A closer look at AMD EPYC baremetal servers at packet.net

I have already written about the baremetal servers at packet.net in September 2017, testing them with LXD.

This post is an update were I try out their new AMD EPYC baremetal servers.

This post is the first of a series of posts about the AMD EPYC baremetal servers. Specifically,

  1. A closer look at AMD EPYC baremetal servers at packet.net (this post)
  2. Booting up the AMD EPYC baremetal server at packet.net
  3. Configuring LXD on the AMD EPYC baremetal server at packet.net
  4. Benchmarking LXD on an AMD EPYC server at packet.net

In the following, we are going to see how to configure and start a new server from the management interface. In subsequent post, we are going through

Configuring an AMD EPYC baremetal server

I logged on to packet.net and I am presenting with the following

I click the Deploy Servers button to start deploying the first server.

This is were we make important decisions on the configuration. If you have a wide-screen, this should appear aligned horizontally. Let’s see each one in detail.

Selecting a hostname

First, select the hostname. You can either select a Fully-Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or a single word since you will be configuring the services later. It shows as an example the FQDN your.hostname.com. (Ideally, though, the canonical choice here should have been something like myserver.example.com. Because example.com is an IANA-reserved domain name for such use in documentation, while hostname.com actually belongs to someone.)

Selecting the datacenter

Second, select the Location of the datacenter. There are several locations around the world. Each location has a dedicated page which explains what is offered at each datacenter (example: AMS1 – Amsterdam, Netherlands), including which types of baremetal servers and some information on the availability of these different types. We are opting for AMS1 because I already know that here there are AMD EPYC servers.

Selecting the baremetal server

Third, here is a list of available configs (types of baremetal servers) and their availability  for AMS1 (Amsterdam):

But which config is what? Here is a snapshot of the full list of baremetal servers. Which to choose?

The new AMD EPYC servers are called c2.medium.x86 and this is what we are testing. It has 24 CPU cores (times 2 threads on each core), 64GB RAM, 960GB of total disk space (click Details for their exact configuration), and sets you back $1 per hour.

Selecting the Linux distribution

Fourth, what about Linux distributions? Here’s the list. I am going for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Selecting Ubuntu 18.04. Even if Ubuntu 16.04 is really hot.

Other Options

And, fifth, there are some Options, including adding an SSH public key.

If you click here, you get a pop-up for extra configuration. These are described below.

Adding a SSH public key

Obviously, go and add a SSH public key. Ideally, you would go and add your SSH public-key when you first created an account for this or any other service. In that way, it will be always appear selected and enabled when you configure a new server.

Adding cloud-init configuration

Then, you can select to add a cloud-init configuration so that your baremetal servers gets auto-configured as soon as it boots.

Adding extra IPv4 addresses

Subsequently, you can select whether you want more than one public IPv4 address. The first IPv4 address is free, you can get up to 13 extra IP addresses, you pay per hour, and it amounts to about $3.60 per month per extra IP.

Participating in the Spot Market

Finally, there is an option to select Spot Market pricing in order to get much lower prices. The gist is that if there is server capacity available, you can bid and get that capacity at a heavy discount but with the risk of losing instantly the server if another customer appears and pays full price. Spot Market pricing makes sense if 1) you take the time and study the provided recent historical data, and 2) if you can configure your workload not to get affected by a sudden interruption.

If you are not prepared to learn how to use the Spot Market pricing, leave this field empty.

Final configuration

For this installation, I am using the following settings

  • Hostname: myserver
  • Location: AMS1 (Amsterdam)
  • Type: c2.medium.x86
  • OS: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Options: +SSH Public Key, +Custom subnet /30 (total of four public IPv4 addresses)

To deploy

We are ready to deploy, that is, to press the following button and have the baremetal server get deployed.

Button that deploys the servers.

But don’t do it yet. Read the next part of the series to see what will happen when you click the Deploy Servers button. By first reading the next part, you will be able to appreciate better the booting process! Specifically, you can connect to the out-of-band console so that you can see all the initialization messages and also the Linux kernel messages.

List of other posts from this set

  1. A closer look at AMD EPYC baremetal servers at packet.net (this post)
  2. Booting up the AMD EPYC baremetal server at packet.net
  3. Configuring LXD on the AMD EPYC baremetal server at packet.net
  4. Benchmarking LXD on an AMD EPYC server at packet.net

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.simos.info/a-closer-look-at-amd-epyc-baremetal-servers-at-packet-net/

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