I am finishing up my first submission to the AWS Graviton Hackathon: Flip this WordPress
I migrated this WordPress blog from my old cPanel host to a new Graviton instance in AWS. What’s special about Graviton you might ask? AWS is using the same chip architecture that cell phones use to minimize power consumption by their data centers. It turns out that chips using the Arm64 architecture uses less power than an x86 chip for the same workload. This makes sense because Arm64 is used in mobile applications where battery life is precious.
Do all the WordPress dependencies run OK on an Arm64 platform? Let’s run through the checklist:
- Linux? Check – Ubuntu 20 LTS runs great on Graviton
- Apache? Check – Apache runs great on Graviton
- PHP? Check – AWS worked with the PHP dev team to make sure PHP 7.4 runs great on Arm64
- MySQL? Check
- Miscellaneous things I forgot about? Check because it works (so far). 😀
To my surprise, everything just worked the same way as an x86 instance. It amazes me that so many different open source projects have implemented support for Arm64. Maybe it is all those Raspberry Pi’s folks have been playing with.
How can you even tell you are running on an Arm64 box? Look for “aarch64”. In WordPress login to the dashboard, click “Site Health”, “Info”, and then look under the “Server” drop-down and you will see the “Server architecture” listed. At the Ubuntu command prompt just run “uname -m”.
Server architecture Linux 5.4.0-1045-aws aarch64
We now have Apple’s M1 Macs, iPad Pros, all those mobile devices, Raspberry Pis, some Chromebooks, and now servers. Arm64 consumes less power consumption for the same amount of compute and the binaries are there or getting there (including Windows). I think we are going to see a lot more Arm64 systems in the future.