Oracle Cloud Announces HPC Instances with 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Ice Lake

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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) today announced availability of Intel 3rd Gen Xeon Ice Lake processor instances in limited preview, with worldwide general availability on April 28, 2021. “The launch of these new instances is the latest step in Oracle’s commitment to providing enterprise-grade capability for compute-intensive and high performance computing (HPC) workloads,” the company said.

Oracle said the new instances provide performance gains of up to 42 percent over the prior generation of X7 HPC instances. The new instances are the first to feature “our flexible compute capabilities, which enable you to choose any granular number of cores and amount of memory to suit
your workload’s needs. You’re no longer limited to fixed virtual machine (VM) sizes with 4, 8, or 16 cores and static memory ratios per core. You can deploy a five-core VM with 25 GB of RAM, if that’s what you need, and pay only for what you use.

Oracle said these instances are suited for workloads requiring high single threaded performance, such as batch processing, video encoding, electronic design automation (EDA), distributed analytics, data science, and AI Inference workloads. Workloads like computational fluid dynamics (CFD), used for
aerodynamics, see performance improvements of up to 42 percent, the company said, and electronic-design analysis and Monte Carlo workloads see upwards of 40 percent gains —  at the same price per core-hour as X7 HPC instances at $0.075 per core hour, regardless of the region deployed in.

The new bare metal instances in Oracle Cluster Networking can be launched with RDMA support and network latencies of 1.5 microseconds across single clusters up to 20,000 cores, according to the company, making them well-suited for traditional HPC workloads that require bare metal, low-latency performance across a large cluster to run large-scale message passing interface (MPI) workloads, such as engineering simulations, computational fluid dynamics, DNA sequencing, and reservoir simulations. The bare metal shape also includes local NVMe SSDs for high-speed, low-latency storage access.

“For over a decade, we have worked with Oracle to deliver solutions for a wide variety of workloads from high performance in the cloud to serving needs for machine learning, simulation, and modeling,” said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president of Data Platforms Group, Intel. “It is wonderful to see how Oracle is achieving greater performance in the cloud on their bare metal instances with the 3rd Gen Xeon and how their customers will be able to leverage Intel’s latest processors on Oracle’s powerful high-performance cloud.”

Oracle said Intel’s 3rd Gen Xeon incorporates new core micro-architecture with larger L1 and L2 cache than previous generations. “PCIe Gen 4 improves bandwidth and latency to NVMe storage volumes and accelerators,” the company said. “This generation has more memory lanes and
better memory bandwidth, and customers can use AVX-512 instructions. Many HPC applications respond well to these improvements. Having access to the latest and greatest, with a wide selection of hardware to match each workload, is central to Oracle Cloud’s value proposition, along with providing enterprise-grade production HPC capability and the most cost-effective pricing in the public cloud.”