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ARM build machines

From: Jonathan Brielmaier
Subject: ARM build machines
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 12:31:27 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/68.10.0

Hi fellow hackers,

after recent discussions about our Softiron OverDrive in IRC, I thought
it might be a good idea to have look what options for powerful ARM
machines are around. That was some weeks ago.

Today there where another discussions on IRC about building packages on
ARM, so I sent in my findings.

ARM cloud/VPS offers
Packet 96cores, 128G RAM -> 4380$/a [0]
Amazon 16vCPU, 32G RAM -> 4080$/a [1]

Linaro free dev VMs
Linaro, an organization somehow connected with ARM offers ARM VMs for
free for developers. They go up to 32vCPU, 64G RAM:

ARM servers selfhosting
Marvell ThunderX 32cores, 1U 400W -> 2000$+
Marvell ThunderX 48cores, 1U 400W -> 3000$+
+ RAM + disks + taxes + shipping [2]
Avantek has also ThunderX offerings, slightly more expensive but based
in UK[4].
ThunderX2 is insanely expensive compared to v1. Starting at something
above 9.000$.

Other fast ARM server chips come from Qualcomm (Centriq), Ampere eMAG[8]
and Huawei (Kunpeng on TaiShan boards). Huawei TaiShans are distributed
by a Polish company[5] and an US distributor[6].

Colocation costs for such servers starts at 1500€/a in Germany. I don't
think selfhosting for those isn't really an option. As they are big and
more power hungry then the Softirons...

Neither VPS nor dedicated build machines for ARM are cheap, if they are
decent powerful. As a first step I could try to reach out Linaro if they
are willing to provide us some VMs.

Kind Regards

[1] + traffic costs 0.09$
per GB
[8] Ampere eMag is used in Lenovo ThinkSystem HR330A. I can't find a
reseller vor them.

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