Home Enterprise TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Server Review

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Server Review

by Lyle Smith
Tyan b8251 lifestyle

The TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 is a PCIe Gen4-compatible server designed for high-performance computing and GPGPU (that is, general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) environments. Though it resides inside 2U chassis, this server is designed to be pretty flexible from a storage and GPU standpoint. Because this is also an AMD-based system, it can support PCIe 4.0 components, though only in slots at the back of the server.

The TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 is a PCIe Gen4-compatible server designed for high-performance computing and GPGPU (that is, general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) environments. Though it resides inside 2U chassis, this server is designed to be pretty flexible from a storage and GPU standpoint. Because this is also an AMD-based system, it can support PCIe 4.0 components, though only in slots at the back of the server.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 front

The TN83-B8251 is a unique server.  Though it features multi-GPU support, it has a limited range of CPU offerings available due to its restrictions in system cooling. As a result, users will only have CPUs with lower thermal design power to choose from. The TN83-B8251 supports dual-socket AMD EPYC 7002 CPUs, has eight DIMM slots available per CPU for a possible total of 2TB DDR4 RAM (ECC RDIMM/RDIMM 3DS/LRDIMM/LRDIMM 3DS 3200), two 10GbE ports, and a GbE port that is dedicated for IPMI. It also comes equipped with five USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, including one with Type-A connectivity.

We were shipped with an eight 3.5-inch bay configuration, which houses both SATA and NVMe drives. Our build includes 512GB of DDR4 3200MHz DRAM (utilizing all 16 DIMMs with 32GB sticks in each), dual AMD EPYC 7F32 8-Core Processors, and 4 of the Micron 9300 NVMe SSDs that we test in our other platforms.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Specifications

System Form Factor 2U Rackmount
Chassis Model TN83
Dimension (D x W x H) 32.71″ x 17.25″ x 3.43″ (831 x 438.4 x 87mm)
Motherboard Name S8251GM2NE-2T#
Motherboard Notification # The motherboard not sold separately
Gross Weight 33.1 kg (73 lbs)
Net weight 20.3 kg (44.8 lbs)
Front Panel Buttons (1) RST / (1) PWR w/ LED / (1) UID
LEDs (1) HDD / (2) LAN / (1) UID / (1) System Event
I/O Ports (2) USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
External Drive Bay Qty / Type (8) 3.5/2.5″ Hot-swap SSD/HDDs
HDD Backplane Support SAS 12Gb/s /SATA 6Gb/s /NVMe
Supported HDD Interface (8) SATA 6Gb/s / NVMe
Notification The SAS/SATA HDD backplane is connected to the onboard SATA connection by default. Please contact Tyan technical support if a discrete SAS HBA/RAID adapter is required.
System Cooling Configuration FAN (5) 8cm fans
Power Supply Type CRPS
Input Range AC 200-240V/12.6A
Frequency 47-63 Hz
Output Watts 2,200 Watts
Efficiency PFC / 80 plus Platinum
Redundancy 1+1
Processor Qty / Socket Type (2) AMD Socket SP3
Supported CPU Series (2) AMD EPYC™ 7002 Series Processors
Configurable Thermal Design Power (cTDP) Wattage Max up to 200W
Memory Supported DIMM Qty (8)+(8) DIMM slots
DIMM Type / Speed DDR4 ECC RDIMM/RDIMM 3DS/LRDIMM/LRDIMM 3DS 3200
Capacity Up to 2,048GB RDIMM / 4,096GB LRDIMM 3DS
Memory channel 8 Channels per CPU
Memory voltage 1.2V
Expansion Slots Pre-install TYAN Riser Card
(PCI-E Gen4)
(1) M8251T83-L32-4F riser card for (2) FH/FL PCI-E Gen4 x16 + (2) FH/FL PCI-E Gen4 x8 slots (left) * split by Mux. / (1) M8251T83-R32-4F riser card for (2) FH/FL PCI-E Gen4 x16 + (2) FH/FL PCI-E Gen4 x8 slots (right) * split by Mux. / (1) M8251T83-LR32-2L riser card for (1) HH/HL PCI-E Gen4 x16 (right) +(1) HH/HL PCI-E Gen4 x16 (left) slots
Physical Dimensions FH/FL (Full-height / Full-length): 4.4″ x 12.3″ (111.2 x 312mm)
HH/ HL (Half-height / Half-length): 2.7″ x 6.6″ (68.9 x 167.7mm)
FH/10.5”L (Full-height / 10.5” in length ): 4.4″ x 10.5″ (111.2 x 266.7mm)
LAN Qty / Port (2) 10GbE ports, (1) GbE port dedicated for IPMI
Controller Intel X550-AT2
PHY Realtek RTL8211E
Storage SATA Connector (2) SATA-DOM / (8) SATA from (2) Slim SAS (8-ports)
Controller Direct from AMD EPYC CPU
Speed 6Gb/s
RAID N/A
NVMe Connector (Slim SAS) (4) SFF-8654 for (8) NVMe ports
Graphic Connector type D-Sub 15-pin
Resolution Up to 1920×1200
Chipset Aspeed AST2500
I/O Ports USB (2) USB3.1 Gen1 ports (@ rear) / (2) USB3.1 Gen1 ports (via Cable) / (1) USB3.1 Gen1 port (Type-A)
COM (1) DB-9 port (COM1) + (1) header (COM2)
VGA (1) D-Sub 15-pin port
RJ-45 (2) 10GbE ports, (1) dedicated GbE for IPMI
SATA (8) SATA from (2) Slim SAS connectors + (2) SATA-DOM connectors
TPM (Optional) TPM Support Please refer to our TPM supported list.
System Monitoring Chipset Aspeed AST2500
Temperature Monitors temperature for CPU & memory & system environment
Voltage Monitors voltage for CPU, memory, chipset & power supply
LED Over-temperature warning indicator / Fan & PSU fail LED indicator
Others Watchdog timer support
Server Management Onboard Chipset Onboard Aspeed AST2500
AST2500 iKVM Feature 24-bit high-quality video compression / Supports storage over IP and remote platform-flash / USB 2.0 virtual hub
AST2500 IPMI Feature IPMI 2.0 compliant baseboard management controller (BMC) / 10/100/1000 Mb/s MAC interface
BIOS Brand / ROM size AMI / 32MB
Feature Hardware Monitor / SMBIOS 3.0/PnP/Wake on LAN / Boot from USB device/PXE via LAN/Storage / Console Redirection / ACPI 6.1 / ACPI sleeping states S0, S5 / FAN speed control automatic
Operating System OS supported list Please refer to our AVL support lists.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Design and build

The TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 has a really interesting and unique build. So, let’s get right into it the exterior functionality. On the left side of the server are a couple of USB 3.0 ports, while the status LED lights and power button reside on the right.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 lifestyle

 

Removing the trays shows that they are set up for U.2 drives right out of the box; however, the side panel features a hinge mechanism that swings open, allowing users to easily drop in a hard drive from the side and lock them in. Once the pins secure the drive nicely into place, you can easily slide the drive back into the tray slot with a nice click.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 ssd

Moving on to the back panel reveals an interesting layout. Starting on the left and right sides are the 4×4 expansion slots. The server is designed mainly for GPUs, so these slots allow you to insert a total of 4 dual-width GPUs (i.e., NVIDIA Volta Tesla V100 GPUs) or 10 single-width GPUs. As a side note when unboxing the server, the expansion slot covers were shipped with foam protective sheets, which we think is a first for us.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 back

Also on the back are redundant power supplies in the middle, two USB ports, monitor and management ports, one 1GbE port, and two 10GbE ports. Overall, a really interesting setup, as these components are typically spread out along the back panel for servers instead of being all clustered in the center.

TYAN makes it very easy to open up the server lid. Simply pull in the two hinges on the top of the case and lift it up (you will have to use a screwdriver to open up the back panel of the server, however). Once everything is removed, you will see right away that all the components are set up through the middle of the server. Though we’ve seen these configurations before, that isn’t very common.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 interior

At the front is the backplane where the SATA and NVMe drives are installed. Next are the three 8cm fans, which are placed in the center, leaving open spots on the sides for two additional units. This is interesting because it is set up in a way that allows the GPUs (which are installed on the sides of the rear portion of the server) to get their own airflow due to metal dividers that surround the other components.

As we pull out the fans, we noticed that the main board of the server is elevated slightly on top of a riser. This forces the airflow over the main components, even though only a third of the fan is above the board.

Front and center are the dual-socket AMD CPU slots, with 8 DIMM slots per.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 CPU

At the back is a riser for the two half-height GPU cards, along with the four possible half-height cards (NVIDIA Tesla T4) that can be installed on either side for a total of 10. You can also go the route of cards like V100s (double-wide), you will get two on each side in addition to the ones in the center. TYAN has also included external power cables for the high-power hungry GPUs, which are easily accessible at the back. This is a very welcomed feature, as most servers require users to both buy the cables and do the wiring themselves, which can be a pain. This only emphasizes that the server is primarily set up to favor GPUs.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 cords

This GPU-focused design comes at the expense of storage, unfortunately. Because they went with the 3-and-half-inch build at the front of the chassis, you can only get eight drives in the TYAN server. You can get a decent amount of storage with HDDs as well as good performance with the U.2 NVMe drives, but it certainly wouldn’t be considered a very dense server. It would have been interesting if they added an M.2 slot either side of the front CPU, but we certainly understand its absence due to the specific use case of this GPU-heavy server. It’s just wishful thinking for a group of storage people.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Performance

VDBench Workload Analysis

When it comes to benchmarking storage arrays, application testing is best, and synthetic testing comes in second place. While not a perfect representation of actual workloads, synthetic tests do help to baseline storage devices with a repeatability factor that makes it easy to do apples-to-apples comparison between competing solutions. These workloads offer a range of different testing profiles ranging from “four corners” tests, common database transfer size tests, as well as trace captures from different VDI environments. All of these tests leverage the common vdBench workload generator, with a scripting engine to automate and capture results over a large compute testing cluster. This allows us to repeat the same workloads across a wide range of storage devices, including flash arrays and individual storage devices.

Profiles:

  • 4K Random Read: 100% Read, 128 threads, 0-120% iorate
  • 4K Random Write: 100% Write, 64 threads, 0-120% iorate
  • 64K Sequential Read: 100% Read, 16 threads, 0-120% iorate
  • 64K Sequential Write: 100% Write, 8 threads, 0-120% iorate
  • Synthetic Database: SQL and Oracle
  • VDI Full Clone and Linked Clone Traces

With random 4K read, the TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Server peaked at 2,439,387 IOPS with a latency of 200.5µs.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Random Read 4k performanceRandom 4K write saw the TYAN server start to suffer from some spikes in performance near the end of the test as IOPS reached (and peaked) at around 665,000 with a latency of 259ms.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Random write 4k performanceNext up is sequential workloads where we looked at 64k. For reads, the TYAN server peaked at 214,720 IOPS or 13.4GB/s at a latency of 595µs.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 sequential Read 64k performance

For 64K write, the server showed unstable results as the workload got heavier. Once the TYAN peaked at 63,373 IOPS (or 3.66GB/s) and 735.2µs, the performance took a significant hit.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 sequential write 64k performance

Our next set of tests are our SQL workloads: SQL, SQL 90-10, and SQL 80-20. Starting with SQL, the TYAN server saw a peak of 729,415 IOPS at a latency of 158.6µs.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 sql

For SQL 90-10 the server peaked at 722,189 IOPS at 163.6µs for latency.

Moving on to SQL 80-20, the TYAN TN83-B8251 server saw a peak performance of 633,022 IOPS with a latency of 183.9µs.

Next up are our Oracle workloads: Oracle, Oracle 90-10, and Oracle 80-20. Starting with Oracle, the TYAN server recorded a peak of 619,289 IOPS at a latency of 191.3µs before it had a slight dip performance at the very end.

With Oracle 90-10, the TYAN server was able to peak at 601,746 IOPS at a latency of 142.2µs.

Oracle 80-20 gave the server a peak performance of 556,511 IOPS at a latency of 149.9µs.

Next, we switched over to our VDI clone test, Full and Linked. For VDI Full Clone (FC) Boot, the TYAN server hit a peak of 587,491 IOPS with a latency of 208.8µs.

VDI FC Initial Login saw a peak of 160,280 IOPS with a latency of 518µs with a bit of instability at the end of the test.

Next up is VDI FC Monday Login, which gave us giving us a peak of 149,382 IOPS and latency of 320.3µs.

Switching to VDI Linked Clone (LC) Boot, the TYAN server showed a peak of 291,773 IOPS and a latency of 200.1µs.

For VDI LC Initial Login the server peaked at 83,050 IOPS with a latency of 283.5µs.

Finally, VDI LC Monday Login had a peak of 96,535 IOPS with a latency of just 481.4µs, with a bit of uneven performance at the end.

Conclusion

Because it has limited system-cooling abilities, the TYAN TN83-B8251 unfortunately only supports CPUs with lower thermal design power, including dual-socket AMD EPYC 7002 CPUs. This GPU-focused build also comes at a cost of storage, as the server features a 3.5″ build at the front of the chassis limiting it to eight drives. Though this isn’t too big of a deal for many (you still get a good amount of storage using HDDs, in addition to good performance with the U.2 NVMe drives), it will certainly curb organizations that require dense storage for their servers. It also would have been nice if they added a couple of internal M.2 slots by CPUs. That said, TYAN’s design choices are certainly understandable due to its intended use case.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 frontTo test its performance, we outfitted the TYAN server with 512GB of DDR4 3200MHz DRAM, dual AMD EPYC 7F32 8-Core processors, and 4 of the Micron 9300 NVMe SSDs. On our VDBench workloads, the TYAN server had sub-millisecond latency throughout. Highlights include 2.4 million IOPS for 4K read, 4K write had over 665K IOPS, 64K read reached 13.4GB/s, and 64K write hit 3.66GB/s.

With SQL we saw 729K IOPS for SQL workload, 722K for SQL 90-10, and 633K IOPS for SQL 80-20. In Oracle, the server hit 619K IOPS, 601K IOPS for Oracle 90-10, and 557K IOPS for Oracle 80-20. For our VDI cloned test, the TYAN server had Full Clone results of 587K IOPS boot, 160K IOPS Initial Login, and 149K IOPS Monday Login, while Linked Clone showed 291K IOPS for boot, 83K IOPS for Initial Login, and 97K IOPS for Monday Login.

Overall, the TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 is a very focused platform that pushes full steam ahead with GPUs. The server is good at what it does, offering strong support for applications that can take advantage of a dense GPU box.

TYAN Transport HX TN83-B8251 Product Page

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