Look at the figures, folks

By: AM (myname4rwt.delete@this.jee-male.com), October 14, 2018 7:50 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
David Kanter (dkanter.delete@this.realworldtech.com) on October 13, 2018 6:08 am wrote:
> AM (myname4rwt.delete@this.jee-male.com) on October 11, 2018 9:15 am wrote:
>
> > then the figures make it obvious that this "custom off-roadmap 24-core Xeon Gold CPU
> > specifically made for our workload offering considerable value in Performance per Watt"
> > SKU is apparently nothing more than rejects of parts currently in production which
> > don't make the cut on power and/or working core count for production SKUs.
> >
> > And considering Cloudflare's well-known stance wrt ARM vs x86 (see e.g. https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/design/cloudflare-bets-arm-servers-it-expands-its-data-center-network)
> >
> > I suspect -- assuming Cloudflare folks are negotiation-smart -- they got these rejects not just for
> > free, but for a hefty subzero price, part of their deal being this blog post mentioning they're upgrading
> > their fleet to an off-roadmap/custom Intel CPU "offering considerable value in performance per watt".
>
> Your math doesn't make much sense. It looks to me like they are getting a slightly better
> part in terms of cores*GHz/W. More importantly, the new part is 2X the cores and perf...so
> you win by doubling performance with most physical infrastructure constant.

Right -- if compared against their existing G8 hardware. With a bit of math it's easy to see these custom parts are worse in power efficiency than every commercial bin Intel has to offer, that's the point.

> > With Centriq, ThunderX2, and finally Ampere eMAG servers available (https://insidehpc.com/2018/10/ampere-augments-arm-servers-new-developer-platform/),
> >
> > I guess the value of such PR project targeted at various business execs is well worth
> > selling rejects at negative price to prevent someone size of Cloudflare switching to
> > ARM.
>
> Do you have any reason to believe that Intel would ever give away server parts? I don't, it makes no
> sense when they are capacity constrained. So I'm sure they are making plenty of money on these.

This is the case where there's a conflict of short-term and long-term goals, and it can have a huge effect on price, as long as it's a point of negotiations -- inertial forces wrt ISA are huge for most consumers, with CF being a white raven (they're never going to suffer from ISA lock-in I think). Intel's long term goals include preventing big players from switching away, as such move of a successful company will slowly but surely influence many others; had Intel not started tweaking chips for hyperscalers years ago, I think they'd long migrated off to more space- and power-efficient options designed to their specs. And even that is no longer enough apparently for MS -- they're going to deploy ARM servers in Azure.

So actual sales price in a deal like this, with a decision to stay with Intel made public, can easily be negative considering that CF will get bins which get thrown away. Losing a little to save a lot in the long run. Actual terms though are entirely up to how deeply both sides understand the issue and care about the future.

> > Only for a while though (or just for a few of their sites
> > perhaps) -- Cloudflare is clearly going ARM given what
> > they publish, and they are not the only one switching,
>
> Actually, that's not clear at all. They want multiple suppliers,
> but they haven chosen for now to go with their existing one.
>
> So honestly, it sounds like they wanted to negotiate with Intel in public.

No doubt there's bargaining element in their posts, but by now they went pretty far in porting their SW stack to ARM, implementing some (or much?) of it in asm. There's simply nothing that locks them into putting up with options with higher TCO than alternatives.

> it's well-known that MS is going ARM as well (e.g. https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2017/03/13/arm-servers-can-soon-power-half-of-microsoft-data-center-muscle).
>
>
> Actually, that's not known at all. It's clear they have boards designed to work with ARM, and it's
> clear they will buy some ARM-based servers. But that's different than deploying at a large scale.
>
> David

MS is dead serious about ARM -- they invested years of work into it by now, developing Win Server on ARM64, deploying lots of ARM servers inside, in Azure, and their switch is not limited to servers -- MS clearly had a big hand in the launch of ARM hybrids with Win 10 as well; and the fact that some, if not all, of Centriq design team folks are at MS now means to me there's no turning back for MS on this path.
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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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