My new AMD Epyc Server

Submitted by Matt on Fri, 11/15/2019 - 17:19

So I decided to finally retire my ProLiant 2U DL380 Gen9. This machine has served me well but I am ready to move on to bigger and better things. It works well for what it does but I would like to get something quieter, ATX, with more PCie lanes, less than my current 350W idle power, uses ZFS and that does not have spectre/meltdown issues. Also I specifically wanted to ditch Intel since I now work at AMD. So I set to work acquiring the components.

Processor: AMD Epyc Rome Processor 64c 128t Prototype
Motherboard: Supermicro SP3 with a BMC
DIMMs: 128 GB recycled from previous system. Unfortuantely they are only 2400 MHz. At some point I will want to upgrade to 3200 MHz DIMMs but its not in the budget for now
PSU: Antec 750W Gold
CPU Cooler: Black friday special water cooling loop
Case: Black friday special
SSD1: Samsung Evo Plus 970 1TB
SSD2: 2x 1TB SATA Samsung EVO 970
Networking: 2 Port Fiber NIC
Spinning Hard Drives: 5x

I finished her and she really is quite the beauty. She runs super quiet thanks to all of the fans being at least 120mm in diameter. The case is cheap but it has everything I need and is full ATX for future expansions. ZFS now ships with newer Ubuntu versions and it works great, I highly recommend it over hardware RAID which is what I had before. I get ridiculous throughput on that array.

Multi Headed Hypervisor Server

Submitted by Matt on Tue, 04/14/2015 - 20:36

So, being in the server tech business I have access to special high performance hardware. This gives me a special opportunity to fool around with enterprise level software and solutions.

Some cool things I have been playing with:

  • Virtualization (SR-IOV, VT-D, VT-X)
  • Hardware RAID

These capabilities have been around for a while but mainly with servers. And they now arent even necessarily limited to servers since some high end desktops are now hitting 6-8 cores.

My Initial Problem:

Because I like to tinker around with a lot of different things, I pretty much needed a computer to fill each individual specialized task. This began to get pretty rediculous after a while. So many power cables, network cables, monitors, spare parts lying around everywhere. It became very unsightly. And not even to mention that each computer could consume somewhere between 20-100W idle. There had to be a better way!

Sure enough there is. It is called VMware ESXi, and it is awesome. I really wish I would have found it earlier. Vmware ESXi (Do they call it Vsphere now) is a bare metal Virtual Machine Hypervisor. It allows you to take a system''s hardware and divide its hardware resources up among one or more "virtual" machines. There are other products that do similar things, such as VMWare workstation and Virtualbox, but these are not bare metal hypervisors. They run on top of a given OS and tend to not be as flexible or efficient (but still very useful in certain circumstances).

So my server is HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 with two processors with tens of gigabytes of RAM. I have multiple virtual machines set up off all different kinds of OSs depending on its purpose. Most are headless (I VNC/RDP into them) bit 2 are "headed".

Server Hypervisor