Ruler SSDs rule Supermicro petascale servers

Supermicro has launched PCIe gen 5 storage servers in 1RU and 2RU form factors supporting 16, 24 or 32 NVMe SSDs and up to a petabyte of capacity, with a 16-bay system coming first.

The systems are powered by either Intel dual Sapphire Rapids Gen 4 Xeons or gen 4 AMD EPYC processors. The SSDs come in either the E3.S or E1.S formats. These are short and long ruler standards in the EDSFF (Enterprise and Data centre SSD Form Factor) scheme, with varying length, depth and width measurements.

Charles Liang, Supermicro
Charles Liang

Supermicro CEO and president Charles Liang said: “With up to a petabyte of storage in a standard rackmount system, users can quickly access tremendous amounts of data at their fingertips. The new storage system is compact and energy efficient and will give our users the lowest latency and highest bandwidth in the industry.” 

The company describes these systems as all-new with a NUMA balanced symmetrical architecture, which reduces latency by providing the shortest signal paths to the drives, and a balance of bandwidth to the storage. It says these petascale all-flash servers offer industry-leading storage performance and capacity, enabling customers to reduce the number of rackmount systems needed to fulfill their hot and warm-tier storage requirements, and so reducing TCO. Twenty of the 2U systems in a rack could provide 20PB of capacity.

Supermicro petascale storage servers
Supermicro petascale storage servers with AMD-powered ASG-2115S-NE332R with 32xE3.S drive system top, Intel-powered SSG-121E-NE316R with 16xE3.S drives bottom left, and Intel-powered SSG-121E-NES24R with 24xE1.S drives lower right.

The initial 1RU systems are the Intel-powered SSG-121E-NE316R (1U16 E3.S) and the AMD-powered ASG-1115S-NE316R (1U16 E3.S). Supermicro says they have 2 x PCIe 5.0 x 16 full height half-length bus card slots, supporting xPUs, and smartNICs, allowing users to support the NVMe-Over-Fabrics or GPU-accelerated storage access standards (GPUDirect).

There are also 2 x PCIe 5.0 x 16 AIOM (Advanced I/O Module) slots to provide enhanced field serviceability and plug-in compatibility with off-the-shelf OCP 3.0 networking cards. 

The Intel-powered system contains up to 32 x 256GB DIMMs of DDR5-4800MHz DRAM for a total of 8TB of memory. The CPUs have an up to 270W TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating. In contrast, the AMD variant has a 350W TDP Rating and 24 DIMMs of DDR5-4800MHz memory, providing 6TB of memory if the same capacity DIMMs are used.

The Intel-based SuperServer SSG-121E-NE316R data sheet says this variant has up to either 16 or 32 x 256GB DDR5 DRAM for 4TB or 8TB of memory. It also specifies a 12TB memory option using 16 x 256GB DDR5 DRAM modules and 16 x 512GB Optane PMem 300 drives. There is no equivalent AMD-powered system datasheet. 

Supermicro EDSFF servers

A 24-slot SSG-121E-NES24R (1U24) system also exists, with 24x hot-swap E1.S (9.5mm or 15mm) NVMe drive bays. Read its datasheet here.