Packet Deploys EPYC-Based Dell EMC Servers: Here’s Why You Should Care

By Matt Kimball - March 6, 2018

Bare metal cloud provider Packet is expanding its cloud offerings with the launch of a new, single processor/single socket offering based on Dell  EMC ’s R6415 rack server. This server is designed around the AMD EPYC SoC, a processor designed for scale out implementations and positioned for cloud. Packet’s offering features plenty of compute resources:

  • 24 hyperthreaded cores
  • 64GB RAM
  • 2 x 480 GB Enterprise SSD
  • 1 x 120GB m.2 SSD
  • 2 x 10 G Ethernet
This dedicated server is leased at a very competitive $1.00/hr. For comparison’s sake, this offering is considerably cheaper than Amazon’s AWS “Reserved Instance” offering—not quite an equivalent product, but close (with fewer and older cores). For those who have tried to navigate the AWS EC2 Dashboard to lease a “reserved instance,” Packet’s simplicity will blow you away. Wait a minute, who’s Packet? Maybe we should have started here. Packet is a bare metal cloud provider that is positioned as bare metal offerings for developers. This means that the company provides compute environments (from compute to storage to networking to automation) that are tailor made for development environments. For that matter, Packet delivers these environments in a very consumer-friendly fashion—easy to use, cheap to consume. If you are a software startup, chances are you’ve heard of Packet. If you haven’t until now, this is definitely a company worth checking out.
What’s the big deal with the Dell EMC R6415?
Packet chose the Dell EMC R6415 for a very specific reason: it’s the first true single socket offering from a major OEM. What does this mean? Dell EMC designed the R6415 to support a single processor at the motherboard level. As a result, this server does not carry an extra “socket” without a processor (which is how the large majority of servers ship). This ultimately means lower bill of materials and less power consumption, which translates into lower costs for Packet. These lower costs are then passed on to the developers at software startups. Side note: this scale out architecture is what makes AMD EPYC appealing to a number of cloud providers.
One last note on this: I believe Dell EMC delivering this platform speaks a lot to its commitment to the cloud/hyperscale segment. The internet is littered with articles and blogs proclaiming the demise of major OEMs in the cloud and hyperscale space. This platform and this deployment tells me that Dell EMC has not ceded this segment in any way. How does this complement Packet’s portfolio?  Looking at Packet’s product offerings, I think it fills the “give me good enough performance at a great price” gap. This is not a knock on AMD or Dell EMC. This specific configuration from Packet utilizes the R6415 to maximize price performance. Packet's product offerings. As you can see if you squint really hard, Packet tries to providebare metal server platforms that range from very low-end to the highest performing (consisting of low-end Intel , ARM, and AMD, up to very high-end Intel). You can see where the AMD EPYC offering fits in nicely.
Closing thoughts
Packet is part of a thriving bare metal cloud marketplace that caters to a specific audience—in this case, the developer community. Developers need to be able to access bare metal server resources as quickly as possible, without compromising performance or paying an absolute premium. I believe these guys are worth taking a look at—whether you are a developer or just following the latest in the cloud market.
Matthew Kimball
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Matt Kimball is a Moor Insights & Strategy senior datacenter analyst covering servers and storage. Matt’s 25 plus years of real-world experience in high tech spans from hardware to software as a product manager, product marketer, engineer and enterprise IT practitioner.  This experience has led to a firm conviction that the success of an offering lies, of course, in a profitable, unique and targeted offering, but most importantly in the ability to position and communicate it effectively to the target audience.