December 4, 2021

Supermicro BigTwin Intel Xeon Ice Lake Version 2U4N Palms-on

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

At this time we’re wanting on the Supermicro SYS-220BT-HNTR, often known 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 incorporates 4 particular person server nodes, every of which boasts twin Intel Ice Lake CPUs. The quick identify for that within the business is a 2U4N server. All 2U4N servers should 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 as we speak’s system is the primary time we’ve got had time with the up to date third era 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 be aware, Supermicro allowed us to movie the video at HQ, offered the methods of their demo room, and helped with journey prices to go do that collection. We did an entire 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 one is reviewing these items exterior of STH earlier than they go dwell both.) In full transparency, this was the one approach to get one thing like this finished, together with taking a look at quite a few 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 confer with 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 enlargement elements.  Eight Xeon Ice Lake CPUs require numerous direct contemporary airflow to maintain cool, and this entrance air flow gives the avenue for that contemporary air to reach.

Looking across the again of the server, we get to the magic of this configuration. There are 4 full server methods 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 an enormous deal. Not solely are they high-efficiency, an amazing 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. Consequently, more room on both aspect may be utilized by the nodes permitting for extra expandability on every node. This may occasionally look like 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 steel and these shared energy provides, every of the 4 nodes you may see from the rear perform as utterly impartial 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 may be 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 probably go up the stack even additional. Above 205W TDP, you have to 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 may even be aware 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 power so as to add extra than simply DRAM to the system and get extra reminiscence capability as effectively.

Every node encompasses 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 slightly below 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 site visitors, Supermicro has not geared up the BigTwin with any mounted onboard community ports; as an alternative, patrons can customise their ‘onboard’ networking by way of the AIOM slot. If one doesn’t need to use AIOM, one can even 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 more durable 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 equivalent to a hypervisor, leaving all the entrance slots out there for storage.

Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Internal M.2 Storage 2
Supermicro SYS 220BT HNTR Node Inside 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 got seen on different Supermicro Ice Lake servers. Every node’s BMC capabilities independently, although they do talk with one another sufficient to concentrate on the general standing of the chassis. I like to recommend looking at our earlier BigTwin evaluation for a greater rationalization of the multi-node BMC help.

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

Every of the nodes is related to the bigger chassis by way of a single high-density connector on a modern from every sled. This connector is accountable for carrying all the front-drive bay connectivity, in addition to energy for the system. This can be a a lot cleaner resolution than a number of the lower-end 2U4N methods in the marketplace.

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

There are a number 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. Among the older 2U4N methods and even a number of the lower-end methods use comparatively flimsy airflow guides that may be troublesome. The lower-end guides generally don’t seat correctly and subsequently intervene with sliding a node in-and-out of a chassis. This looks like a small function, till you expertise the problem first-hand with the choice.

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

General, there’s a lot right here. This can be a section that we’ve got now seen on STH for 3 generations and there may be definitely marked enchancment with every era. These 2U4N methods are common since they make servicing a lot simpler than particular person nodes whereas additionally growing density.

Last Phrases

Supermicro’s BigTwin server collection has at all times been about cramming a ton of CPU compute into as small a package deal as potential, 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 method, bringing help for sooner reminiscence, greater core rely CPUs, and an enormous enlargement in connectivity with PCIe 4.0 help and extra PCIe lanes. For such a dense computing resolution, the worth of upgrading to PCIe 4.0 and enabling a lot sooner networking and storage help is large in a design like this.

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

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

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