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CE 2.0 Threadripper Ultimate Rig

Updated: May 11

It is good to have wealthy acquaintances from Brunei and the UAE, it must be said.

One of the people I recently touched base with from my days in Africa many moons ago is kinda big in the Genetics of animals business in Saudi & the UAE these days.

Back then I rubbed shoulders with Roche and GSK folks but on the odd occasion DNA folks from the veterinary side of the equation popped up here and there when the subject of cloning came up.

Buying millions of dollars of all sorts of exotic equipment for their DNA lab did not fill the Korean guy, Professor Hwang Woo-Suk running it with a whole bunch of joy and he was quite interested in what a CE experimental rig could do for him to prove out concepts before he bought the real enchilada.

I did scratch my head on this one, as it struck me the viability of this gear for this purpose would go begging if they bought the full enchilada later but they produced the credit card to purchase what I was toying with on a napkin and I just received the AMD Threadripper chips, motherboards and Nemix RAM et al for the basterds.

They obviously have nefarious plans for these Ryzen Threadripper rigs elsewhere or he just needs a playground for his Home Lab setup.

The idea here is to build three Threadripper based Clusti.

As the sites they will be running at are on the overbearing side with regards to heat temps I also went with simple AIO units to cool the Threadripper chippery.

The genetic lab they will be running in is temperature controlled but power does fail on the odd occasion though their solar battery setup is impressive and can power the whole shebang for 6 days just from the Tesla battery banks they have assembled.

Sand storms being the problem there and these do happen a fair bit which chops solar power production dead in it's tracks when that happens.

The way this setup was going to work is with a single Clusti running PC and the other two Clusti being dedicated to running their critical Lab VM's.

Everything network wise is AOC based optical cabling fare of the exotic kind specifically made for the customer by Finisar.

I selected a 5965X threadripper chip for the designated PC rig armed with 256GB ECC Nemix RAM, while the other two had 512GB and 1TB ECC RAM on 7960X and 7965X Threadripper chips respectively.

The Networking was all on a pair of Mellanox 2010 switches already installed in each location and the systems were all armed with 25GbE NIC cards.

The 2010's were plumbed into a Mellanox 2700 Spine pair via the uplink ports.

I was going to run it all in the R&D lab with the IP addresses the customer gave me as per the actual site they were going into when they got to the UAE.

From the switch cabinet they have to the two labs and the IT control room the distance was 67, 55 meters and 22 meters to the control room which is more or less at the center of their operation.

No problem for AOC gear at those distances.

In my lab I would use my Mellanox 2010 gear also on AOC cables but these are all 7 meter cables.

The first problem I ran into with this project was the memory.

I install Mint Linux on all my rigs just to validate the components are all working as expected but the memory testing was not going well at all.

I was unfamiliar with this Nemix ECC RAM and read some documents on clocking and such with this particular RAM.

The DDR4 ECC memory for the 5965WX was fine, the DDR5 ECC RAM for the two 7000 series Ryzen Threadrippers was a molto problemo.

I eventually solved this with a Nemix tech guiding me through some BIOS timing settings and we were away to the races.

The Ryzen 5965WX install went smooth, the 7000 series were both a big, bad, scrote ache!

The issue here was PCIe or SATA bus related.

I threw PCIe 5 NVMe SSD in them all with the Hypervisor SATA boot disk and sucked up the fact the (H) drive was 1TB and the install went pretty slick but it was not stable at all.

I then went and bought some exotic SATA 3 cables for them all and tried again with the Gen 4 SSD gear and a 256GB SATA 3 disk for (H) and it suddenly went real swell.

I am now waiting for 3 days of VM operation we are putting it through before installing Prism Central on the Management Clusti.

All of them are running their VM's like greased lightning by the way!

So early on Saturday morning after all the hardware was doing my bidding I went ahead with the Prism Central setup and config on the management Clusti.

This went very smoothly and I marveled at how stable this Ryzen Threadripper chip was compared to any i5/i7/i9 series Intel or Xeon chippery.

When all 24 cores are performance cores which the Ryzen sports, the Threadripper hums and sings with minimal stress.

I am still amazed at the CPU utilization needle of an AMD Ryzen Threadripper or AMD EPYC CPU compared to anything Intel make.

In fact even the Ryzen 5900X is far more sublime and awesome than any Xeon chip I have ever worked with for HCI systems.

I can clearly see on these systems that memory really is the key here and the more the merrier being the only consideration here to an awesome Nutanix CE experience.

The 7960X clusti are both up and I am running a few load VM's on them to burn them in before I join them to the Prism Central Clusti.

As all the DNA tools that we are going to run here are Linux based, every VM will run Red Hat Linux or SUSE Linux.

I am sure there might be one Windows 11 based VM per Clusti but they assure me everything they do is Linux based.

The small desktop VM's are all Deepin Linux based and I have been staggered by how good that Linux variant is.

I was so impressed I converted a few of my own Windows 11 machines to Deepin Linux and I marvel at how it picks up all the bluetooth and gadgetry that Windows 11 failed to run with.

I bought a large monitor a few years ago that had a speaker system installed in the package but try as I might I could never get Windows 11 to produce a single sound from it.

After I installed Deepin on a machine I hooked up that monitor and was about to hook up external speakers when I turned up the volume on the YouTube video I was playing and fuck me, it worked as it should have with Windows!

I then hooked up every gadget that I had grief with in the past like art tablets and my CAD design etching pads and again it all worked with zero issue or fuss!

As my CAD software now comes in Linux distro format for GNU or GNOME I am now running those systems on Deepin Linux and I marvel at how fast the fucking machine now is without the Windows 11 OS strangling it to death.

Deepin is a Debian based distro by the way and boy is it impressive.

Huawei certainly made the right choice switching away from Windows based Bollocks to this wonderful Linux distro.

Anyways back to my weekend Ryzen Threadripper World!

Stay tuned for the next update!


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