Introducing: MRC Premium & MRC General

The team at the Melbourne Research Cloud (MRC) is excited to announce that we have launched an additional 10000 virtual cores in our data center to replace our end-of-life Supermicro hypervisors in Q1 2019. This hardware replacement is made possible by the Unversity of Melbourne Petascale Campus Intiative. Our new hypervisors are divided into two partitions:

  1. MRC Premium: Faster CPU clockspeed, higher physical RAM per hypervisors for more intensive workloads.
  2. MRC General: Available for all MRC users.

Our performance benchmark shows the new hypervisors significantly out-perform our end-of-life Supermicro fleet in the NeCTAR cloud.

CPU performance

As shown in benchmarking graph, the CPU performance of the new hypervisors shows a significant boost of 2.3 times for the General partition and 2.7 times for the Premium partition over the Supermicro fleet. The General partition also shows comparable performance to our current high performance cloud fleet in melbourne_qh2 installed in 2015.

Type Score Runtime (seconds)
MRC Premium 52452 301
NeCTAR melbourne-qh2 47181 314
MRC General 44665 303
NeCTAR Supermicro 19051 367

All CPU Benchmark is ran on m3.small VM running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with 2 vCPUs and 4096 MBs of RAM using CoreMark

Network performance

Network speed also has a significant improvement over our current hardware, where the new hypervisors throughput is 1.6 times more than our current hardware fleet.

Type Average Throughput (Mb/s)
MRC Premium 11444
MRC General 11631
NeCTAR melbourne-qh2 7558
NeCTAR Supermicro 6820

All test is performed between 2x uom.general.4c16g VM with 4 vCPUs and 16384 MBs of RAM running on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS using iPerf

Disk performance

Root disk performance sees an increase of at least 2.1 times compared to VMs on the old Supermicro hypervisors. Write speed also see an improvement of 3 times over the the Supermicro fleet.

Type Sequential Write (KB/s) Sequential Read (KB/s)
MRC Premium 964413 2010536
MRC General 970990 2296492
NeCTAR melbourne-qh2 814460 874487
NeCTAR Supermicro 326225 324737

All test is performed on a uom.general.4c16g VM with 4 vCPUs and 16384 MBs of RAM running on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS using Fio

Attached volume performance

On the new hypervisors, VMs with attached volumes can see increases in disk read performance of at least 2.1 times. Write speed, however, stays consistent between all test VMs.

Type Sequential Write (KB/s) Sequential Read (KB/s)
MRC Premium 773436 2224727
MRC General 812770 1877947
NeCTAR melbourne-qh2 626984 865308
NeCTAR Supermicro 879892 641625

All test is performed on a uom.general.4c16g VM with 4 vCPUs and 16384 MBs of RAM running on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS using Fio