Enlarge / AMD’s Ryzen die. Threadripper has two of those in a multi-chip module. Epyc has 4 of them.

Microsoft will quickly offer digital machines in its Azure cloud service primarily based on AMD’s Epyc processors.

The expansion of the cloud computing market has, till now, been a hit story for Intel’s Xeon server processors, because the rise of cloud computing got here similtaneously Intel was significantly dominant within the x86 processor market. Intel’s conventional competitor, AMD, had processors supposed for server markets, however its uncompetitive efficiency meant that the cloud house was ceded to Intel.

However 2017 has been a turning level for AMD. A brand new household of chips constructed round its Zen structure has provided Intel a stage of competitors it hasn’t skilled because the early 2000s. Within the desktop house, AMD’s Ryzen processors provided a viable different to Intel’s chips. In the meantime, within the server house, the brand new Epyc processors threatened to do the identical for Xeon.

Epyc, geared toward one- and two-socket programs, is not essentially sooner than comparable Intel Xeons, however its mixture of options—numerous threads and cores, and extra reminiscence and I/O bandwidth than Intel’s newest Xeons provide—together with Intel-level efficiency makes it a critical competitor within the server house.

As right this moment’s announcement exhibits, that server-space enchantment extends to the cloud. The preliminary Epyc-in-Azure providing can be L-series digital machines. L-series digital machines are a spread of VM configurations for storage-intensive functions; they arrive with comparatively massive quantities of locally-attached SSD storage and are geared toward functions comparable to NoSQL and SQL databases. The present L-series VMs use Intel Haswell processors, however the give attention to I/O corresponds to Epyc’s strengths.

Epyc servers constructed to Microsoft’s open-source design, “Undertaking Olympia,” have been proven earlier this yr. A production-ready model of that is now getting used for L-series model 2 digital machines. L-series model 2 will use Epyc 7551 processors. That is a 32 core, 64 thread processor, with a base clock of 2GHz, an all-core enhance of two.55GHz, and a most enhance of 3GHz. 4 VM configurations can be out there: eight digital CPU cores, 64GB RAM, and a single 2TB SSD; 16 digital cores, 128GB RAM, and two 2TB SSDs; 32 digital cores, 256GB RAM, and 4 2TB SSDs; and 64 digital cores, 512GB RAM, and eight 2TB SSDs. Model 1 VMs begin at $228.39 monthly. We think about the brand new Epyc model 2 VMs to be comparably priced.

AMD assures us that that is just the start, too. Different cloud corporations will announce Epyc programs, in all probability earlier than the yr finish. Whereas there’s nothing particular to announce, we are able to think about that different lessons of VM—massive reminiscence programs, for instance—may even observe down the highway.


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