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CircleCI Taps AWS Graviton2 to Bring CI/CD to Arm

Continuous integration/continuous delivery company CircleCI is bringing support for Arm architecture to its flagship CI/CD platform using its existing partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

CircleCI this week announced its plans to offer a cloud-hosted compute option for users to build, test and deploy applications with Arm Neoverse-based compute on AWS Graviton2 instances.

Arm Neoverse is a high-performance Arm micro-architecture aimed at the server market. Its technology is the basis of the AWS Graviton processors, which enable developers to run cloud-native applications securely and at scale. The first AWS Graviton chips debuted in 2018, with newer the Graviton2 processors delivering "a major leap in performance and capabilities" over the first generation, according to AWS.

CircleCI's namesake platform is designed to automate software delivery at scale, so dev teams can build, test and deploy software quickly. It allows teams to stop worrying about maintaining complex and fragile build systems, the company said, and focus on shipping code to their customers.

CircleCI is now one of the few platforms to offer cloud-based CI/CD services for the Arm architecture, thanks to its partnership with AWS. That partnership makes it possible for the two organizations to allow joint customers to build and test applications compiled for Arm without managing their own systems.

"With the Arm architecture reaching critical mass, more and more developers want to capitalize on the Arm-powered AWS Graviton2 processor's performance capabilities and cost benefits," said David Brown, vice president of the Amazon EC2 group at AWS, in a statement. "With CircleCI on AWS, developers can now take advantage of AWS Graviton2 processors to build and test their applications for Arm without managing their own machines, so they can focus on building great apps."

Arm is the chip designer (not manufacturer) behind the silicon in billions of mobile devices. The CircleCI news comes on the headline-grabbing heels of the new Armv9 architecture announcement.

"While always valued for its power efficiency, the Arm platform continues to make dramatic improvements in performance as it becomes ubiquitous across a wide variety of hardware platforms," said Stephen O'Grady, principal analyst at RedMonk, in a statement. "With these improvements, its importance as an enterprise development and deployment platform has skyrocketed. Businesses are not asking but requiring that their infrastructure software run on Arm. CircleCI's just-announced support for the Arm Graviton2 platform, therefore, is built to meet precisely this demand."

The practice of CI/CD has improved engineering team performance and velocity greatly since it moved from the bleeding edge to the mainstream. CircleCI expanded its ecosystem last year to support that move with the introduction of the CircleCI developer hub, a dedicated resource library to help engineering teams at companies of all sizes maintain evolving software stacks and optimize CI/CD pipelines.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at jwaters@converge360.com.


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