Trends Review: The Rise of ARM Architecture

With the release of Plesk Obsidian 18.0.41 we are excited to announce ARM Architecture support, available for Ubuntu 20 as a Beta version only.

Currently, you can obtain a VPS with the Plesk Panel on Graviton2 processors by using Plesk AWS AMI image in just a click. That said, by using the Plesk Panel on VPSes with ARM CPUs, you can reduce costs on server resources while maintaining high performance.

Overall, we have identified that the interest in ARM processors on the server market has rocketed over the last two years. Therefore, we are thrilled to share with you why we at Plesk think it can be useful to make use of a server with aarch64 processors – the 64-bit extension of the ARM architecture – to host your beloved websites.

What is ARM?

In short, ARM (Advanced RISC Machines) is a family of CPUs that are based on the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) architecture. 

ARM’s processors enjoy a low cost, low power consumption, and low heat generation. This means ARM can leave its competitors behind when it comes to offering a suitable solution for light, portable and battery-powered devices. 

Therefore, ARM processors can be found all around us, in sensory devices, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and servers… you name it! It should thus not come as a big surprise that over the years, ARM has managed to ship out over 200 billion chips – an accomplishment to say the least. 

Generally, ARM technologies are comfortably positioned at the heart of numerous mobile solutions. Amongst others, the company’s clients include Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Broadcom, and Qualcomm. Indeed, it is safe to say that the interest in ARM architecture is here to stay. 

Let’s move on and take a look at the movement towards ARM, and identify why using ARM with Plesk can be good for you.

Trends of ARM architecture

According to Gartner, servers running on ARM are already past the peak of inflated expectations, and at present are approaching the slope of enlightenment. This means it’s not just hype; the demand for Compute Infrastructure is real, and the benefits of ARM solutions are becoming more widely understood.

To meet this demand, ARM eventually aims to secure more than 25 percent of the market of data center and cloud computing, a drastic increase from their previously held 5 percent market share in 2019. Furthermore, the market of ARM chips continues to grow on desktop devices, offering new opportunities going forward.

On top of this, 2020-2021 saw the introduction of several new changes and players in the field, each curious to take a bet, and invest in ARM processors:

Finally, Linux-based CentOS and Ubuntu have also been supporting ARM processors for some time, and are providing cloud images for both.

Why use ARM?

In a nutshell, ARM processors are designed to have the lowest possible energy consumption while maintaining high processing power. 

Climate-friendly

In recent years, it has become clear that more investment and policies are being allocated towards the aversion of climate change. Nowadays, businesses are expected to account for their environmental waste. 

According to CloudFlare’s use case, the latest ARM-based CPUs can process up to 57% more internet requests per watt. And besides being more eco-friendly, ARM processors are more affordable due to their reduced costs in both hardware and infrastructure. 

Overall, in the name of sustainability and for the sake of lowering costs, ARM processors can help us to reduce our carbon footprint. 

Cheaper price

As we have already mentioned above, besides being more ecologically sound, the ARM architecture is also generally more affordable.

For example, AWS is providing lower prices for VPSes with ARM architecture.

Better resources isolation

Another advantage can be found in the processors currently used by Ampere for cloud-specific needs. Processors built from the ground up for the cloud, such as the Ampere Altra Cloud-native CPUs, were designed for the purpose of predictable frequency scaling. 

Due to their specific design (single-threaded cores), Ampere can offer more predictability per-core performance for all workloads. By doing so, the noisy neighbor effect and its negative impact on performance can be avoided.

Opportunities for your business?

In conclusion, we identify the following advantages when using Plesk on servers with ARM:

  1. You can save up to 40% + costs for server resources while maintaining the same performance.
  2. It’s a Climate-friendly technology. The use of ARM processors can help to reduce your carbon footprint.
  3. You can run Plesk on Raspberry Pi. Thought we do not recommend this for production purposes, you may configure it for entertainment and educational purposes.
  4. You have ARM as an Additional choice if you are currently not satisfied with Intel/AMD (because of quality, costs, or competition).

We would be more than happy to hear your opinion about this configuration. Please feel free to send your feedback and report issues to the Forum’s thread.

7 Comments

  1. Hello there, how we can install and try your ARM beta version?

  2. Hi,
    I installed Plesk on ARM via the default Ubuntu 20.04 image on AWS. Its complaining that my VPS based Plesk licence is not appropriate :

    Error: The license key is invalid. In order to use Plesk, please obtain and install a new valid license key. The license key is intended only for use with Plesk operating inside the following virtual environments: Virtuozzo containers, VMWare, Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen, KVM, Virtuozzo Server, LXC, Docker.

    I don’t think its recognising virtual ARM based environments?

    • Louis Vanfraechem
      Louis Vanfraechem Moderator

      Hi Paul,

      If you could be so kind as to report this issue in the following Thread (Plesk on Ubuntu 20 running ARM), then our engineers will gladly assist you further.

  3. I try to install by https://get.plesk.com in my AWS ARM instance but the script tell me unsupported CPU.

    My server configure is CPU ARM in AWS, Ubuntu 18

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