Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Postcards from the land of commodity hardware

I enjoyed this blog article from cloud computing vendor CloudFlare: A Tour Inside CloudFlare's Latest Generation Servers.

Their newly-deployed cloud computing servers contain:

  • Storage: 6-24 Intel 520 SSD drives, 240 GB each
  • Memory: 128 GB RAM
  • CPU: 2 Intel Xeon 2630L CPUs at 2.0GHz; 12 physical cores (and 24 virtual cores with hyperthreading)
  • Network: Solarflare SFC9020 10Gbps NICs, FiberStore SFP+ dual fiber/copper connectors

The RAM seems puny to me. But since their previous generation of servers (14 months ago) were 48 GB RAM, this is a big jump for them.

There's lots of good material in the article backing up their choices with information about their reasoning.

CloudFlare is a relatively low-end cloud company; as they concede:

Unlike companies like Facebook and Google that build data centers from the foundation up, at CloudFlare we deploy smaller footprints in more locations. This means we don't control the entire environment of the data center and haven't been able to do more exotic things like chassisless deployments, direct DC power, or exotic cooling strategies.

Thanks, CloudFlare! That was some gear-head joy :) .

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