Google Cloud still promises Ice Lake Xeon virtual machines this year • The Register


Google says it’s still ready to make Intel’s latest Ice Lake data center processors available in its public cloud service.

The chips, officially known as third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, will offer a 30% increase in value for money over previous-generation Xeons in the advertising giant’s cloud, Google said Wednesday. .

The 10nm chips will be offered in L2 compute engine virtual machines, which can be configured for things like web service and back office applications. The tightly linked N2D VM is offered with the second generation AMD 7nm Epyc silicon. The N2 currently uses second-generation 14nm Intel Xeon Scalable processors, named Cascade Lake.

The timing of Google’s announcement this week is interesting when you look at the other clouds. When Intel officially unveiled Ice Lake in April, Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon announced third-generation Xeons would arrive on their platforms that day.

We can’t find a similar standalone ad from Google at this time, although Intel named Google as one of its major cloud partners at launch and had a Google Compute Engine program manager on camera to say. that the next-generation silicon would arrive on the goliath public web platform later this year.

Ultimately, Oracle said its Ice Lake virtual machines would be available globally by the end of April; Amazon made its only instance of Ice Lake available in August; and Microsoft is offering various Ice Lake VMs in preview if you ask nicely.

What about Google? Not quite there yet. We are told that the N2 VMs with Ice Lake silicon “will be previewed early in Q4 21 in the us-central1, europe-west4, and asie-sudeast1 regions.”

“Availability in other Google Cloud regions, in line with the current regions of the N2 machine family, is expected in the coming months,” added Googlers Ziv Kalmanovich and Subra Chandramouli tentatively in their announcement.

When the third generation Xeons eventually land, L2 instances will be available with up to 128 vCPU cores, up from 80; and up to 864 GB of RAM, against 640 GB, for the most demanding applications, we are assured.

Intel touted its Ice Lake family as being up to 46% faster than its predecessor for certain data center workloads, and AI tasks like language processing are said to be up to 74% faster. We always take these numbers with a pinch of salt.

“At a high level, Ice Lake provides more cores and higher performance compared to the previous generation, 40 vs. 28, and has many more built-in acceleration features, such as AI acceleration capabilities. enhanced, additional security features and cryptographic acceleration features, “an Intel spokesperson said by email.

Google did not respond to questions about whether to integrate Ice Lake chips into other virtual machine offerings.

Considering Intel’s long lead times with its 10nm process node and Ice Lake line; current global semiconductor shortages; and the low availability of these latest Xeons on competing platforms, we are not holding our breath. The cloud giants are in no rush right now, for one reason or another, to refresh their servers with Intel’s flagship silicon, it seems. ®

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