vCPU. Google's original announcement notes that T2D VMs should be available as a preview in Q3'2021, which has begun happening this month.


Tau VM instances are powered exclusively by AMD EPYC 7003 series processors.

Google Cloud was kind enough to provide us gratis access to the T2D instances early for carrying out benchmarks. For this initial T2D benchmarking is a look at the T2D performance against Amazon's M6g Graviton2-based instances, which appear to be the principal competition for this new class of virtual machines. The T2D VM instances tested were using an AMD EPYC 7B13 processor.

For the purposes of this initial Tau VM TD2 performance comparison, benchmarks were carried out against equal sized Amazon M6g instances. The t2d-standard-8 with 8 vCPUs was tested against the m6g.2xlarge, which is eight cores on Graviton2. Both of these instances offered 32GB of RAM. For a larger size and additional comparison was the t2d-standard-32 against the m6g.8xlarge, both having 32 vCPUs and 128GB of system memory.

Across all these virtual machines tested, Debian 10 with the Linux 4.19 kernel and other default software toolchain components were used for testing in their out-of-the-box configuration as deployed by each of these public cloud providers.

When it comes to the on-demand pricing, the t2d-standard-8 in the US central region used is at $0.337968 per hour while the on-demand EC2 m6g.2xlarge pricing was $0.308 per hour. For the t2d-standard-32 pricing, the on-demand rate was $1.351872 per hour while the on-demand m6g.8xlarge was at $1.232. From the t2d-standard-1 up through the t2d-standard-60, the M6g instances did cost ~9% less than the similarly-sized T2D instance, but we'll see with these benchmarks and the performance-per-dollar metrics, which public cloud provider was delivering better value.


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