Behind the Scenes: Incremental Infrastructure Enhancements


We’ve undergone a number of change over the previous 12 months. We’ve had the chance to develop and improve our breadth of companies whereas preserving our versatile, scalable, and user-friendly platform. This journey will not be a leap however a sequence of incremental steps transferring us ahead. We’ve been doing a number of work underneath the hood to allow our enlargement efforts, and we need to proceed sharing what goes on behind the scenes with you. 

Laying the groundwork for the longer term has to begin with the backend infrastructure: {hardware} and networking. These will be neglected with an eye fixed on new options and companies, however a robust basis will permit us to construct a extra highly effective platform.

More Power: Faster CPUs

Extra Energy: Sooner CPUs

A lot of our current areas now have AMD EPYC 7713 CPUs. We will examine this to one of many extra frequent Zen 2 processors in our present fleet, the 7542, and nonetheless see a considerable uncooked efficiency improve.

EPYC 7542 vs 7713 CPUs

A 23% improve in increase clock pace will accommodate extra demanding workloads. A better core depend decreases potential useful resource rivalry and bottlenecks from directions working on a single execution engine.

The L3 cache elevated by a whopping 400% going from 64MB to 256MB. A bigger L3 cache prevents the CPU from regularly hitting the RAM for knowledge. RAM continues to be sooner than most storage codecs, however CPU cache is constructed proper into the processor and is considerably sooner than RAM. A better L3 cache offers efficiency boosts for memory-intensive purposes, together with gaming and video encoding.

Commonplace Excessive-Pace Storage

We rolled out all NVMe block storage in 2021, which affords important efficiency enhancements over spinning disks and even SATA SSDs, however that’s solely a part of the story. Our compute plans come normal with native storage, which is unusual with different suppliers, with solely hooked up or momentary storage provided.

Block storage separates knowledge into uniform “blocks,” making it supreme for high-performance file methods that have to unfold throughout a number of VMs or hosts. Block storage is usually used regionally, that means a VM sits on the identical {hardware} that the storage is straight linked to or as Community Connected Storage (NAS).

You see excessive efficiency in both configuration, however there’s a significant distinction between hitting a disk that’s bodily hooked up to the identical motherboard your server is working on vs. a NAS system linked through ethernet. 

Local storage vs Network Attached
Native storage will yield higher efficiency than community storage with the identical disk.

With two an identical NVMe disks, you’ll all the time see larger efficiency from native storage over NAS. NAS, nonetheless, is extra versatile and allows you to construct large storage arrays that may be accessed by a number of hosts at a bigger scale. Our plans include native storage, and we provide further block storage that may be hooked up to a VM, all utilizing NVMe.

Software program RAID Controllers

KVM grew to become our major hypervisor in 2015 after we converted from Xen. KVM considerably improved efficiency for VMs whereas utilizing the identical {hardware}. Quick ahead to at this time, we’re persevering with to construct round Linux kernel virtualization with software program RAID controllers as a part of our new builds.

{Hardware} RAID controllers had been as soon as thought of sooner than software program setups, however sooner CPUs give software program controllers an identical, if not improved, efficiency over {hardware} counterparts. As a part of our builds in new knowledge facilities, we’re now utilizing Linux kernel’s a number of system (MD) and kernel block drivers.


Linux software program RAID controllers are managed via mdadm and grant our configurations the next degree of flexibility, together with built-in hot-swapping capabilities with no need a hot-swapping chassis. These setups run common consistency checks and carry out automated corrections of unhealthy sectors.


As of October 2022, our hosts are actually geared up with System Administration BIOS (SMBIOS). SMBIOS offers customers the flexibility to question the MIF database and retrieve details about the compute occasion.  So long as your occasion has booted/rebooted since we added this, you should use the dmidecode command to search out the occasion sort and ID.


dmidecode -t1
Sample dmidecode output

Beforehand, this info was not accessible on demand however can now be pulled from the terminal at any time. This isn’t a alternative for a neighborhood metadata API however generally is a helpful software for customized scripting.

And Extra and Extra

As we proceed to ramp up and develop new companies, you’ll be able to count on fixed and constant enhancements throughout the board. We’ll preserve you up to date on all of the minor and main particulars as we preserve transferring ahead.

Sources: Weblog | Technical Docs | Publication


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