We were honored to be part of IFX with our partner Packet, which celebrates the craft and culture of infrastructure. We’re in the midst of a new golden age of silicon innovation and this was reinforced throughout IFX. We saw lots of impressive new developments and had the opportunity to show off some of our own live demos of cloud and edge infrastructure running on Ampere. Plus, our Chief Architect Atiq Bajwa, drew upon his decades of experience in architecting leading-edge server CPUs to share his secrets of hyperscale silicon design.
We showcased a new Ampere Hawk board based on an eMAG 8180 half width single socket server board targeted for high-density telco, edge and datacenter deployments. On display was a 1U brick that is designed to fit into the Open19 chassis. In addition, the Ampere Hawk mother board can also be used in the OCP openEDGE sled form factor. You may have previously seen this at the OCP Regional Summit in Amsterdam.
With a powerful and efficient 32 core eMAG 8180 processor, up to 8 DIMM slots and 4 native SATA ports that can be used to connect SATA-compliant mass storage devices with a maximum transfer rate of 6 Gb/s, this extremely flexible platform offers best-in-class total cost of ownership (TCO) value with the best performance per dollar. Two direct-connect M.2 NVMe ports on the board provide ultra-fast reads/writes while loading the OS from an NVMe drive, and reduce costs by eliminating PCIe adapters. For network connectivity, the board provides an integrated 1 GbE port and an OCP Mezzanine card connector supporting 10/40/100 GbE NIC. This is a super-efficient and versatile edge platform that generated a ton of buzz.
Partnering with VMWare, we also demonstrated a virtualized all-flash HCI cluster built with our eMAG-based Hawk edge infrastructure. Configured with vSphere on Arm, vSAN and fault tolerant workloads, VMWare’s ESXi was running on this 3-node setup. Each eMAG processor was configured as a node with 3 SSD (total of 9 SSDs) connected together via a 10 GbE switch. Each node was running Ubuntu OS on virtual machines (VMs).
VMware used this setup to demonstrate the fault tolerance feature of this solution. It provides continuous availability for virtual machines by creating and maintaining a secondary VM that is identical to, and continuously available to replace, the primary VM in the event of a failover situation. This type of high availability software solution is a perfect match for our easy-to-deploy edge hardware.
Lastly, Atiq talked about the changes that have occurred in the data center market since the 90s. New architectures have emerged around the cloud and software has gone cloud native. However, the pace of innovation in the CPU hasn’t kept pace. Performance and power matter even more as scale has increased. Quality of service, manageability, and security are fundamental to the cloud. Cloud providers have hyper-optimized their data centers, platforms, and software stack to meet these needs and they are looking for the same type of innovation in CPU and accelerator hardware as well. The cloud needs a CPU built for the cloud not one derived from legacy requirements.
The Ampere architecture provides a response by delivering leadership performance; efficient compute that can be measured across racks; and scalability in cores, I/O, accelerator attach and memory. “Next Gen Ampere” will run at TDPs as low as 45W for extreme power efficiency in constrained edge environments and as high as 200W+ where peak performance is required. These CPUs will deliver leadership performance/watt and watts/core, allowing cloud providers to deploy denser racks that maximize core counts and performance per rack. Since the cores are single threaded, clouds will experience more consistent performance and less noisy neighbor issues with “Next Gen Ampere” versus multi-threaded cores.
Ampere is also delivering a product that meets or exceeds the I/O and Memory bandwidth requirements of the cloud and edge markets. “Next Gen Ampere” will provide a large number of PCIe Gen4 lanes, high memory bandwidth and CCIX interfaces for coherent accelerator attach.
Our “Next Gen Ampere” CPU will deliver 80 single-threaded cores at the pinnacle of data center performance, and we will have more details to share in early 2020. With the level of performance, efficiency, and scalability, all designed and optimized for the cloud, this is a game changer.
Thanks to all who attended IFX, stopped by our demos, and discussed the future of the cloud and edge with us. With so many innovative partners across the infrastructure community, the next few years are going to be an exciting time for hardware innovation. Together, let’s create what’s next in the cloud and edge.