You can migrate applications to the Arm architecture and benefit from improved price performance.
This Learning Path provides a general overview of application migration to Arm servers. Specific migration examples are not covered, but technical guidance is provided which is useful for developers.
The first step in application migration is to setup a Linux development machine. Most of the time this an Arm based instance from a cloud service provider, but it can be any kind of virtual machine such as Multipass . You can use a development machine to explore and experiment with application dependencies.
Assuming a Linux machine is available, analyze and make a list of what is needed to migrate a particular application to an Arm server.
Identify and create a list of development tools.
Common development tools are:
Other requirements could be a Linux Desktop to run graphical applications.
Remember that all software needs to be available for the Arm architecture. While most applications in the Linux ecosystem run on Arm, keep an eye out for exceptions.
With a general idea of what is needed on the development machine, look into application dependencies in more detail.
Common software dependencies include:
Start by making a list of dependencies and confirm they are available for the Arm architecture. Also, check for any dependence on cloud services used by an application.
For open source projects, search for Arm in the GitHub issues list and look at the project history. There is often a question and answer about Arm support.
Applications typically fall into three categories as shown on the table below.
|Easy||Interpreted languages and Jit compilers (Python, Java, PHP, Node.js)||Use multi-arch container images and popular Linux distributions|
|More difficult||Compiled languages (C/C++, Go, Rust)||Recompile on an Arm development machine or cross-compile applications|
|Not possible||Something significant is not available on Arm||A language, runtime, or operating system which is not available on Arm|
While most software is available on Arm, you may come across dependencies which are not possible to run on Arm.
Things to be aware of when migrating applications.
Newer software can make a big performance impact.
Here are a number of real-world migration scenarios. They cover migrations ranging from easy to difficult.
|Application migration||Migration results|
|Node.js application||Just works! nothing special for Arm and you may not even notice it is running on Arm|
|C++ application has some x86_64 intrinsics||Migrate to NEON using sse2neon or SIMDe|
|Pandoc (documentation tool) has a filter not available on Arm||Rebuild dependency library from source (and ask maintainers for Arm support)|
|Encryption in a Java app is slow||Use -XX:+UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions -XX:+UseAESCTRIntrinsics flags to improve Arm crypto performance|
|Dependent container not available for Arm||Build the container yourself (and ask the maintainers for Arm support)|
|Benchmark results are mediocre on Arm||Rebuild C++ components with newer compiler and enable Large System Extensions|
Arm servers enable the best price performance for many applications. The majority of software is available now to make it possible to migrate applications to Arm.
Continue to get more guidance on a variety of migration topics.