Cloudflare jumps to custom Intel

By: anon (spam.delete.delete@this.this.spam.com), October 10, 2018 2:07 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar) on October 10, 2018 12:10 pm wrote:
> nobody in particular (nobody.delete@this.nowhe.re) on October 10, 2018 8:55 am wrote:
> > More info here
> >
> > "In essence, requests per second (RPS) per Watt is a critical metric that Qualcomm’s
> > ARM64 46 core Falkor chip had a big advantage over Intel’s Skylake 4116. Embracing
> > the value of optionality and market competition, we made some noise.
> >
> > Intel proposed to co-innovate with us an off-roadmap 24-core
> > Xeon Gold CPU specifically made for our workload
> > offering considerable value in Performance per Watt. For this generation, we continue using Intel as system
> > solutions are widely available while we’re working on realizing ARM64’s benefits to production."
> >
> > Looks like Centriq was far less of a done deal for Cloudflare than many assumed.
>
>
> Intel can't afford to have a major business go ARM, that will legitimize it as an option and others
> will begin looking. So makes sense for them to do a customer SKU (which is probably a normal core
> that's had settings tweaked) which also offers a backdoor method of offering better pricing without
> making it a discount on a SKU on the official price list (which would piss off other customers)
>

Look at the details. That custom SKU is lower clocked than any other 24 core SKU. Cloudflare doesn't care about the higher clockrates and 8 socket capabilities of the Xeon Platinum. They just want more than 12 cores and 2 sockets at a reasonable price. Going from 12 cores for 1000$ to 16 for 2000$, 20 for 2700$ or 24 for 4700$ is not that great.
Despite what they say the performance per Watt of the CPU itself isn't impressive. It's marginally better than the 12 core SKUs they used before, but nowhere near the 2x improvement Centriq would've offered.
Cloudflare cares about cost and density. 46 threads for 1400$ from QC with very competitive performance vs 48 threads for 2000$ from Intel is an easy win for QC. They were obviously not willing to pay 10000$ for 96 high clocked threads, but look at 20 core Xeon Gold SKUs, those cost about half that and they still use the same die. 24 cores instead, but even lower clockrates, lower turbo as well, limit it to two sockets and you've solved the problem. The price makes sense and except for the cores it's got none of the features (clockrate, more sockets) that Xeon Gold/Platinum usually offer over Silver/Bronze. Effectively there's no discount, Intel just figured out a way to get rid of duds.
24 cores work but one UPI link doesn't? It's not a Xeon Platinum, but it works just fine for Cloudflare. Neither 2.7/3.4/3.7 at 205W nor 2.4/2.7/3.1 at 165W nor 2.1/2.8/3.7 at 150W are happening? Well if it does 1.9/?/? at 150W it's good enough for Cloudflare.

If only QC had bothered to add dual socket support this wouldn't even be close. 2x46 cores at 2.2 GHz and half the power draw against 2x24 at 1.9 from Intel would still be easily in favour of QC even if Intel were to match the 1400$ price tag.

Competitive per socket performance and better efficiency aren't enough. Dual socket servers are the bread and butter. The price would be interesting if AMD didn't exist. But it does so now there's two options with similar price, one's got better efficiency, the other got twice the sockets and threads and is still good old x86. Do the math for software vs electricity and most are going to go with the more conservative choice again.

It's a shame because QC should've seen this coming. They weren't going to compete on single threaded performance, it was always going to be about throughput and efficiency at similar per-thread performance. Exactly the type of scenario where 46 threads are interesting, but 2x46 threads are what you really want.


It's all a bit long now, but I don't feel like deleting it.
The end result is that Intel gets out of this by offering a CPU that's worse in all respects except the one thing that QC can't offer: dual socket support. It's quite brilliant, win/win for Intel and Cloudflare, no chance for QC. They might've even done something similar had Cloudflare considered switching to AMD. Even before any strategic planning of denying ARM legitimacy comes into this Intel will fight tooth and nail for any big sale. If it doesn't really cost them anything like in this case then custom SKUs aren't a problem.

> On the other hand, Cloudflare might never have been that serious about ARM,
> and was using this was a way to get what they wanted out of Intel...

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TopicPosted ByDate
Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelnobody in particular2018/10/10 07:55 AM
  Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelnone2018/10/10 08:25 AM
  Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon2018/10/10 08:39 AM
  Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelMaynard Handley2018/10/10 09:26 AM
    Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelnobody in particular2018/10/10 12:03 PM
      Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelWilco2018/10/10 12:25 PM
        Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon2018/10/10 01:07 PM
          Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelhobold2018/10/10 01:14 PM
          Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelWilco2018/10/10 01:58 PM
            Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon2018/10/10 07:56 PM
              Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelWilco2018/10/11 01:18 AM
                Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelMichael S2018/10/11 02:43 AM
                Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon2018/10/11 02:30 PM
          Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelBeastian2018/10/10 04:33 PM
            Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelDoug S2018/10/11 01:38 AM
          Qualcomm restructured server chip unitjuanrga2018/10/11 02:04 AM
            Qualcomm restructured server chip unitnone2018/10/11 03:38 AM
              Qualcomm restructured server chip unitMichael S2018/10/11 06:48 AM
                Qualcomm restructured server chip unitnone2018/10/11 08:15 AM
      Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon2018/10/10 12:29 PM
  Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelDoug S2018/10/10 11:10 AM
    Cloudflare jumps to custom Inteldmcq2018/10/10 11:27 AM
    Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon2018/10/10 02:07 PM
      Cloudflare jumps to custom IntelMichael S2018/10/11 03:06 AM
        Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon2018/10/11 06:02 AM
          Why can't two "computers" be on one board?Paul A. Clayton2018/10/11 06:49 PM
            Why can't two "computers" be on one board?rwessel2018/10/12 12:01 AM
              TwinBladesPaul A. Clayton2018/10/12 04:52 AM
            Why can't two "computers" be on one board?Doug S2018/10/12 01:01 AM
              Why can't two "computers" be on one board?Etienne2018/10/12 02:04 AM
              [O.T.] bladesMichael S2018/10/12 02:17 AM
                [O.T.] bladesAdrian2018/10/12 04:17 AM
              Why can't two "computers" be on one board?anon2018/10/12 03:04 AM
                Why can't two "computers" be on one board?rwessel2018/10/12 07:29 AM
                  Why can't two "computers" be on one board?anon2018/10/12 07:55 AM
              1S vs 2SWes Felter2018/10/12 01:30 PM
                1S vs 2SDoug S2018/10/12 02:35 PM
            Why can't two "computers" be on one board?anon2018/10/12 03:10 AM
            Why can't two "computers" be on one board?hobel2018/10/12 06:53 AM
      Cloudflare jumps to custom Intelanon.12018/10/11 09:16 AM
  Weird numbersjuanrga2018/10/11 02:11 AM
    Weird numbersanon2018/10/11 06:08 AM
      Weird numbersjuanrga2018/10/11 10:34 AM
        Weird numbersanon2018/10/11 11:24 AM
  Look at the figures, folksAM2018/10/11 08:15 AM
    Look at the figures, folksFoo_2018/10/11 09:22 AM
      Look at the figures, folksAM2018/10/11 10:02 AM
        Look at the figures, folksanon2018/10/11 02:49 PM
          Look at the figures, folksSimon Farnsworth2018/10/12 12:19 AM
            Some power efficiency figuresAM2018/10/12 03:59 AM
              Some power efficiency figuresSimon Farnsworth2018/10/12 09:00 AM
                Some power efficiency figuresMaynard Handley2018/10/12 09:33 AM
                  Some power efficiency figuresSimon Farnsworth2018/10/12 10:51 AM
                    Some power efficiency figuresanon2018/10/12 12:55 PM
                    Some power efficiency figuresMaynard Handley2018/10/12 02:37 PM
                      Some power efficiency figuresanon2018/10/12 03:04 PM
                        Some power efficiency figuresMaynard Handley2018/10/12 03:16 PM
                          Some power efficiency figuresanon2018/10/13 01:13 AM
                          Some power efficiency figuresanon2018/10/13 04:06 AM
                      Some power efficiency figuresSimon Farnsworth2018/10/13 03:52 AM
                        Some power efficiency figuresanon2018/10/13 04:17 AM
                Reread what you saidAM2018/10/14 08:14 AM
          Important clue for several postersAM2018/10/12 03:48 AM
            Important clue for several postersjuanrga2018/10/12 09:07 AM
              Important clue for several postersWilco2018/10/12 12:50 PM
                Thanks (NT)juanrga2018/10/13 03:17 AM
            Important clue for several postersWes Felter2018/10/12 01:42 PM
              Important clue for several postersAM2018/10/14 08:00 AM
                Cloudflare CPU has better perf/WDavid Kanter2018/10/15 07:39 AM
                  Cloudflare CPU has better perf/Wanon2018/10/15 08:10 AM
                    Cloudflare CPU has better perf/WDavid Kanter2018/10/15 10:09 AM
                      Cloudflare CPU has better perf/Wanon2018/10/15 11:52 AM
            Important clue for several postersanon2018/10/13 01:20 AM
              Important clue for several postersAM2018/10/14 07:58 AM
                Important clue for several postersanon2018/10/14 02:29 PM
                  Important clue for several postersAM2018/10/16 09:18 AM
                    Important clue for several postersanon2018/10/16 10:35 AM
                    Important clue for several postersanon2018/10/17 03:01 PM
    Look at the figures, folksDavid Kanter2018/10/13 05:08 AM
      Look at the figures, folksAM2018/10/14 07:50 AM
        Look at the figures, folksDavid Kanter2018/10/14 08:25 PM
          Look at the figures, folksMichael S2018/10/15 01:16 AM
            What?!AM2018/10/16 09:12 AM
          ARM servers in AzureMichael S2018/10/15 01:19 AM
            ARM servers in Azurejuanrga2018/10/15 04:41 AM
              ARM servers in AzureMichael S2018/10/15 04:46 AM
              ARM servers in AzureAnon2018/10/15 04:54 AM
                ARM servers in Azureanon2018/10/15 06:40 AM
          Look at the figures, folksAM2018/10/16 09:07 AM
        Look at the figures, folksMichael S2018/10/15 01:25 AM
        What figures?someone2018/10/15 04:35 AM
          What figures?AM2018/10/16 09:03 AM
            What figures?someone2018/10/17 07:19 AM
              What figures?wumpus2018/10/18 07:46 AM
      Look at the figures, folksJames2018/10/15 04:16 AM
        Look at the figures, folksAnne O. Nymous2018/10/15 04:31 AM
          Look at the figures, folksanonymou52018/10/15 04:47 AM
            Look at the figures, folksAnne O. Nymous2018/10/15 04:55 AM
        Watch the financial reportsAnon2018/10/15 05:00 AM
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