Microsoft offered at least three Azure cloud configurations on the EPYC 7001, including an" LSV2 " based on the EPYC 7551 with 80 virtual processors and up to 19TB of flash memory for high performance computing. The AMD-based AWS nomenclature is positioned for both General loads and applications that depend on a high-speed memory subsystem. AWS also offers fast one-click migration to an EPYC-based virtual machine. Oracle offers both virtual machines and physical AMD servers for deployment of a wide range of its own applications. Finally, following the same principles as Dropbox, Baidoo migrated ABC services (AI, Big Data, and Cloud computing) to single-socket EPYC platforms.
Without significant resources to develop demand in the mass market, AMD concentrates on the largest consumers, as it did in the days of Opteron. A similar strategy of sales to large customers can be observed in the segment of manufacturers of game consoles, where Sony and Microsoft have been using custom AMD chips for many years.
The supercomputer industry is also characterized by high technical expertise and fairly large project volumes. However, the lower number of floating-point operations performed per clock cycle and a certain lag of the first-generation EPYC in frequencies did not allow AMD to repeat the success of Opteron in the segment of computing clusters in a short time (in 2006, the share of supercomputer systems on Opteron was 22% of the Top500 list). In the June 2019 edition, prior to the launch of the second-generation EPYC, only the Chinese Sugon cluster was present on AMD-licensed epyc (7501) clones called Hygon Dhyana.
Unlike the new, universal in its performance record 7002, in computing clusters EPYC 7001 “pulls” against Xeon Scalable only in some applications. Despite the larger number of cores (32 vs. 28) and do not reduce the frequency under load AVX blocks (AMD AVX variant in the form of FADD + FMUL is slightly more flexible, and therefore more efficient than Intel FMA, which requires for peak performance necessarily merged commands), EPYC 7001 Intel loses on peak values FLOPs per core.
In fairness, it is worth noting that the 7001 series processors from time to time are supplied to computing projects, for example, as part of the DELL EMC cluster for subatomic research NikHef, and NEC system for aerodynamic testing in the German aerospace Agency DLR, consisting of two thousand three hundred nodes based on EPYC 7601.Typically, first-generation applications are limited to applications that benefit from a fast memory subsystem, such as hydro-gas dynamics.
At the end of 2018, ten months before the launch of the 7002 series, AMD itself created a problem of deferred demand, publicly announcing a significant increase in the performance of the next generation of processors EPYC 7002 “Rome”. According to AMD employees, at the beginning of 2019, key customers began to receive engineering samples for testing and, impressed with the performance, decided to wait for sales of the new processor, probably creating a problem of overstocking of AMD warehouses with 7001 series processors.
At the time of publication in September 2019, the 7001 series remains a competitive and attractive solution in virtualization applications, cloud containers, high-security environments, and software-defined storage and switching systems. This is facilitated by an attractive core-to-memory ratio, a performance-to-price ratio, a powerful I / o subsystem, an attractive total cost of ownership for single-socket systems, and integrated security technologies.
Therefore, the launch of the second generation EPYC does not mean the removal of the first generation processors from sales. SP3 socket motherboards support both generations of processors with certain reservations, and in order to preserve the profit structure for the 7002 series, AMD is likely to offer flexible design discounts for the 7001 series, trying to “sell out the warehouse”.
Thus, EPYC 7001 became a kind of AMD trial balloon, which allowed the industry to “try out” the new platform, especially appreciating the attractiveness of its single-socket servers. Dell EMC technical Director Robert Hormus (Robert W Hormuth) actually confirmed the success of single-socket ideology AMD, saying that EPYC really allowed Dell EMC to introduce a new, still inaccessible class of single-processor servers.
Despite much broader modern support for the industry, AMD was not able to take a comparable market share with Opteron in a short time. Many analysts suggest that the former success of Opteron is destined for the second generation of EPYC. This was confirmed by the announcement of the latest supercomputers on the second generation 7002 series processors, which began before the announcement of their availability:
- Cray-four systems, including the future leader of the Top 500 list, the Frontier supercomputer, whose total hybrid performance of 1.5 Exaflops will be higher than the combined performance of the next 160 supercomputer list systems.
- HPE-Hawk Supercomputer with a capacity of 22 PF for the HLRS computing center, specializing in support of German engineering companies and the automotive industry,
- Atos (formerly Bull) is a BullSequana Supercomputer with a performance of 11 PF for the Finnish science center CSC.
As a rule, mass supercomputer announcements based on promising x86 chips indicate their sales potential in the General server market.
In the next Chapter, we will begin a detailed narrative about the new series OF epyc processors, their positioning, prospects, features and differences from the microarchitecture of the predecessor.