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Purpose

We are evaluating four platforms for our proposed 40-node RAMCloud cluster. Each is very similar in price (approx. $2000-2500/node for 24-32GB of RAM, cpu, and a disk). Three machines are from SuperMicro. The fourth is a Dell box with nearly identical configuration to the Xeon E5620-based SuperMicro.

Machines

All machines are server-class hardware (i.e. support ECC) in 1U units. In the Xeon cases, we have the option of buying twin servers (two independent boards in one case) from SuperMicro. We're looking at the following configurations:

  • Xeon E5620 (4 core / 8 thread Westmere at 2.4GHz. Dual socket server. Max. 192GB RAM)
  • Xeon X3470 (4 core / 8 thread Nehalem at 2.93GHz. Single socket server. Max. 32GB RAM)
  • Opteron 6134 (8 core / 8 thread at 2.3GHz. Single socket server. Max. 128GB RAM)

Misc. Notes:

  • The E5620 and AMD 6134 have on-die memory controllers, but they do not have on-die PCIe. Both support 1GB superpages. The AMD chips do not have the CRC32 instruction yet.
    • The crc32 instruction is extremely fast, especially for small input (10's to 100's of bytes). If we count on this, it will rule out the AMD chip.
  • The X3470 has both on-die memory and PCIe controllers. However, it is not a westmere chip, so it doesn't support 1GB superpages. It should have the CRC32 instruction.
    • The on-die PCIe controller doesn't appear to help latency very much. See results below.

CPUs

 

Xeon E5620

Opteron 6134

Xeon X3470

Clock

2.4GHz

2.3GHz

2.93GHz

Max Turbo

2.66GHz

N/A

3.6GHz

# Cores

4

8

4

# Threads

8

8

8

L1 Cache

64KB / core

128KB / core

64KB / core

L2 Cache

256KB / core

512KB / core

256KB / core

L3 Cache

12MB shared

12MB shared

8MB shared

On-die Memory Controller

Yes

Yes

Yes

On-die PCIe Controller

No

No

Yes

Max. CPU Sockets / Motherboard

2

? (>= 4)

1

Max. Memory Channels

3

4

2

Max. Memory Clock

1066MHz

1333MHz

1333MHz (NB: drops to 800MHz when >= 24GB RAM installed)

Max. Memory Supported

288GB

? (>=128GB)

32GB

1GB Superpages

Yes

Yes

No

CRC32 Instruction

Yes

No

Yes

 

 

 

 

Systems

The following is a list of specs for the systems we're looking at. The SuperMicro ones have lots of sister configurations with slight differences that may be interesting. See the notes row.

 

Dell R410

SuperMicro 6016T-NTF (Xeon E5620)

SuperMicro 1012G-MTF (Opteron 6134)

SuperMicro 5016I-M6F

Motherboard

?

X8DTU-F

H8SGL-F

X8SI6-F

Chipset

Intel 5520 (Tylersburg) + ICH10R

Intel 5520 (Tylersburg) + ICH10R

AMD SR5650 + SP5100

Intel 3420 (Ibex Peak) + 3420 PCH

# CPU Sockets

2

2

1

1

# DIMM Slots

8 (4 / socket)

12 (6 / socket)

8

6

Max. Memory

128GB

192GB

128GB

32GB (board supports 48, cpu limits to 32)

# SATA Ports

6 (?)

6

6

6

# Hard Drives

4 x 3.5"

4 x 3.5"

4x 3.5"

4x 3.5"

# PCIe slots (electrical width)

1 (x16)

2 (x8)

1 (x16)

1 (x8)

Notes:

 

  1. Available in twin servers (two machines in one box). This halves the number of drive bays available to each machine, but reduces cost by ~$200/node.
  2. Alternate configurations are available that have 8x 2.5" drive bays, rather than 4x 3.5". These use an LSI Logic SAS controller. SAS drives are _expensive_.

 

  1. Motherboard has 1 x16 PCIe slot (straight to cpu) and 1 x4 slot through the PCH. There are different motherboard models from SuperMicrothat support the additional slots via risers.
  2. See the 6016T-NTF notes re: twin servers.

Evaluation Criteria

RAMCloud is concerned mostly with scale and latency. Since we have a limited budget and limited space, we cannot scale to a huge number of machines or load them with expensive high-density dimms (sweet spot looks like 4 or 8GB dimms). As such, most of our evaluation focuses on latency - infiniband network latency, ramcloud micro-benchmarks, and simple end-to-end ramcloud benchmarks. We will also consider miscellaneous features like number of pcie slots, dimm slots, cpu cores, etc.

RAMCloud Numbers:

Benchmark

Xeon E5620

Opteron 6134

Xeon X3470

Notes

Rabinpoly (min, max)

206MB/s, 381MB/s

57MB/s, 438MB/s

 

 

VMAC (min, max)

60MB/s, 2630MB/s

45MB/s, 2294MB/s

 

 

crc32c (7 / 31 / 63 / 127 / 1k) MB/s

351 / 1343 / 2310 / 4037 / 6643

 

834 / 1137 / 5461 / 8651 / 10500

X3470's higher turbo frequency is 3.6GHz vs. E5620's 2.66GHz (~35% higher).
Memory bandwidth should also be about 25% better (1333MHz vs. 1067MHz).

HashTableBench (-h 128)

84ns lookup, 98ns replace

147ns lookup, 133ns replace

75ns lookup, 88ns replace

 

1000-byte Bench (infiniband, localhost, -m 128 server)

7.6usec +/- 0.1usec RTT (272.76ns on server)

7.1usec +/- 0.3usec RTT (338.81ns on server)

7.4usec +/- 0.1 RTT (~230ns on server)

 

100-byte Bench (infiniband, localhost, -m 128 server)

6.6usec RTT (283.43ns server)

6.2usec (348ns on server)

6.4usec RTT (~235ns on server)

 

100-byte Bench (same as above, but inline send)

4.7usec RTT (+/- 0.1)

 

4.5usec RTT (+/- 0.2)

 

RecoverSegmentBenchmark (64-byte objects, 20 segments)

392ms

706ms

322ms

AMD has no crc32 instruction :(

Infiniband Numbers (all are one-way, i.e. not RTT values, in microseconds):

Benchmark

Xeon E5620

Opteron 6134

Xeon 3470

Notes

ib_write_lat -s 128 localhost

1.40

1.16

1.31

 

ib_write_lat -s 1024 localhost

3.33

2.92

3.29

 

ib_send_lat -s 128 localhost

1.59

1.42

1.44

Sends are inlined with the WQE up to 400 bytes

ib_send_lat -s 1024 localhost

3.44

2.99

3.35

 

ib_send_lat -s 128 -I 0

2.38

2.04

2.27

-I 0 disables inlining data in the WQE

ib_send_lat -s 128 between E5620 and AMD 6134

1.58

1.58

N/A

With 2 AMD machines, est. is ~3.02us RTT

ib_send_lat -s 128 between E5620 and X3470

1.61

N/A

1.61

 

ib_send_lat -s 128 between two E5620 machines

1.65

N/A

N/A

~3.3us RTT

ib_send_lat -s 128 -I 0 between E5620 and AMD 6134

2.30

2.30

N/A

With 2 AMD machines, est. is ~4.24us RTT

ib_send_lat -s 128 -I 0 between E5620 and X3470

2.45

N/A

2.45

 

ib_send_lat -s 128 -I 0 between two E5620 machines

2.48

N/A

N/A

~4.96us RTT

LM Bench Numbers

Benchmark

Xeon E5620

Opteron 6134

Xeon 3470

Notes

bw_mem -P 1 -W 2 268435456 (read / write / copy)

7800
3267
2095 MB/s

6628
2811
1905 MB/s

8441
3430
2366 MB/s

These numbers are with only one dimm installed, hence only
1 of 3, 1 of 4, and 1 of 2 memory channels can be used by each
CPU (E5620, 6134, and X3470, respectively).

There appears to be some serious core affinity for the Opteron.
If we pin to cpus 0-3, we get the high read value reported here.
If we instead pin to cpus 4-7, we get about 4080 MB/s for reads
(~38% less). Presumably with more memory installed (and hence
channels populated), this weird behaviour would largely go away.

bw_mem -P 4 -W 2 134217728 (read / write / copy)

 

9820  
2950  
2090 MB/s

9630  
3370  
2350 MB/s

AMD: taskset -c 0-3 (do not use remote memory controller)
Intel: taskset -c 0-3 (one HT per physical core)

lat_mem_rd -N 1 -P 1 256M 512 (l1 / l2 / l3 / ram)

1.7
4.2
19
71 ns

1.3
6.7
20
56 ns

1.2
2.9
14
70 ns

AMD memory affinity bit us here previously. Cores 0-3 are 56ns to RAM, whereas 4-7 are 108ns!
Why? "Magny Cours" is apparently two separate dies, each with two DDR3 memory controllers,
which are glued together with hypertransport links.

More realistic LM Bench Memory Bandwidth Numbers

The numbers above were with sample machines that had one dimm installed. This seriously limits throughput, as multiple memory channels cannot be used. What follows is a more fair comparison of loaded systems.

Benchmark

Xeon E5620 (rc02, 3 channels, 3x4GB)

Opteron 6134 (4 channels, 4x4GB @ 1333MHz)

Xeon X3470 (2 channels, 2x1GB @ 1333MHz)

Xeon X3470 (2 channels, 4x4GB @ 1333MHz)

Xeon X3470 (2 channels, 6x4GB @ 800MHz)

Notes

bw_mem -P 1 -W 2 268435456 (read / write / copy)

11995
7013
4288 MB/s

6660
4100
2750 MB/s

11292
6500
4050 MB/s

12628
5709
4146 MB/s

11293
5146
3414 MB/s

The Lynnfield 800MHz case is important, as
 once we have >= 24GB RAM, the memory clock drops significantly.

bw_mem -P 4 -W 2 134217728 (read / write / copy)

19000
8750
5950 MB/s

22000
11820
7400 MB/s

17900
6850
4600 MB/s

17643
8329
5541 MB/s

11080
5169
3397 MB/s

AMD case used taskset -c 0,1,6,7 to exercise
all memory controllers.

E5620 Recovery with 2 memory channels at 1066 and 800MHz (rc05, rc06)

Unfortunately, we cannot evaluate the X3470's limited memory bandwidth with large amounts of memory (we don't have enough of the right dimms, and the bios won't let us clock the frequency down manually). So, to get an idea of how important memory bandwidth will be to RAMCloud recovery, we'll run recoveries on our development E5620 machines at 1066MHz (default) and 800MHz memory clocks to see if it makes much of a difference. Note that we're using 2 of 3 memory controllers, as X3470 only has two.

2 memory channels, 800MHz clock

2 memory channels, 1066MHz clock

3 memory channels, 1066MHz clock

Lynnfield X3470 as the recovery master, with an E5620 as the failed master, coordinator, and backup.

The Lynnfield was running at 1333MHz memory clock. Our original result was kind of disappointing, but luckily Ryan recalled that we were converting ticks to nsec using the wrong divisor (2.4, not 2.93)! This one looks like what we'd expect, beating the E5620 by ~600ms (nearly 20% less time for a ~20% higher clock).

Of course, we'll pay a penalty for lowering the memory clock to 800MHz, but hopefully it will not be terribly important as the prior E5620 benchmarks showed (~100ms).

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