Cloudflare’s GenX servers are going to be packed with the AMD EPYC Processors

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AMD’s gain another victory over its old nemesis Intel

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.”

As they at the Cloudflare say

“Every server can run every service.”

According to Cloudflare

We designed and built Cloudflare’s network to be able to grow capacity quickly and inexpensively; to allow every server, in every city, to run every service; and to allow us to shift customers and traffic across our network efficiently. We deploy standard, commodity hardware, and our product developers and customers do not need to worry about the underlying servers. Our software automatically manages the deployment and execution of our developers’ code and our customers’ code across our network. Since we manage the execution and prioritization of code running across our network, we are both able to optimize the performance of our highest tier customers and effectively leverage idle capacity across our network.

Gen X: Intel Not Inside

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.

Compared with our prior server (Gen 9), it processes as much as 36% more requests while costing substantially less. Additionally, it enables a ~50% decrease in L3 cache miss rate and up to 50% decrease in NGINX p99 latency, powered by a CPU rated at 25% lower TDP (thermal design power) per core.

Notably, for the first time, Intel is not inside. We are not using their hardware for any major server components such as the CPU, board, memory, storage, network interface card (or any type of accelerator).

To salt up the situation Cloudflare’s official blog stated that

” Given how critical Intel is to our industry, this would until recently have been unimaginable, and is in contrast with prior generations which made extensive use of their hardware. “

We can say that

The time is all blue for the Red Team.

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