Tuesday, February 25th 2020

Cloudflare Deploys AMD EPYC Processors Across its Latest Gen X Servers

The ubiquitous DDoS-mitigation and CDN provider, Cloudflare, announced that its latest Gen X servers implement AMD EPYC processors ditching Intel Xeons with its older Gen 9 servers. Cloudflare uses multi-functional servers (just like Google), in which each server is capable of handling any kind of the company's workloads (DDoS mitigation, content delivery, DNS, web-security, etc.). The company minimizes server hardware configurations so they're easier to maintain and lower TCO. The hardware specs of its servers are periodically updated and classified by "generations."

Cloudflare's Gen X server is configured with a single-socket 2nd gen AMD EPYC 7642 processor (48-core/96-thread, 256 MB L3 cache), and 256 GB of octa-channel DDR4-2933 memory, along with NVMe flash-based primary storage. "We selected the AMD EPYC 7642 processor in a single-socket configuration for Gen X. This CPU has 48-cores (96 threads), a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz, and an L3 cache of 256 MB. While the rated power (225 W) may seem high, it is lower than the combined TDP in our Gen 9 servers and we preferred the performance of this CPU over lower power variants. Despite AMD offering a higher core count option with 64-cores, the performance gains for our software stack and usage weren't compelling enough," Cloudflare writes in its blog post announcing Gen X. The new servers will go online in the coming weeks.
Many Thanks to biffzinker for the tip.
Source: Cloudflare Blog
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21 Comments on Cloudflare Deploys AMD EPYC Processors Across its Latest Gen X Servers

#1
ebivan
Cable length doesn't look very cost effective. Looks like there is about 100g of unused copper in the wiring on the right. They could save some money if they were to cut them to length, or am I wrong?
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
ebivan
Cable length doesn't look very cost effective. Looks like there is about 100g of unused copper in the wiring on the right. They could save some money if they were to cut them to length, or am I wrong?
That's probably an in-lab build by Cloudflare's engineers. Once they order that in bulk from their SI firm, they'll optimize the design in the manner you suggest.
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#3
laszlo
in other servers also you can see long cables...; i think psu's are manufactured with a specific length so not sure they'll be shorter to save copper/costs ....
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#4
noel_fs
ebivan
Cable length doesn't look very cost effective. Looks like there is about 100g of unused copper in the wiring on the right. They could save some money if they were to cut them to length, or am I wrong?
I would say you are wrong. Those PSU's i believe can last several years while that epyc platform wont outlast the PSU. So they could re-use those PSU's for a different platform that require different cable lenghts and thats a considerable saving the way I see it. I have no idea if its a practice they employ in this industry tho. I doubt cutting 50cm of cable will save much money.
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#5
GreiverBlade
seriously? talking about cable length is the only thing that piece of news inspire ...

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :rolleyes:
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#6
herliTz1337
Are those RAM dummys between the different slots?
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#7
GreiverBlade
herliTz1337
Are those RAM dummys between the different slots?
slot protector i guess ...
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#8
notb
ebivan
Cable length doesn't look very cost effective. Looks like there is about 100g of unused copper in the wiring on the right. They could save some money if they were to cut them to length, or am I wrong?
Cloudfare is a small company and they use budget servers. Don't expect the kind of design and in-house solutions you see from Dell and the like.
It's likely a generic design they use for all systems. Some use more cables, some less.

The whole server looks a bit cheap and DIY, to be honest... :P

100g of Cu costs $8. Pennies.
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#9
Schmuckley
So this means I can gets the fastest 404 or 502 ever?
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#10
notb
laszlo
in other servers also you can see long cables...; i think psu's are manufactured with a specific length so not sure they'll be shorter to save copper/costs ....
Cables aren't connected directly to the PSU, but to the PSU enclosure you see in the photo. So they're as long as rack designer (Cloudfare) wanted.
Actual PSUs are modular - you slide them into that enclosure.
Posted on Reply
#11
Logoffon
Schmuckley
So this means I can gets the fastest 404 or 502 ever?
"One more step" Captcha check and "Checking your browser before accessing...." to that as well. Now we don't have to wait for 522 ever again.
Posted on Reply
#12
laszlo
notb
Cables aren't connected directly to the PSU, but to the PSU enclosure you see in the photo. So they're as long as rack designer (Cloudfare) wanted.
Actual PSUs are modular - you slide them into that enclosure.
not all server PSU's are modular...
Posted on Reply
#13
notb
laszlo
not all server PSU's are modular...
But the one in the photo is. :)
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#14
laszlo
notb
But the one in the photo is. :)
i think you want to wrote is "not" :) ; look at the big hole on the left side of it with a bunch of cables coming out...
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#15
notb
laszlo
i think you want to wrote is "not" :) ; look at the big hole on the left side of it with a bunch of cables coming out...
Cables are connected to the PSU housing (precisely: to circuitry that makes the redundancy setup work).
Inside there are 2 PSUs. You can see one through the gaps.


The 2 black objects I've marked are handles for pulling the PSUs out.
It's a hot swap redundant PSU, so you can replace one on a running server.
That would be quite challenging with fixed wires. :P

This is how it looks from the back (different model):
Posted on Reply
#16
laszlo
notb
Cables are connected to the PSU housing (precisely: to circuitry that makes the redundancy setup work).
Inside there are 2 PSUs. You can see one through the gaps.


The 2 black objects I've marked are handles for pulling the PSUs out.
It's a hot swap redundant PSU, so you can replace one on a running server.
That would be quite challenging with fixed wires. :p

This is how it looks from the back (different model):

i see now what u'r say; but not all of them are modular ...
Posted on Reply
#17
notb
laszlo
i see now what u'r say; but not all of them are modular ...
Of course. I was talking about the one in photos.
Not every rack unit needs such a robust power supply, but - given the nature of Cloudflare's services - I bet it's money well spent. :)
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#18
R-T-B
notb
Cloudfare is a small company
Relative to? They are certainly a household name.
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#19
notb
R-T-B
Relative to? They are certainly a household name.
Well, I could be mean and say they'll even smaller than AMD. :P

But I meant: relative to other global buyers of server hardware. Which was meant to explain why the server shown in photos screams "budget".
Cloudflare is a leader in a very niche market.
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#20
R-T-B
notb
Well, I could be mean and say they'll even smaller than AMD. :p

But I meant: relative to other global buyers of server hardware. Which was meant to explain why the server shown in photos screams "budget".
Cloudflare is a leader in a very niche market.
Fair enough. Was just wondering your means of comparison.
Posted on Reply
#21
Jism
Schmuckley
So this means I can gets the fastest 404 or 502 ever?
Its just more then that. If someone decides to DDOS techpowerup, without cloudflare, the DDOS is simply wearing out the resources on the server to the point that the website is no longer visible, or let alone responds to DNS queries. With Cloudflare, it acts as a in the middle using clever CDN shit to prevent that from happening.

A CDN is usefull if your service is global to have a equal amount of speed or something but it does'nt make much sense if your local.
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