Server Infrastructure Upgrade Weekend - AMD EPYC Rome Across The Board
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 3 July 2020 at 01:30 PM EDT. 27 Comments
PHORONIX --
There may be some brief, intermittent downtime this weekend as all of the Phoronix Media web server infrastructure is being upgraded. This also marks the first time in Phoronix's 16+ year history that the servers are AMD powered, thanks to the incredible success of the EPYC 7002 "Rome" series.

When major holidays land on a weekend, it's one of the few times I like doing server infrastructure work... This time it's about replacing our existing Xeon Skylake servers with AMD EPYC Rome. OpenBenchmarking.org, Phoronix-Test-Suite.com, Phoromatic, and other smaller services will be migrated off their box shortly. Tomorrow (Saturday) with the US 4th of July celebrations is when Phoronix.com and other Phoronix Media web services are then planned for their migration to new AMD EPYC hardware.

Only brief downtime is expected and ideally no major interruption including for OpenBenchmarking.org and the Phoronix Test Suite.

The public web infrastructure isn't hosted in our benchmarking server room but rather offsite in a data center for power and bandwidth reasons. At this stage it's been about a decade that we have exclusively relied upon dedicated servers from HiVelocity and over that time with only few issues for our web servers.


Again I decided to go with HiVelocity. In particular, AMD EPYC 7302P nodes for best value and a measurable upgrade over the existing Xeon Skylakes. HiVelocity offers AMD EPYC 7302P dedicated servers at less than $300 USD per month and use a SuperMicro H11SSL platform and the default storage configuration are dual Kingston 960GB SEDC500 SSDs in RAID1. My only gripe with HiVelocity's current AMD EPYC configuration is that their base configuration uses 2 x 32GB DDR4-2400 modules... Disappointing over not using DDR4-3200 modules or going for say 4 x 16GB DDR4-3200 at least to better fill the eight memory channels available with EPYC. AMD EPYC Rome runs beautifully when able to take full advantage of the memory bandwidth and frequency while even in a dual channel configuration is still an upgrade for those on older server platforms, just not showing off EPYC close to its best potential by default.

The motivation with these upgrades besides liking to get on new SSDs within a couple years is for improving Phoronix.com load times and preparing for the next-gen OpenBenchmarking.org. The long-awaited, overhauled OpenBenchmarking.org is tentatively on track for finally launching later this year with many new features.

That's all for now and apologies for any brief downtime this weekend. Any further updates will be posted here.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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