AMD vs Intel: Comparative Benchmarks

We regularly publish articles on the latest processors from Intel, which for many year has maintained its position as the market leader of server solutions. However, the situation has been changing as of late and other players have actively been making a name for themselves. This past March, AMD released it EPYC processor family, which has received some interesting and generally positive reviews (like this article on Anandtech). Seeing and trying something for yourself though often proves more valuable than reading (even hundreds) of articles online.

That being said, there aren’t many articles out there worth of our attention. Moreover, since releasing these processors, AMD has hardly published any technical or marketing materials: at the moment, they’re bound to information from the article AMD EPYC SoC Sets 4 World Records on SPEC CPU Benchmarks, which is more marketing in nature than technical.

We were lucky enough to get the chance to try it out for ourself: our colleagues from ASUS recently lent us a server built on the AMD EPYC 7351 processor to test. We decided to compare it with Intel Skylake SP processors and test its overall performance. The results and an analysis are of these tests are presented below. Read more

Synchronizing Servers with NTP

For an operating system and all of its services to run smoothly, the system clock has to be accurate. If it’s off by just a few seconds, the results could be disastrous.

For example, if machines share files over a local network, their clocks have to be synchronized to establish when exactly data is modified. Inaccurate clocks could create version conflicts or cause data to be overwritten.

There would also be issues running cron jobs. With an inaccurate clock, launch times would be fuzzy at best, and it would be incredibly difficult to properly analyze logs and troubleshoot system errors.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

To avoid these issues, system clocks have to synchronize. In Linux, this is done using an NTP (Network Time Protocol). In this article, we’ll be going step-by-step to install and configure an NTP on a server. Read more

Powering a Data Center

Just over two years have passed, or rather flown by, since the grand opening of the Tsvetochnaya 2 data center. In our article covering the event, we not only shared photos from the festivities, but briefly looked at the data center’s infrastructure. We soon started thinking that it’d be a great idea to publish a series of articles that take a more in-depth look at these systems. Well, we’ve finally managed to take a break from our day-to-day and put our plan into action.

At the heart of it, the operations of any data center rest on three pillars: power, cooling, and security. Without a doubt, the key system here is power. Read more

Curious Cases in Working with Servers

Despite how new something is or how long it’s been working under a full workload, equipment sometimes starts to act a bit unpredictably. Servers are no exception.

Crashes and malfunctions happen, and oftentimes, what should just be simple troubleshooting turns into a time-consuming whodunit.

Below, we’ll be looking at a few interesting and curious examples of how servers have misbehaved, and what was done to get them back in order. Read more

HighLoad 2017: “You Just Can’t Miss It”

The 11th annual HighLoad++ conference was held from November 7-8 at the Skolkovo Innovation Center. This year, the conference saw 2 700 people in attendance—200 more than last year! Today we’ll be reporting on the highlights and presentations that our team from Selectel saw. Read more

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Cloud Storage Updates

Are you ready for some big news? Cloud Storage has been fully updated and in some cases, service prices have been reduced threefold!

Selectel Cloud Storage is most commonly used for:

  • Storing backups and archives
  • Distributing static content for online applications and sites
  • Hosting static sites
  • Sharing media with other users

Read more

VPC Statistics

We’ve added a new function to The Virtual Private Cloud to make managing virtual machines even more convenient and cost-effective: workload statistics.

Users can now view graphs on the workloads of virtual machine components from the control panel or gather measurement data over REST API.

In this article, we’ll talk about the components used for gathering, processing, and storing virtual machine metrics as well as give examples of how these components can be configured. Read more

Intel Optane SSD: Scientific Applications

Since July, anyone interested has been able to test out an Intel Optane SSD free of charge (an article detailing the benefits and advantages of this new disk can be found in our blog).

There were quite a few interesting projects, including those in the field of science.

Below, we’ll be looking at a few cases where these disks were used for scientific computations and applications. Read more

Managing Tasks with Jenkins CI

Jenkins could be implemented in practically any company that has to automatically deploy applications and infrastructures, as well as for just comfortably managing various types of tasks.

There are lots of different tools on the market today, both proprietary and free, that make continuous integration as easy as possible.

Jenkins is a free tool that offers countless capabilities thanks to the availability of thousands of plugins, which are constantly being upgraded and released. Read more

Control Panel Updates

We updated our control panel my.selectel.ru in early September. Many of our users tried the beta-version and provided excellent feedback, which we have given a lot of consideration. We recently introduced new functions, making the panel even easier to use and ergonomic. We also added links to our knowledge base. Let’s take a look at some of these changes. Read more