This is the second post in a series we’re doing about Linode: NextGen. The first post in the series focused on network upgrades we’re making. This post focuses on a new host specification, CPUs, a fleet refresh, and the deployment schedule for all these changes. Oh, and this:
We’re investing millions to make your Linodes faster. Crazy faster. We’ve begun a refresh of 3/4 of our entire fleet to a new “NextGen” host hardware specification. And we’re upgrading all Linodes to 8 cores! Right now. As in all you need to do is reboot to double the computing power of your Linode.
By the time the host refresh is completed the average Linode will be running on hardware that is less than 1 year old. What does all of this mean for you? Faster websites, services, and processing at the same price points.
Powering our NextGen hosts are two Intel Sandy Bridge E5-2670 processors. The E5-2670 is at the high end of the power-price-performance ratio. Each E5-2670 enjoys 20 MB of cache and has 8 cores running at 2.6 Ghz. We’ve also moved to the latest generation of the enterprise-grade hard disk drives — doubling their cache, increasing their port speed, and decreasing latency and access time.
Linodes will start landing on NextGen hardware in the next week or so. Linodes on servers that are being retired will be required to migrate onto newer hardware. For those affected, you’ll receive support tickets with the details and with plenty of lead time (weeks). You’ll also have the opportunity to perform the move early and at your leisure if you prefer.
So what about SSDs? There’s no question SSDs are in Linode’s future, however enterprise-class SSDs (SLC or eMLC based) are prohibitively expensive. And although MLC-based drives are cheaper we just don’t feel right about using consumer grade laptop drives to power your Linodes. So we will wait until capacities for enterprise SSDs increase.
Here’s an example Linux kernel compile benchmark on a Linode 1024 with 8 cores on the new host build, running Debian 6 32 bit:
apt-get update && apt-get -y install build-essential wget https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.x/linux-3.8.tar.xz tar xf linux-3.8.tar.xz cd linux-3.8/ make distclean && make defconfig && time make -j8 real 1m41.861s user 10m37.423s sys 1m41.298s
So about a 100 second kernel build. Not too bad. Enjoy!