$599 Softiron Overdrive 1000 Server is Powered by AMD Opteron A1100 64-bit ARM Processor

ARMv8 servers have been around for a year or so, but normally only available to companies, mostly due to their very high price. LeMaker Cello board based on AMD Opteron A1120 quad core SoC have changed that since it’s priced at $299, but I’m not sure it’s shipping right now, and it’s not a complete solution fitted with memory and storage, and lacks an enclosure. The good news is that Softiron has just launched Overdrive 1000 server powered by AMD Opteron A1100 series processor, with 8GB DDR4 RAM, a 1TB drive, and a case.

Softiron_Overdrive_1000Softiron Overdrive 1000 server specifications:

  • SoC – AMD Opteron A1100 series quad core ARM Cortex A57 processor
  • System Memory – 2x RDIMM slots fitted with 8GB DDR4 DRAM and expandable to 64GB
  • Storage – 2x SATA 3.0 connector with one fitted with  a 1TB HDD
  • Connectivity – 1x GBase-T Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Power Supply – ATX power supply; 100~240V @ 50-60Hz
  • Dimensions – 315 x 222 x 76 mm or 463 x 385 x 145 mm (Product page vs product brief info)
  • Weight – 3.65 kg or 5.2 kg

A standard UEFI boot environment is used, and while you could install your distribution of choice, the server is pre-loaded with openSUSE Leap including a standard Linux GNU tool chain, platform device drivers, the Apache web server, MySQL, PHP, Xen, KVM Hypervisor, Docker, and OpenJDK 64-bit ARM.

I could not find much in the way of demo, but you can listen to ARM and Softiron representatives explaining why it’s a good choice…

If you’d like to go ahead, and get one, you can purchase Softiron Overdrive 1000 directly on the company’s website for $599 + shipping. In my case (Asia based), it would cost $87.06 via UPS, which looks not too bad considering the weight…

Via Andrew Wafaa

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15 Replies to “$599 Softiron Overdrive 1000 Server is Powered by AMD Opteron A1100 64-bit ARM Processor”

  1. WikiPedia: Although most registered memory modules also feature error-correcting code memory (ECC), it is also possible for registered memory modules to not be error-correcting or vice versa

    So this looks like non ECC RDIMM 🙁

  2. Ok, looking up the AMD Opteron A1120 (the quad-core variant), it appears max clock is 1.7GHz and the memory controller does support ECC.

  3. Unless you need to do ARM development I can’t see any reason to buy this.

    E5-1225 v5 Xeon (3.3ghz, Integrated Graphics, 4 core) – $235
    Supermicro mATX Board w/ Dual Ethernet – $170
    8GB ECC – $60
    WD 1TB – $50
    That leaves you with $85 for the case and PSU (and that case is a cheap one you can buy at NewEgg for $60 or so with the PSU).

    That build out will run circles around this box, is upgradable and has more expansion options.

    1. Opteron 1120 TDP:25w. So you will ben able to stack more ARM opteron servers than xeon one in a datacenter rack. But I’m sure that’s absolutely not the best ARM solution here. There are already 50+cores solutions…

  4. @Mike T.
    If one focuses on ‘ARM development’ I also don’t see where these devices would fit. First thing then would be to replace the HDD with an SSD and then still the question remains what to develop/test on these machines? These A11xx Opterons are interesting given that they have 14 x SATA and 2 x 10 GbE. To make use of that you need the larger Overdrive 3000 that exposes 8 (datasheet) or all 14 (counting connectors on product pictures) SATA ports and 10 GbE. But the rackmount enclosure only allows to use one HDD and one of the 2 PCIe slots. So time to DIY anyway, ripping the mainboard out of the enclosure to develop/test storage stuff combining onboard SATA ports with 2 PCIe SAS controllers for example.

  5. @Fossxplorer

    With 2Ghz cores and DDR4, ECC is simply redundant. The memory is underclocked 20-40% below standard operating frequencies so there won’t be a chance for errors.

    Similarly, CPU registers don’t need parity since they’re made to actually handle the stress.

    I suspect you won’t even be able to simulate a bitflipping attack. The RAM will simply run cold and safe.

  6. @RK
    Oh, I just got a notification from OpenNMS about a customer’s server sending an SNMP Trap with ID 6056 (single bit error that was corrected by ECC). We see these events on a regular basis even from machines that were memory stress tested before going live. We had several occassions where pulling a DIMM out of its socket and inserting it again reduced the count of errors to zero. Being able to use ECC means that it’s possible to be notified of such failures you otherwise would simply miss (and maybe get the idea that’s something wrong when data corruption occurs or tasks crash more often than on other machines).

    And all of the above is not necessary any more since memory is ‘cold and safe’ due to underclocking? Really?

  7. Info from softiron support:
    The unit can accommodate a second hard drive, provided it is a 2.5″ SSD. You will also need a slim optical drive to 2.5″ adaptor in order to accommodate the second drive. These will shortly be available through the online store.

    As there is no PCI slot, it is not possible to install a standard graphics card. As the product has been designed for software development box for server applications we see the user base as connecting remotely vs directly with a monitor.

  8. Late to the market (after more than 2 years of “sampling”) and ignored by major server manufacturers (including SuperMicro, GigaByte, etc), thus AMD’s ARM-based Opteron A1100 series looking more like a joke.

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