For years, the typical server has been defined by the dual-socket market. At the same time, a number of organizations have noticed that crossing the QPI/ UPI bus between sockets is less than ideal. Processors have crept up not just in capacity, but also in price and power consumption which is making many take a look at single-socket solutions again. AMD EPYC has been pushing this space, so invariably, we are going to have an Intel Xeon response.
Many of the servers we review at STH are designed for maximum expandability, maximum performance, or optimizing on a specific density metric. While those are all great goals, that extra level of optimization adds costs. The Supermicro SYS-1029P-WTRT is a 1U server designed instead for cost optimization providing a dual-socket Intel Xeon Scalable compute platform in a small space. In our review, we are going to see how this impacts the server platform.
The Supermicro 2029UZ-TN20R25M is a 2U dual-socket server that is part of the company’s “Ultra” line meant to compete in the higher-end of the server market. We requested this server specifically because it has 20x NVMe SSD bays, it supports Intel Optane DCPMM, and it has built-in 25GbE. Those 20x NVMe SSD bays we wanted to use to show a very important concept in storage, the benefit of direct-attach storage. In our review, we are going to discuss why this is important.
The SuperStorage 6019P-ACR12L+ is a 1U server designed for organizations that need a solution for high-density object storage, scale-out storage, Ceph/Hadoop, and Big Data Analytics. This server is highlighted by Supermicro’s X11-DDW-NT motherboard family, which features support for dual-socket 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (Cascade Lake), up to 3TB of ECC DDR4-2933MHz RAM, and Intel Optane DCPMM.
The Supermicro 2049P-TN8R (or technically the SYS-2049P-TN8R) is a 4-socket server that is designed differently from many of the other models we have tested like the Supermicro SYS-2049U-TR4. This server is designed for scale-out applications. It may seem like a slight nuance, but the system is designed differently for that purpose.
The Supermicro X11SPA-T is a single socket workstation motherboard with a range of high-end features, designed to support both Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs and Xeon-W 3200 series CPUs, but its focus is with the workstation hardware on the C621 chipset.
Supermicro’s mighty mini ITX Xeon board can make for a powerful compact number cruncher, but pricey server-class part requirements means most consumers should opt for X299 or Threadripper alternatives.
Supermicro sent us their C621 chipset X11SPA-T motherboard, which does support the new Xeon W CPUs. You can also take into consideration the number of PCI-E slots you would like, in the case of this motherboard there is a PEX8747 chip that takes x16 lanes and outputs x32, so that we have a total of seven PCI-E slots.
Today we have a Supermicro X11SPA-T motherboard in for review, and it is something special. This is Supermicro’s single-socket workstation platform designed to be a halo product for the Intel Xeon W-3200 series from Intel.
One of the great parts about the second generation AMD EPYC processors is the diversity of platforms that we are seeing. Supermicro was a pioneer in the first generation, and our first dual-socket EPYC system was from the company.