Scaleway's EPYC Powered Cloud Is Delivering Competitive Performance & Incredible Value

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 15 March 2019. Page 1 of 4. 22 Comments

Scaleway, the European cloud company we previously have talked about on Phoronix for their usage of Coreboot on servers, this week announced new "general purpose" VMs powered by AMD EPYC processors. Curious about the performance, I fired up some benchmarks.

Scaleway's new general purpose virtual instances are powered by AMD EPYC CPUs with NVMe SSD storage and range from the petite "GP1-XS" with just four AMD EPYC cores / 16GB RAM / 150GB NVMe storage / 400 MBits/s bandwidth at €0.078/hr to the "GP1-XL" with 48 EPYC cores / 256GB RAM / 600GB NVMe / 2 Gbit/s bandwidth at €1.138/hr. The pricing for these EPYC instances is quite competitive compared to the Intel/AMD VM pricing at other cloud providers, notably Amazon EC2, as will be shown by some performance-per-dollar tests in this article.

With being a new customer sign-up for Scaleway and their capping initially for new users, the only instances accessible at this time were the GP1-XS with 4 AMD EPYC cores and GP1-S with 8 EPYC cores and 32GB RAM / 300GB NVMe. So for this initial Scaleway EPYC benchmarking, I focused on the lower-end VMs for comparison while benchmarks of the beefier EPYC instances against other cloud instance types will come when available.

As a quick shout-out to Scaleway, this was the first time trying out their cloud service and overall it was quite a nice experience. For their OS images they feature all of the usual candidates one would expect including Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, openSUSE, Fedora, Gentoo, and even Arch Linux and Alpine Linux. For the purposes today, all of the benchmarks across the different clouds/VMs were done using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

The instances tested for this inaugural round of Scaleway EPYC testing were:

GP1-XS - 4 EPYC cores, 16GB RAM, $0.088 USD per hour.

GP1-S - 8 EPYC cores, 32GB RAM, $0.18 USD per hour

C2S - A Scaleway baremetal server with 4 Atom cores, 8GB RAM, $0.027 USD per hour.

C2L - A Scaleway baremetal server with 8 Atom cores, 32GB RAM, $0.054 USD per hour.

START1-M - Scaleway's "start" server with four Atom cores, 4GB RAM, and $0.018 USD per hour. (Unfortunately their 8 core START1-L instance type was out-of-stock for testing.)

m5a.xlarge - Amazon EC2 instance with 4 EPYC cores, 16GB RAM, $0.172 USD per hour.

m5a.2xlarge - Amazon EC2 instance with 8 EPYC cores, 32GB RAM, $0.344 USD per hour.

m5.2xlarge - Amazon EC2 instance with 8 Xeon cores, 32GB RAM, $0.384 USD per hour.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of cloud benchmarks were run across these different instance types on Scaleway and Amazon EC2.

Scaleway Benchmarks

Each instance was tested with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x86_64. Do note that while Ubuntu 18.04 ships with Linux 4.15 by default and is that way for the VMs too, the exception is the Atom-based Scaleway instances where Scaleway has configured them to run on the older Linux 4.9 kernel by default. Performance-per-dollar results are also generated based upon the hourly spot/on-demand pricing of these various instances.

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