AMD Partners Unveil Their Plans for Integrating New AMD Epyc CPUs in Servers, Services

By Todd R. Weiss

March 18, 2021

Now that AMD unveiled its latest third-generation Epyc CPU product line for HPC, enterprise and cloud workloads on March 15, the company’s server and services partners continue to announce their own plans for bringing Epyc-equipped products to market.

Major server partners Cisco, Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo are unleashing new enterprise server models powered by the latest Epyc third-gen chips, while VMware has announced that its latest VMware vSphere 7 server virtualization platform is optimized to take advantage of the performance and security features of the new CPUs.

A wide range of other AMD partners, OEMs, ODMs and channel partners are also introducing their own refreshed systems that will include Epyc CPUs, including ​Atos, Gigabyte, Supermicro, QCT, Asus and Tyan.

Image credit: AMD

The new AMD Epyc “Milan” CPUs will be available in 19 models, from a flagship 64-core version to 8-core versions built for a myriad of server workloads. The latest Epyc chips were announced by AMD CEO Lisa Su (pictured above) through a virtual launch event.

The third-gen Epyc Milan chips achieve 19 percent more instructions per clock (IPC) than their predecessor, the second-gen Rome chips, according to AMD. Like Rome (released in August 2019), the Milan series processors employ up to 64 7nm cores per processor and integrate PCIe Gen 4 connectivity, but the latest versions add per socket performance and per core performance with new “Zen 3” cores and enhanced security features.

Cisco Rack Server Plans

At Cisco, two new rack server models using the latest Epyc chips are being added to the company’s Unified Computing System (UCS) rack server line, Todd Brannon, the company’s senior director of cloud infrastructure and software, said in a video presentation on launch day.

The first new model is the UCS C225, which is packaged in a dense 1U form factor and features a dual processor system that is optimized for single processor operation, said Brannon. All I/O is delivered from the first CPU, but users can add a second CPU if more cores and memory are required.

The second new model is the dual socket UCS C245, which provides a platform for a wide range of enterprise workloads, including big data and analytics, databases, multi-tenant server virtualization and more, said Brannon.

Image credit: Cisco

Dell’s New PowerEdge Servers  

At Dell EMC, the new AMD third-gen Epyc 7003 series chips will debut immediately in the company’s latest PowerEdge XE8545 server and will continue to roll out over time in other Dell PowerEdge server models.

Dell XE8545

“The PowerEdge XE8545 deliver[s] optimized CPU and GPU performance, accelerated IO throughput and simplified management,” Ravi Pendekanti, senior vice president of server solutions product management and marketing, said in a statement. “The XE8545 trains ResNet 50 image classification to top quality accuracy in under half the time of the prior generation PowerEdge systems. Customers can order and receive PowerEdge with a third generation AMD Epyc processors today.”

For customers using AI in their enterprises, the Dell EMC PowerEdge XE8545 can simplify AI infrastructure in datacenters, Pendekanti wrote in a blog post about the launch. It is designed specifically for accelerated workloads, which make it ideal for cutting-edge machine learning models, complex high performance computing (HPC) and GPU virtualization.”

Among the biggest features of the new PowerEdge XE8545 are optimized CPU to GPU performance and accelerated I/O throughput by combining the maximum core counts of two third generation AMD Epyc CPUs with four Nvidia A100 GPUs, according to the post. “We’ve also increased the speed of storage with NVMe and reduced data latency with PCIe Gen 4 to accelerate I/O throughput, which prevents performance bottlenecks when you’re executing large data sets,” wrote Pendekanti. “These components help you take full advantage of the server’s compute power by keeping the data close to the processing.”

HPE’s Epyc CPU Integrations

With the unveiling of the latest AMD Epyc chips, HPE is expanding its lineup of AMD Epyc processor-powered ProLiant servers, and refreshing or adding models in its HPE Apollo and HPE Cray EX supercomputer lines, according to the company. The new AMD chips will be used in four HPE ProLiant server models, two of which are brand new ProLiant server lines.

“Through our longtime collaboration and joint engineering with AMD, we are delivering the biggest and broadest portfolio of computing solutions, using the new third-gen AMD Epyc processor, to transform infrastructure and provide the economics, agility and ease of management that is critical to tomorrow’s datacenter needs,” Neil MacDonald, senior vice president and general manager of HPE’s compute business group at HPE, said in a statement.

The two new ProLiant server lines are the HPE ProLiant DL345 Gen10 Plus server, which is aimed at storage-optimized database workload needs, and the HPE ProLiant DL365 Gen10 Plus server, which is aimed at providing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) capabilities.

Two new Epyc-equipped HPE Apollo systems are being unveiled to provide purpose-built support for HPC applications such as modeling and simulation, according to HPE. The new systems are also optimized for artificial intelligence capabilities to improve training and increase accuracy in results. The new models are the HPE Apollo 2000 Gen10 Plus and the HPE Apollo 6500 Gen10 Plus systems.

For high-end supercomputing solutions, the HPE Cray EX425 and EX235a supercomputers, which feature an advanced HPC architecture designed for next-generation supercomputing, are also getting the latest Epyc CPUs. The first U.S. exascale system, Frontier, slated for delivery to Oak Ridge National Laboratory later this year, will be based on the Cray HPE EX architecture, leveraging third-gen Epyc processors and and next-generation AMD Instinct GPUs.

The new HPE Apollo systems will be available worldwide on April 6, while the new ProLiant servers will be available worldwide on April 19.

Lenovo Unveils Four Epyc-Equipped Servers

Lenovo will start selling its first AMD Epyc-equipped server models next week, Kamran Amini, vice president and general manager of server, storage and software defined infrastructure with Lenovo’s datacenter group, said at the Epyc launch.

“We are announcing four products today across our one-socket and two-socket rack servers,” said Amini. “They have a variety of different capabilities from storage NVMe and GPUs and we are refreshing all of them with the latest Epyc 3rd-generation CPUs from AMD.”

Lenovo is planning a new portfolio of 10 Lenovo ThinkSystem servers and ThinkAgile hyper-converged products built using the new AMD chips, according to Amini.

After skipping the first generation of AMD Epyc processors, Lenovo widely deployed the second generation (Rome) chips. The upcoming new systems are expected to deliver up to 2x improved performance on standard industry workflows and 25 percent ROI over the previous generation of Epyc-based servers, said Amini.

Both two-socket systems will be available starting next week with the 1-socket system coming later.

Lenovo also announced enhanced versions of its ThinkShield security firmware running on the new chips. The updated portfolio targets market segments spanning AI and analytics, cloud computing, edge computing, and will also be available via Lenovo’s TruScale infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

Like many server vendors, Lenovo has aggressively targeted the hyperconverged infrastructure market (HCI). Its line of ThinkAgile HX solutions is marketed as appliances that are preconfigured with software for a variety or HCI workflows. A key element in the bundling is Lenovo’s collaboration with Nutanix, said Amini. Broadly, Nutanix offers one-stop support for hardware and the software stacks on the appliances. The upgraded ThinkAgile line continues to have Nutanix.

VMware’s Plans for AMD Epyc

VMware has announced that its latest release of VMware vSphere 7 is optimized to take advantage of the virtualization performance of the new Epyc CPUs, including their advanced security features. For VMware customers, that means that the new AMD Epyc CPUs and their Secure Encrypted Virtualization-Encrypted State (SEV-ES) capabilities will be supported by the latest VMware vSphere 7 Update 2 virtualization platform. New in vSphere 7 Update 2 is SEV-ES security protection for confidential vSphere Pods. Customers running vSphere 7.0 U2 with Tanzu on AMD Epyc second-gen and third-gen processors now have added levels of security for VMs, containers and pods.

“Security is top of mind for our customers, [and] working closely with AMD we have leveraged the industry-leading technology in this area to provide an added layer of security for our customers, not only on the hypervisor, but also for the VMs and containers that run on top of it,” Krish Prasad, the senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s cloud platform business unit, said during the Epyc launch.

“Last year, VMware announced vSphere with Tanzu where we built in natively Kubernetes as well as containers into our platform, along with our VMs,” said Prasad. “The collaboration between VMware and AMD has never been better, our engineers have worked together, and we have done a lot of optimizations for the vSphere scheduler, as well as the vSAN code for the AMD microarchitecture. As a result, I expect to see stellar top notch performance for the VMware products, both vSphere and VSAN, running on servers with AMD Rome as well as AMD Milan.”

Customers of VMware and AMD want to see increasing VM densities as the new Epyc chips and VMware’s platforms continue to be combined, said Prasad. “With the launch of Milan, and the joint work that we have done to announced day zero support for VMware vSphere and vSAN, we expect the adoption to continue, and even accelerate.”

VMware also shared VMmark benchmark results for new Milan-powered hardware from Lenovo, HPE and Dell, showing generation-over-generation performance improvements for the third-gen Epycs.

Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Also Announce Epyc Plans

Server manufacturers aren’t the only ones unveiling their plans for the new AMD Epyc chips.

Also jumping on board at the Monday launch were Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which shared their plans for their cloud customers who will be able to benefit from the faster performance of the new CPUs.

Microsoft Azure has announced multiple new virtual machine offerings powered by the new CPUs, including new Azure HBv3 virtual machines for HPC applications were made available immediately. Also unveiled in private preview are new Confidential Computing virtual machines that utilize the full security features of the new AMD chips.

At OCI, general availability of instances using AMD’s new Epyc chips has been announced. The debut marks the first time Azure or Oracle have debuted new instances on the same day the chip was announced.

Meanwhile, Google Cloud announced it will be using the latest Epyc 7003 series processors to power a new compute-optimized VM, C2D, and for an expansion of the existing general purpose N2D VM later this year. Google Cloud Confidential Computing will be available on both C2D and N2D. Later this year, Google plans to make third-gen Epyc processors available to Google Cloud customers.

Other cloud providers – among them AWS, Tencent, and IBM Cloud – have also announced plans to offer instances using the new processor.

The new Epyc processors increase transactional database processing by up to 19%, improve Hadoop big data analytic sorts by up to 60%, and provide 61% better price-to-performance than the competition, AMD claims. They also offer superior performance for flexible hyperconverged infrastructure, according to the company.

Making the new chips even more valuable for customers, said Forrest Norrod, senior vice president and general manager of the data center and embedded solutions business group at AMD, is that they are socket-compatible with the second generation, enabling customers and partners to integrate them more easily.

Although Milan chips actually started shipping in the fourth-quarter of 2020, Monday marked their official product launch.

John Russell and Tiffany Trader contributed to this report.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Jack Dongarra on SC21, the Top500 and His Retirement Plans

November 29, 2021

HPCwire's Managing Editor sits down with Jack Dongarra, Top500 co-founder and Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee, during SC21 in St. Louis to discuss the 2021 Top500 list, the outlook for global exascale computing, and what exactly is going on in that Viking helmet photo. Read more…

SC21: Larry Smarr on The Rise of Supernetwork Data Intensive Computing

November 26, 2021

Larry Smarr, founding director of Calit2 (now Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California San Diego) and the first director of NCSA, is one of the seminal figures in the U.S. supercomputing community. What began as a personal drive, shared by others, to spur the creation of supercomputers in the U.S. for scientific use, later expanded into a... Read more…

Three Chinese Exascale Systems Detailed at SC21: Two Operational and One Delayed

November 24, 2021

Details about two previously rumored Chinese exascale systems came to light during last week’s SC21 proceedings. Asked about these systems during the Top500 media briefing on Monday, Nov. 15, list author and co-founder Jack Dongarra indicated he was aware of some very impressive results, but withheld comment when asked directly if he had... Read more…

SC21’s Student Cluster Competition Winners Announced

November 19, 2021

SC21 may have been the first major supercomputing conference to return to in-person activities, but not everything returned to the live menu: the Student Cluster Competition – held virtually at ISC 2020, SC20 and ISC 2021 – was again held virtually at SC21. Nevertheless, Students@SC Chair Jay Lofstead took the physical stage at SC21 on Thursday to announce the... Read more…

MLPerf Issues HPC 1.0 Benchmark Results Featuring Impressive Systems (Think Fugaku)

November 19, 2021

Earlier this week MLCommons issued results from its latest MLPerf HPC training benchmarking exercise. Unlike other MLPerf benchmarks, which mostly measure the training and inference performance of systems that are availa Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 1616974732

Using the Slurm REST API to integrate with distributed architectures on AWS

The Slurm Workload Manager by SchedMD is a popular HPC scheduler and is supported by AWS ParallelCluster, an elastic HPC cluster management service offered by AWS. Read more…

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to World-Shaping COVID Droplet Work

November 18, 2021

For the second (and, hopefully, final) year in a row, SC21 included a second major research award alongside the ACM 2021 Gordon Bell Prize: the Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research. Last year, the first iteration of this award went to simulations of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein; this year, the prize went... Read more…

Jack Dongarra on SC21, the Top500 and His Retirement Plans

November 29, 2021

HPCwire's Managing Editor sits down with Jack Dongarra, Top500 co-founder and Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee, during SC21 in St. Louis to discuss the 2021 Top500 list, the outlook for global exascale computing, and what exactly is going on in that Viking helmet photo. Read more…

SC21: Larry Smarr on The Rise of Supernetwork Data Intensive Computing

November 26, 2021

Larry Smarr, founding director of Calit2 (now Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California San Diego) and the first director of NCSA, is one of the seminal figures in the U.S. supercomputing community. What began as a personal drive, shared by others, to spur the creation of supercomputers in the U.S. for scientific use, later expanded into a... Read more…

Three Chinese Exascale Systems Detailed at SC21: Two Operational and One Delayed

November 24, 2021

Details about two previously rumored Chinese exascale systems came to light during last week’s SC21 proceedings. Asked about these systems during the Top500 media briefing on Monday, Nov. 15, list author and co-founder Jack Dongarra indicated he was aware of some very impressive results, but withheld comment when asked directly if he had... Read more…

SC21’s Student Cluster Competition Winners Announced

November 19, 2021

SC21 may have been the first major supercomputing conference to return to in-person activities, but not everything returned to the live menu: the Student Cluster Competition – held virtually at ISC 2020, SC20 and ISC 2021 – was again held virtually at SC21. Nevertheless, Students@SC Chair Jay Lofstead took the physical stage at SC21 on Thursday to announce the... Read more…

MLPerf Issues HPC 1.0 Benchmark Results Featuring Impressive Systems (Think Fugaku)

November 19, 2021

Earlier this week MLCommons issued results from its latest MLPerf HPC training benchmarking exercise. Unlike other MLPerf benchmarks, which mostly measure the t Read more…

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to World-Shaping COVID Droplet Work

November 18, 2021

For the second (and, hopefully, final) year in a row, SC21 included a second major research award alongside the ACM 2021 Gordon Bell Prize: the Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research. Last year, the first iteration of this award went to simulations of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein; this year, the prize went... Read more…

2021 Gordon Bell Prize Goes to Exascale-Powered Quantum Supremacy Challenge

November 18, 2021

Today at the hybrid virtual/in-person SC21 conference, the organizers announced the winners of the 2021 ACM Gordon Bell Prize: a team of Chinese researchers leveraging the new exascale Sunway system to simulate quantum circuits. The Gordon Bell Prize, which comes with an award of $10,000 courtesy of HPC pioneer Gordon Bell, is awarded annually... Read more…

SC21 Keynote: Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf on Shakespeare, Chatbots, and Being Human

November 17, 2021

Unlike the deep technical dives of many SC keynotes, Internet pioneer Vint Cerf steered clear of the trenches and took leisurely stroll through a range of human-machine interactions, touching on ML’s growing capabilities while noting potholes to be avoided if possible. Cerf, of course, is co-designer with Bob Kahn of the TCP/IP protocols and architecture of the internet. He’s heralded... Read more…

IonQ Is First Quantum Startup to Go Public; Will It be First to Deliver Profits?

November 3, 2021

On October 1 of this year, IonQ became the first pure-play quantum computing start-up to go public. At this writing, the stock (NYSE: IONQ) was around $15 and its market capitalization was roughly $2.89 billion. Co-founder and chief scientist Chris Monroe says it was fun to have a few of the company’s roughly 100 employees travel to New York to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock... Read more…

Enter Dojo: Tesla Reveals Design for Modular Supercomputer & D1 Chip

August 20, 2021

Two months ago, Tesla revealed a massive GPU cluster that it said was “roughly the number five supercomputer in the world,” and which was just a precursor to Tesla’s real supercomputing moonshot: the long-rumored, little-detailed Dojo system. Read more…

Esperanto, Silicon in Hand, Champions the Efficiency of Its 1,092-Core RISC-V Chip

August 27, 2021

Esperanto Technologies made waves last December when it announced ET-SoC-1, a new RISC-V-based chip aimed at machine learning that packed nearly 1,100 cores onto a package small enough to fit six times over on a single PCIe card. Now, Esperanto is back, silicon in-hand and taking aim... Read more…

US Closes in on Exascale: Frontier Installation Is Underway

September 29, 2021

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, held by Zoom this week (Sept. 29-30), it was revealed that the Frontier supercomputer is currently being installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The staff at the Oak Ridge Leadership... Read more…

AMD Launches Milan-X CPU with 3D V-Cache and Multichip Instinct MI200 GPU

November 8, 2021

At a virtual event this morning, AMD CEO Lisa Su unveiled the company’s latest and much-anticipated server products: the new Milan-X CPU, which leverages AMD’s new 3D V-Cache technology; and its new Instinct MI200 GPU, which provides up to 220 compute units across two Infinity Fabric-connected dies, delivering an astounding 47.9 peak double-precision teraflops. “We're in a high-performance computing megacycle, driven by the growing need to deploy additional compute performance... Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Intel Completes LLVM Adoption; Will End Updates to Classic C/C++ Compilers in Future

August 10, 2021

Intel reported in a blog this week that its adoption of the open source LLVM architecture for Intel’s C/C++ compiler is complete. The transition is part of In Read more…

Killer Instinct: AMD’s Multi-Chip MI200 GPU Readies for a Major Global Debut

October 21, 2021

AMD’s next-generation supercomputer GPU is on its way – and by all appearances, it’s about to make a name for itself. The AMD Radeon Instinct MI200 GPU (a successor to the MI100) will, over the next year, begin to power three massive systems on three continents: the United States’ exascale Frontier system; the European Union’s pre-exascale LUMI system; and Australia’s petascale Setonix system. Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Hot Chips: Here Come the DPUs and IPUs from Arm, Nvidia and Intel

August 25, 2021

The emergence of data processing units (DPU) and infrastructure processing units (IPU) as potentially important pieces in cloud and datacenter architectures was Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer... Read more…

HPE Wins $2B GreenLake HPC-as-a-Service Deal with NSA

September 1, 2021

In the heated, oft-contentious, government IT space, HPE has won a massive $2 billion contract to provide HPC and AI services to the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA). Following on the heels of the now-canceled $10 billion JEDI contract (reissued as JWCC) and a $10 billion... Read more…

The Latest MLPerf Inference Results: Nvidia GPUs Hold Sway but Here Come CPUs and Intel

September 22, 2021

The latest round of MLPerf inference benchmark (v 1.1) results was released today and Nvidia again dominated, sweeping the top spots in the closed (apples-to-ap Read more…

Quantum Computer Market Headed to $830M in 2024

September 13, 2021

What is one to make of the quantum computing market? Energized (lots of funding) but still chaotic and advancing in unpredictable ways (e.g. competing qubit tec Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

2021 Gordon Bell Prize Goes to Exascale-Powered Quantum Supremacy Challenge

November 18, 2021

Today at the hybrid virtual/in-person SC21 conference, the organizers announced the winners of the 2021 ACM Gordon Bell Prize: a team of Chinese researchers leveraging the new exascale Sunway system to simulate quantum circuits. The Gordon Bell Prize, which comes with an award of $10,000 courtesy of HPC pioneer Gordon Bell, is awarded annually... Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire