Supermicro BigTwin Intel Xeon Ice Lake Edition 2U4N Hands-on

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Rear
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Rear

At the moment we’re trying on the Supermicro SYS-220BT-HNTR, also referred to as one of many firm’s “BigTwin” fashions, that Patrick not too long ago received some hands-on time with at Supermicro headquarters. This 2U server accommodates 4 particular person server nodes, every of which boasts twin Intel Ice Lake CPUs. The brief title for that within the business is a 2U4N server. All 2U4N servers usually are not the identical although, and the BigTwin is Supermicro’s higher-end line. If Supermicro’s SYS-220GQ-TNAR+ was all about GPU density, then the BigTwin is its CPU-dense cousin. STH has checked out BigTwin configurations up to now, however at present’s system is the primary time we’ve had time with the up to date third technology Intel Xeon Scalable “Ice Lake” model.

Video Model

That is a part of our go to to the Supermicro HQ collection, just like our latest protection of the Supermicro Hyper-E 2U and SYS-220GQ-TNAR+.

We’re going to have extra element on this article, however need to present the choice to hear. As a fast word, Supermicro allowed us to movie the video at HQ, offered the programs of their demo room, and helped with journey prices to go do that collection. We did a complete collection whereas there and are tagging this as sponsored. Patrick was capable of choose the merchandise we might have a look at and have editorial management of the items (no person is reviewing these items outdoors of STH earlier than they go stay both.) In full transparency, this was the one method to get one thing like this performed, together with quite a lot of merchandise in a single shot, with out going to a commerce present. Search for the final piece on this collection coming to STH over the approaching weeks.

Supermicro SYS-220BT-HNTR Overview

That is in all probability the final time I’ll seek advice from this by its mannequin quantity; BigTwin is just simpler to say. The entrance of the BigTwin is all storage:

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Front 1
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Entrance 1

A complete of 24x 2.5″ U.2 locking drive bays are current, with every of the person nodes allotted 6 bays. These are hybrid 2.5″ bays, and might settle for both PCIe 4.0 NVMe or SATA drives in them. Moreover, you’ll discover that there are a number of vertical parts on the entrance of the chassis reserved for air flow holes. Because the BigTwin is Supermicro’s premium 2U4N resolution, it’s designed to chill the higher-end CPUs and growth elements.  Eight Xeon Ice Lake CPUs require a lot of direct contemporary airflow to maintain cool, and this entrance air flow offers the avenue for that contemporary air to reach.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Front Node Power Reset
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Entrance Node Energy Reset

One of many enjoyable options, in case you have by no means seen these, is that the rack ears have the facility and standing LEDs for the nodes, two on every rack ear.

Looking across the again of the server, we get to the magic of this configuration. There are 4 full server programs housed on this 2U chassis, grouped round a pair of proprietary 2.6kW 80+ Titanium energy provides.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Rear Four Nodes Installed
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Rear 4 Nodes Put in

These 2.6kW 80+ Titanium energy provides are literally a giant deal. Not solely are they high-efficiency, an awesome attribute in a dense system like this, however they’re a customized design. These PSUs are longer than the chassis is lengthy. That makes the PSUs skinny. In consequence, extra space on both aspect will be utilized by the nodes permitting for extra expandability on every node. This may increasingly seem to be a small element, however it’s nuances like this that result in differentiation within the 2U4N area.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Rear Power Supply
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Rear Energy Provide

Apart from bodily metallic and these shared energy provides, every of the 4 nodes you’ll be able to see from the rear perform as utterly unbiased servers.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Ice Lake 1
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node third Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Ice Lake 1

Every node sports activities two LGA4189 sockets supporting Intel third Gen Xeon Scalable Ice Lake CPUs. Thermal constraints restrict this method to 36 core and 205W TDP CPUs. Even with that, there’s nonetheless sufficient energy and cooling to deal with 288 Ice Lake cores throughout the 4 nodes. That 205W restrict has a caveat although. If there’s a cooler ambient temperature information middle, for instance, then one can doubtlessly go up the stack even additional. Above 205W TDP, you will want to get the system/ deployment validated.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Memory And 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Ice Lake
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Reminiscence And third Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Ice Lake

Every node additionally has a complete of 16 DIMM slots, which is simply sufficient to allow all 8 channels of the Ice Lake reminiscence controller. Sharp-eyed viewers will even word the presence of 4x black DIMM slots, two for every CPU. These are devoted slots for Intel Optane PMem 200 modules that pair with the third Gen Xeon Scalable platform. That offers one the flexibility so as to add extra than simply DRAM to the system and get further reminiscence capability as nicely.

Every node includes a pair of PCIe 4.0 x16 low-profile slots and that’s one thing up from earlier generations.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node PCIe X16 Riser
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node PCIe X16 Riser

Positioned just under the left PCIe slot is the AIOM / OCP 3.0 slot, which is a devoted slot for putting in system networking. Apart from the devoted NIC for the BMC/administration visitors, Supermicro has not outfitted the BigTwin with any fastened onboard community ports; as a substitute, patrons can customise their ‘onboard’ networking through the AIOM slot. If one doesn’t need to use AIOM, one also can use the PCIe slots for networking.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Rear AIOM OCP NIC 3.0 1
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Rear AIOM OCP NIC 3.0 1

A bit tougher to see are the side-mounted M.2 slots, of which there are two on every node. These would largely be used for boot media resembling a hypervisor, leaving all the entrance slots accessible for storage.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Internal M.2 Storage 2
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Inner M.2 Storage 2

Rounding out the rear of the nodes are a VGA port, two USB ports, and that BMC administration NIC beforehand talked about. That BMC is an ASPEED AST2600 resolution and is one thing we’ve seen on different Supermicro Ice Lake servers. Every node’s BMC features independently, although they do talk with one another sufficient to concentrate on the general standing of the chassis. I like to recommend having a look at our earlier BigTwin evaluate for a greater rationalization of the multi-node BMC assist.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Rear
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Rear

Every of the nodes is linked to the bigger chassis through a single high-density connector on a modern from every sled. This connector is chargeable for carrying all the front-drive bay connectivity, in addition to energy for the system. It is a a lot cleaner resolution than among the lower-end 2U4N programs in the marketplace.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node High Density Connector 1
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Excessive Density Connector 1

There are a couple of gadgets past simply what one will get with the brand new Ice Lake Xeons and options just like the built-in M.2 storage which are good on this system. An instance is that the BigTwin makes use of a tough plastic airflow information. A few of the older 2U4N programs and even among the lower-end programs use comparatively flimsy airflow guides that may be troublesome. The lower-end guides typically don’t seat correctly and subsequently intervene with sliding a node in-and-out of a chassis. This looks as if a small characteristic, till you expertise the problem first-hand with the choice.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Airflow Start
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Airflow Begin

Total, there’s a lot right here. It is a phase that we’ve now seen on STH for 3 generations and there’s definitely marked enchancment with every technology. These 2U4N programs are common since they make servicing a lot simpler than particular person nodes whereas additionally rising density.

Remaining Phrases

Supermicro’s BigTwin server collection has all the time been about cramming a ton of CPU compute into as small a package deal as doable, with out delving into the complexity of a full ‘blade’ server design. The SYS-220BT-HNTR is an iterative replace on that now-proven 2U 4-node design system, bringing assist for quicker reminiscence, larger core depend CPUs, and a giant growth in connectivity with PCIe 4.0 assist and extra PCIe lanes. For such a dense computing resolution, the worth of upgrading to PCIe 4.0 and enabling a lot quicker networking and storage assist is big in a design like this.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Front 2
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Entrance 2

As soon as once more, a giant thanks to Supermicro for letting Patrick poke about their demo room. We have now received at the least yet one more of those little previews coming, so preserve an eye fixed out for that within the close to future!

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