Announcing Oracle Cloud Compute E4 platform on third gen AMD EPYC processors

At Ora­cle Open­World 2018, we announ­ced a stra­te­gic part­ners­hip with AMD and laun­ched the Ora­cle E2 plat­form on the first genera­ti­on of AMD EPYC pro­ces­sors. Sin­ce that launch, we’ve deploy­ed Ora­cle E2 Com­pu­te instan­ces to all of our com­mer­cial regi­ons. Eigh­teen mon­ths later, in April 2020, we built on this part­ners­hip and laun­ched the E3 plat­form on the second genera­ti­on. Many of our enter­pri­se cus­to­mers and Ora­cle Cloud app­li­ca­ti­ons are run­ning gene­ral-pur­po­se workloads on AMD EPYC pro­ces­sors. Today, I’m hap­py to announ­ce that Ora­cle is laun­ching the E4 plat­form based on third-genera­ti­on AMD EPYC pro­ces­sors. The E4 plat­form inclu­des both bare metal and fle­xi­ble vir­tu­al machi­nes (VMs).

 

The­se E4 stan­dard instan­ces use 64 core pro­ces­sors, with a base clock fre­quen­cy of 2.55 GHz and a max boost of up to 3.5 GHz. The bare metal E4 stan­dard Com­pu­te instance sup­ports 128 OCPUs (128 cores and 256 threads) with 256 MB of L3 cache, 2 TB of RAM, and 100 Gbps of over­all net­work band­width. This con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on is the hig­hest core count for a bare metal instance on any public cloud. The memo­ry band­width is well sui­ted for both gene­ral-pur­po­se and high-band­width workloads that requi­re lar­ger and fas­ter memory.

As demons­tra­ted in the fol­lowing per­for­mance bench­marks, the E4 Stan­dard instan­ces deli­ver up to a 15% incre­a­se in inte­ger per­for­mance, a 21% incre­a­se in floa­ting point per­for­mance, and a 24% incre­a­se in java per­for­mance, com­pa­red to E3 Stan­dard instan­ces. Also, the E4 instan­ces pro­vi­de three times the pri­ce per­for­mance rela­ti­ve to other gene­ral-pur­po­se instan­ces offe­red by other cloud providers.

New pro­ces­sors, bet­ter per­for­mance, and the same pri­ce as E3 Com­pu­te instan­ces, com­bi­ned with our fle­xi­ble Com­pu­te approach, which enab­les you to gra­nu­lar­ly cus­to­mi­ze the core counts and memo­ry of VMs, pro­vi­de bet­ter value.

Many enter­pri­se cus­to­mers for Ora­cle app­li­ca­ti­ons and gene­ral-pur­po­se workloads have adop­ted our AMD EPYC pro­ces­sor-based Com­pu­te instan­ces. Our cus­to­mers have alrea­dy suc­cess­ful­ly deploy­ed AMD-based instan­ces, inclu­ding the fol­lowing use cases:

  • Video con­fe­ren­cing

  • Real-time video processing

  • Mas­si­ve­ly par­al­lel pro­ces­sing and high-per­for­mance com­pu­ting (HPC)

  • Busi­ness-cri­ti­cal applications

  • Web and app­li­ca­ti­on servers

  • Backend ser­vers for enter­pri­se applications

  • Gaming ser­vers

  • In-memo­ry database

  • Caching fleets

  • App deve­lo­p­ment environments

Ora­cle cus­to­mer Xact­ly, the lea­der in reve­nue intel­li­gence solu­ti­ons, uses Oracle’s AMD EPYC pro­ces­sor-based Compute.

Ora­cle Cloud Infra­st­ruc­tu­re (OCI) is uni­que in pro­vi­ding cus­to­mers with the gra­nu­la­ri­ty and fle­xi­bi­li­ty in com­pu­te resour­ces,” said Ron Ras­mus­sen, CTO of Xact­ly. “Xact­ly has seen gre­at, mea­su­red bene­fits from deploy­ing E3 in ope­ra­ting our mul­ti-ten­ant SaaS reve­nue intel­li­gence solu­ti­ons. Our mul­ti­ten­ant SaaS solu­ti­on is built on Java tech­no­lo­gy, and we look for­ward to exten­ding the addi­tio­nal bene­fits of E4 to our cus­to­mers in the near future.”

Key highlights

E4 instan­ces con­ti­nue the fle­xi­ble infra­st­ruc­tu­re approach that we estab­lis­hed with E3. You’re free to select the exact num­ber of OCPUs and amount of memo­ry that you need for a VM, not for­ced to choo­se from a fixed menu of 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16. You can launch any cus­tom VM size that meets your needs, such as a 3‑core, 6‑core, or 63-core VM with any­whe­re from 1 GB–1 TB of memory.

The­se cus­tom sizes mean lower cos­ts. E4 instan­ces bill sepa­r­ate­ly for the OCPU and memo­ry resour­ces pro­vi­sio­ned. Each OCPU comes with its asso­cia­ted simul­ta­ne­ous mul­ti­threa­ding unit and is pri­ced at US$0.025, and memo­ry is pri­ced at US$0.0015 per GB—the same pri­ces as our E3 Com­pu­te instan­ces. An E4 instance with 1‑OCPU instance and 16 GB of RAM  has a pri­ce of US$0.049, which is 23% less than X7 Stan­dard and 57–61% less than com­pa­ra­ble instan­ces offe­red by other clouds.

E4 instan­ces sup­port reboot resi­ze, so you can easi­ly migra­te from your exis­ting com­pu­te instan­ces to an E4 instance of com­pa­ti­ble shape.

Instance availability

Table 1 shows the VM and the bare metal instan­ces that are avail­ab­le at launch. The­se instan­ces are avail­ab­le in the fol­lowing regi­ons, with plans to have instan­ces wide­ly avail­ab­le in all com­mer­cial regi­ons in the future:

  • US East (Ashburn)

  • US West (Phoe­nix)

  • India west (Mum­bai)

  • Switz­er­land North (Zurich)

  • Bra­zil East (Sao Paulo)

  • Cana­da Sou­the­ast (Mont­re­al)

  • Aus­tra­lia sou­the­ast (Mel­bourne)

  • Cana­da Sou­the­ast (Toron­to)

Table 1: E4 instan­ces avail­ab­le at launch

Instance OCPU Memo­ry Extra sto­rage Net­work
BM.Standard.E4.128 128 2,048 GB Up to 1 PB of remo­te block storage 100 Gbps
VM.Standard.E4.Flex 1–64 1–64 GB per OCPU up to 1024 GB Up to 1 PB of remo­te block storage 1 Gbps per OCPU

OCPU refers to a sin­gle core and its asso­cia­ted thread. We pro­vi­de 1 Gbps per OCPU, up to a maxi­mum of 40 Gbps.

Performance

We com­pa­red the AMD EPYC CPU-based instan­ces to our cur­rent x86 stan­dard alter­na­ti­ves. Table 2 shows detail­ed configurations.

Table 2: Com­pu­te con­fi­gu­ra­ti­ons for per­for­mance tests

Sys­tem Configuration X7 Sys­tem E3 Sys­tem E4 Sys­tem
CPU Two x86 pro­ces­sors, 26 cores per socket @ 2.0 GHz Two AMD EPYC 7742, 64 cores per socket @ 2.25 GHz Base, and @3.4G Turbo Two AMD EPYC 7J13, 64 cores per socket @ 2.55 GHz Base, and @3.5G Turbo
Memo­ry 786 GB DDR4 2,048 GB DDR4 2,048 GB DDR4
Net­work Two 25 Gbps Two 50 Gbps Two 50 Gbps

We ran per­for­mance tests to exer­cise the CPU per­for­mance, floa­ting point per­for­mance, and memo­ry sub­sys­tem per­for­mance (see Table 3). We ran tests on ven­dor-recom­men­ded pro­prie­ta­ry com­pi­lers and Ora­cle Linux ope­ra­ting sys­tems. We ran the tests several times and aver­aged the results. All SPEC num­bers are estimates.

Table 3: Per­for­mance tests and bench­mark targets

Test Bench­mark target
SPE­Cra­te 2017 Integer Inte­ger performance
SPE­Cra­te 2017 Floa­ting Point Floa­ting point performance
STREAM Tri­ad Memo­ry sub­sys­tem performance

The fol­lowing graphs show how the AMD E4 instan­ces com­pa­red against our X7 and E3 Com­pu­te instances.

Figu­re 1: Nor­ma­li­zed bare metal per­for­mance results

The third-genera­ti­on AMD EPYC pro­ces­sor-based ser­ver per­forms well com­pa­red to our exis­ting port­fo­lio of bare metal Com­pu­te instan­ces. The E4 Stan­dard instan­ces deli­ver up to a 15% incre­a­se in inte­ger per­for­mance and a 9% incre­a­se in floa­ting point per­for­mance com­pa­red to the E3 instan­ces. Com­pa­red to the X7 stan­dard instance, the E4 instance deli­vers a 215% incre­a­se in inte­ger per­for­mance, a 160% incre­a­se in floa­ting point per­for­mance, and a 140% incre­a­se in STREAM Tri­ad bandwidth.

Figu­re 2 shows the results of the bench­marks on VMs. All the tests were run on 2‑core VMs.

Figu­re 2: Nor­ma­li­zed VM per­for­mance results

The ser­ver also per­forms well com­pa­red to our exis­ting VM instan­ces on this set of stan­dar­di­zed bench­marks. The E4 stan­dard instan­ces deli­ve­r­ed a 15% impro­ve­ment in inte­ger per­for­mance per core and 21% impro­ve­ment in floa­ting point per­for­mance per core com­pa­red to E3 based instan­ces. More nota­ble is the com­pa­ri­son against X7 instan­ces. The E4 stan­dard instan­ces deli­ve­r­ed a 67% impro­ve­ment in inte­ger per­for­mance, 97% impro­ve­ment in Floa­ting point per­for­mance, and a 108% incre­a­se in memo­ry per­for­mance over an X7 instance.

Java benchmarks

Apart from the stan­dar­di­zed bench­marks, we also ran our inter­nal Java bench­mark to mea­su­re ser­ver-side Java per­for­mance. We ran the Java tests with an empha­sis on the midd­le-tier per­for­mance. We ran the tests several times and aver­aged the results.

Table 4: Java per­for­mance test and bench­mark target

Test Bench­mark target
Ser­ver-Side Java Benchmark Midd­le-tier performance

Figu­re 3 shows the results of run­ning the Java bench­mark tests on X7, E3, and E4 bare metal instances.

Figu­re 3: Nor­ma­li­zed bare metal per­for­mance results

The E4 Stan­dard instance deli­ve­r­ed a 13% incre­a­se in Java per­for­mance com­pa­red to E3 instan­ces and a 263% incre­a­se com­pa­red to X7 instances.

Figu­re 4 shows the results of run­ning the Java bench­mark tests on VMs. All the Java tests were run on 8‑core VMs becau­se of mini­mum memo­ry requirements.

Figu­re 4: Nor­ma­li­zed VM per­for­mance results

The E4 VM instan­ces deli­ve­r­ed a 24% incre­a­se in Java per­for­mance com­pa­red to E3 and a 71% incre­a­se in Java per­for­mance com­pa­red to X7 instances.

Competitive benchmarks

We com­pa­red our offe­rings to what’s avail­ab­le from AWS. As shown in the fol­lowing gra­phic, the E4 based instan­ces out­per­for­med the AWS instan­ces in abso­lu­te per­for­mance and pri­ce-per­for­mance, with three times the pri­ce per­for­mance of AWS instan­ces across the­se benchmarks.

Figu­re 5: Per­for­mance of OCI E4 ver­sus AWS instances
Figu­re 6: Pri­ce per­for­mance of OCI E4 ver­sus AWS

Conclusion

You can bene­fit from this per­for­mance by deploy­ing and migra­ting your workloads to the­se Com­pu­te instan­ces today. To learn more about AMD EPYC cloud solu­ti­ons for OCIwatch the video from our VP Ross Brown. For more infor­ma­ti­on on the E4 Stan­dard and fle­xi­ble instan­ces, you can access our docu­men­ta­ti­on. For more Ora­cle Cloud Infra­st­ruc­tu­re solu­ti­ons for AMD EPYC-powe­red Ora­cle Cloud instan­ces, you can visit the AMD tech docs and white paper libra­ry.

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