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Scaleway: Bare metal SSD ARM servers (scaleway.com)
326 points by wut42 on Apr 2, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 166 comments

It seems they're using xnbd to provide the storage for the box. On Debian, the box is running a xnbd-client, which provides the rootfs:

  xnbd-client --blocksize 4096 --retry=900 4096 /dev/nbd0

  root@scw-6d2eff:~# df -h
  Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
  /dev/nbd0        46G  507M   44G   2% /
I did not check, but I hope there's some filtering/authentication for that process.

Like EC2 and others, the box has an internal ip allocated and an external ip via nat (or something else).

I was able to download a file from OVH with ~500 Mbit/s throughput when writing to the filesystem. Writing to /dev/null it increases to ~650 Mbit/s.

Running an untuned nginx, it can do ~300 req/s with ~20% cpu util.

Seeing as the storage is still virtual, I'm not really sure why this would be so much better than a virtual machine. I like the idea though.

So their "no noisy neighbours" claim is essentially incorrect. (Poor IO due to shared storage is the main performance issue with virtual servers.)

When you use a remote blockstore like they are as your storage, you also generally are always booting via PXE, and so far have a provider controlled kernel.

I used to work on Rackspace OnMetal: http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/servers/onmetal


In OnMetal this not the case -- you get local storage, you have your local kernel that you can re-install or do whatever you want to -- and if we have a control plane outage, you can reboot -- there is no dependency once your server is created on a provider hosted PXE server.

OnMetal isn't cheapo-ARM servers, but it is possible to build a "bare metal" cloud, which is truly bare metal, like you would normally get, and no remote block stores for your root FS.

Do you think it would be feasible to provide a bare-metal cloud made of cheap ARM or Atom servers while giving each server its own independent SSD?

Yes, most definately.

OpenStack Ironic[1] can do this today, given you had right hardware. Making that hardware "mutli-tenant" is not a trivial project, mostly because the firmware stacks are still very closed, but it can be done. Top of Rack switches are also another area of complexity/pain, but also feasible to overcome with a little engineering.

[1]: OpenStack has its complexities, but the OnMetal project has upstreamed everything feasible we can.

These folks seemed to tried that approach, but gave up on Ironic for a number of reasons:


True; I think it is reasonable project to take on if you are willing to staff developers... if you are trying to build a "bare metal" public cloud, having developers on staff is going to be a prerequisite for quite some time going forward.

xnbd is an interesting choice, if they're using it for the server. In theory it can do live-migration, but the live-migration scheme it uses has (or had, it's been a while since I looked) a bit of a flaw in that it could lose writes.

It'll be doing better than a typical virtual machine because there's no contention on the host side, kernel or IO, and at this point, you've probably got the storage device to yourself so there's no bus contention.

The trade-off is shutdown time: they've got to slurp your disc image off to their block store before they can release your node back to the pool.

Is it as simple as storing the backing file on an SSD?

The documentation has the following to say on the subject:

> Each server has access to a pool of local drives. These drives are exported to servers via the NBD protocol which effectively makes them network drives. However, network between these drives and C1 nodes are dedicated PCB tracks which ensures minimal latency and avoids network congestion.

> There is no redundancy on these volumes, you need to handle redundancy on your side! They are archieved to a permanent storage when you start and stop your server.

> Local volumes are 100% SSD drives which are able to deliver a lot of IOPS and are perfect for random read/write patterns. The maximum size of LSSD volumes is 150GB.

Found on https://www.scaleway.com/faq/server#local_volumes

Do you think that would be acceptable for a database under heavy load, compared to a true dedicated server? Does anyone has tested this product and can share some benchmark?

As long as you build it from source and realize the limited power of ARM, yes.

I wouldn't trust the packages for ARM because there are variations. Even GoLang doesn't work on all ARM processors, only some!

True dedicated servers would be much more powerful, and frankly, this is a service form Online.NET.


For 3x the price, you can get a real Xeon processor [that will likely perform equivalent or better to 3x scaleway nodes] and 8x the RAM. At this price point, I don't see the appeal outside of the object storage.

Go works on all ARM processors that use ARMv5 or newer. Today it would be pretty hard to find an ARMv4 CPU.

This is from the same company as Online.net -- http://www.online.net/en/dedicated-server Hosted in France.

They're very reliable, and a pretty good competitor to KimSufi/SoYouStart/OVH.

Iliad, the group behind Online.net and Scaleway, also owns Free Mobile and Free Telecom and Free Internet, all of which are quite popular.

Free/The Iliad Group is the Comcast/Verizon of the EU...They have horrible peering and transit policies, which they maintain under the auspices of French protectionist laws.

Free links to the US (west coast, comcast) is utter crap at peak hours... :( You can hardly get 200ko/s

but Online.net has its own network with a completely different policy ;) (AS12876)

It may have its own ASN, but its still run just like the rest of Iliad's networks. Online.net/Ponytelecom still lacks diversified transit that isn't also run horribly hot and the NOC peering policies make it so that its all but impossible to actually peer without exchanging money.

All the network properties operated under the Iliad umbrella suffer from this. Iliad and Orange pushed a bill through parliament that basically says "French ISPs can charge you whatever they want and you're required to pay it because operating in France means mandatory connections to the entrenched regional ISPs"

well being the "noc", I pretty much know about it, so, point by point : - first our policy is here : http://as12876.net/, where do you see "paid peering" ? - diversified transit : we've got 4 tier 1 transit, is not that enough "diversified" ? I hardly see what we could do better there ... - peering: we are also available on the 2 main French IX ! you just need to drop a mail to get our routes on them (how much costs a mail these days ?) we are also doing free PNI with those having enough datas to send/receive

we are also adding a new IX soon (order was sent yesterday) which will improve our peering towards Europe

the infos you have are at least 10 years old imho... maybe look at http://map.online.net

It looks like you are directly connected to OVH's network via Telehouse2 in France from that map. :)

You may want to make that map more obvious/prevalent on Online.NET, I wasn't aware you had a public network map like OVH does.

agreed, there is a plan to improve that ;)

Not really. Try to do a transfer of a single big backup file from a server with online.net and a server in Denmark. 6kB/s, yes, 6kB/s. Doing the same from a server with Gandi (VM), OVH (dedicated), was basically 100Mbps (it was what I had that time). To serve the French market only, Online.net is really good, but you do not have a consistent high quality network in Europe (I did not try outside EU).

"Scaleway is the first IaaS provider worldwide to offer an ARM based cloud"

Bold clame I see. We begun offering the exact same configuration early last year ( http://www.unixy.net/arm-server/ )

After looking at your page I tend to side with Scaleway here. I see "Buy for $19.99" on that page. That does not feel very cloudy. I associate "cloud" with paying by the minute. Also that page seems not to be linked from your homepage. And the offer is not even available. "Not available" does not feel very cloudy either.

Not sure it qualifies, but http://raspberrycolocation.com/ has been around since 2013.

But, you know, salestext is useless :)


"Average delivery time" 90 days? I'm not even sure what that means, but it doesn't strike me as particularly useful...

That's Raspberry Pi Colo, which is indeed different. I agree that salestext is mostly grandiose blurb but I oddly expected better from a tech startup. I suspect the wording came out straight of the horse's mouth ;)

"Oops, there's a problem... Out of Stock" - your company doesn't compete on the cloud part, so their claim still stands.

This is a very interesting offer, that clearly targets DigitalOcean.

The only thing I could not find quickly is info about the company: Is it a startup? Is it funded?

Until I found out it's a new product by Online, which is a subsidiary to one of France biggest telecom disruptor. There should be an About us that tells just that, which would clearly give more confidence to potential customers.

There actually is an about section that tells just that: https://www.scaleway.com/faq.

You need to verify email, then validate address, then add a credit card (no paypal), and then press a button labeled "Enjoy my free month".

Except when you add a credit card, they try to bill you for 20EUR right away.

Yes, but they clearly state - "To register your payment information, we will ask your bank for a 20,00€ debit preauthorization. This will appear on your bank statement and be automatically released after 7 days.".

This is a fairly common practice to weed out stolen credit-cards and to make sure you are real subscriber/customer, no biggie.

20 eur is quite uncommon, it's usually 1 or 2 usd/eur. So I skipped reading these two lines of unassuming gray text and entered details of my disposable visa with like 5 usd on it.

I think you are quite unique in 'skipping text' written nearby text boxes where you are entering your credit-card number, expiry date and CVV2.

I would recommend changing that behaviour ASAP ;)

dev here; made the text bold, and validation is now 2 euros :)

now you just need to enable paypal

I tried their free trial when it was still branded as Online.net Labs. What follows is my experience, which is good as anecdote only.

I use MariaDB-Galera in a project of mine to be able to run it in a parallel fashion. To determine if the servers were suitable for my use, I tried to install MariaDB-Galera, only to find out:

- MariaDB doesn't officially support ARM yet;

- The Debian and Ubuntu repos don't have the MariaDB-Galera edition available;

- All repos I could find with the Galera edition didn't have it compiled for armhf, including the official repo, by virtue of the first point.

- Compiling it on the server resulted in other problems: besides the usual compile errors that can be more or less sorted out by hand, and the dependency hell of the resulting deb packages (remember, no armhf packages available) I figured it would be unacceptable (in terms of ease-of-maintenance) to have to recompile MariaDB every time a new version with security fixes came out. This is something I can live with when toying with Raspberry Pis and similar things, but not on production stuff.

I eventually gave up, declaring the servers unsuitable for my use. End of anecdote.

IMHO they are charging too much for the product, at a time when the ARM ecosystem is not yet ready for server use (the architecture and OS support are fine, the user-land software, not so much). The servers are bare metal (it's awesome being able to use as much CPU as you want without breaching AUPs or hitting artificial caps), but the networked storage, while definitely better than HDDs, may not fulfill the needs of those with higher I/O requirements (I admit I haven't tested, also by virtue of Galera not being available). Lastly, the prices first show without VAT, which means that if you're in the EU and without a VAT ID, it'll turn out to be even more expensive. I'd consider something like €7/month (perhaps with less storage) to be a more acceptable price.

> I'd consider something like €7/month (perhaps with less storage) to be a more acceptable price.

Fwiw it's €10/mo if you leave it on all the time, which isn't too much higher than that. The headline pricing of €0.02/hr is capped at a max €10/mo, i.e. free past 500 hours. Sort of similar to how Google Cloud does automatic discounts for high-utilization instances, except that Google's utilization discounts are a curve rather than a cliff. (But yes, still not including VAT.)

They have local SSDs now, the previews had local HDs only. I do think the pricing is a little higher than I expected. I had fewer problems with compatibility than you. MariaDB seems to be in jessie [1]

[1] https://packages.debian.org/search?arch=armhf&keywords=maria...

That is the "normal" MariaDB, not the Galera edition. This is a problem that has more to do with MariaDB than with Scaleway, but it still shows one of the problems people may have with ARM servers at this point.

A couple of friends of mine are happier with compatibility than I am, too. Others are even more disappointed than I am, since one of the uses they have for dedicated stuff is game servers, which usually are closed source and not available for ARM.

Besides hacker curiosity, what's the appeal of ARM from our perspective? I'm not seeing a cost advantage here compared to Kimsufi (dedicated) or a good SSD-backed VPS.

In theory, consistent performance (particularly CPU) since you aren't sharing a node.

In practice, you're stuck dealing with the sort of headaches that come with doing something unusual, like repos not having packages you want. Overall it seemed to work reasonably during the beta but I'm surprised they weren't more aggressive with pricing.

Hard to argue with the value if you are actually using the bandwidth, but otherwise not that interesting an offer from a practical perspective.


Kimsufi offers true dedicated Atom boxes with SSDs for 10 GBPs / month.

I also think that if you're "using the bandwidth", a $5/month Digital Ocean VM is probably a better value.

Kimsufi are unmetered 100Mbps, and they seem to live up to that promise without throttling.

Developing on an ARM server is a lot different than on x86. You will find that some packages don't work and a bunch of undocumented bugs. Some people believe that ARM is the future for servers since they're more energy efficient (eh... kind of) so it would be good practice to get ahead of the curb.

Sorry to be pedantic, but the idiom is "ahead of the curve".

Compared to a VPS there's some security benefits. You can't meaningfully encrypt the disk of a VPS - as the decryption key can easily be read out of memory by the host. A physical server offers slightly more protection than this - although if there's no TPM not all that much.

VMs are also bad at some specific tasks - they have issues with clock accuracy for example.

One appeal of ARM, specifically, would be that it's cheap. Sadly these are based on ARMv7, which is a lot more limited than aarch64/ARMv8 and Intel CPUs. - but hopefully they or someone else will have an ARMv8 offering out soon.

I wonder if they offer any access to trustzone? That would be pretty cool.

There isn't one, frankly.

You'd be better off getting one of Online.NET's 30 euro nodes and using the Object Store from Scaleway. That is the only part of this announcement that appeals to me, tbh.

.02 euro per GB for premium Bandwidth + data storage. Compared to S3 Europe that is ridiculously good if you can eat the slightly higher latency.

Compare the s3 alternative with runabove:


Tbh, the latency I've seen with RunAbove is worse and at .02 Euros per GB...we are talking $20 vs. $10 per Terabyte of bandwidth.

The not sharing CPU part. Worse average perf but better worse case perf.

Kimsufi seems to be continually out of stock for the past year if you haven't noticed.

It'd be nice to see FreeBSD adopt arm as a Tier 1 architecture with the increased adoption in the datacenter.

64-bit ARM as a Tier 1 FreeBSD architecture is on the roadmap. 32-bit ARM will get there too, I think, bit it's not being pushed as aggressively.

it'd be nice if NetBSD was available from these cloud providers.

There is a thread in their support forum, it seems like they want nbd rootfs. It is a pretty simple (not very good) protocol (from memory) but I dont think there is a BSD driver at present.

Waiting for OpenBSD.

How well would one of these work for running TOR? The unmetered 200 mbps would lend itself to a decent relay, but only if the ARM chips can process the traffic at that rate.

I like the basic, easy design. One suggestion though (take this with a grain of salt though, since I am a backend programmer and not a design specialist). I didn't see the 20 euro preauthorization message the first time the new card dialog came up, and instead I closed it and went to the billing faq to find out what that was about when I saw Visa asking me to approve a 20 euro charge. I saw the message the second time around, but perhaps making that message a little more prominent would be helpful, especially for simpletons like me to tend to miss things.

Dev here. just changed this, also it's now 2 euro for the validation :)

Now that's good customer service. The new message style is much more prominent and obvious. I wish you guys the best of luck!

Do you offer any access to trustzone?

As a developer, where can I get a 1U ARM server? I thought they'd be much more available by now. Scaleway say they designed their own servers, which is interesting. Aren't there any on the market that are good enough? I guess not.

Scaleway has done a nice job utilizing what is available now for 32-bit ARM compatible chips.

AMD, Applied Micro, and Cavium all have ARM 64-bit SOC's due out in servers in 2H2015, from a variety of OEM's. These SOC chips are designed for servers, with ECC, integrated SATA, 10Gbe, network accelerators, etc.

In the mean-time, 64-bit multi-core ARM dev boards are becoming available via www.96boards.org. Price for these is around $100 each instead of the $3K early access reference boards with the the server grade chips. Expectation is that 96boards.org will be offering boards with server grade chips in 2H2015 to further spur the SW ecosystem.

you can get an AMD A1100 dev kit, but it's like three grand.

I mean, obviously, that isn't a realistic price, but if you want an ARM server with ECC ram right now, that's one way to go. (my understanding is that once AMD ramps up production, which is looking less likely at this point, it will be on the order of a few hundred bucks.)

Most people actually doing things with ARM servers are using non-ecc ram, which I don't think is particularly practical for real world use. The problem with non-ecc is not that it fails more often; the problem with non-ecc is that you often don't know when it failed.

once AMD ramps up production, which is looking less likely at this point

Why is that? What changed?

because this has been right around the corner for longer than I would expect. The big problem here is that AMD is fighting against a moving target. If they don't move and get the thing out the door soon, Intel will be out with a new chip, which will raise the bar further. Like a year and a half ago, when I was trying to get myself a dev kit, it looked like a really nice piece of kit that would provide a real advantage (above and beyond the novelty) over competing x86 offerings from intel, but that was before the v3 intel chips.

I mean, from a shallow evaluation, I think that if these things came out at the "couple hundred dollar" price point, they would be competitive right now. at $300 per for board+cpu, I'd buy 20 right now. But I'm not at all sure that will be true a year from now.

(Note, I'm entirely ecc, so we're not talking about atoms. There is a huge opportunity here because intel stunts it's e3 line to 32gib ram. AMD needs to get in and exploit this while the getting is good. Yes, the 4xxx CPUs don't have any such limit, but compared to the E3, they are pathetic. These ARM boards would give AMD a chance to offer a reasonable compute per watt in a package with a ram footprint that can crush the E3.)

But... it's a year and a half later, and I still see no sign of AMD actually selling the things, other than as engineering samples at engineering sample prices, and meanwhile, intel is improving their x86 lineup.

Maybe I'm just impatient, but I just don't have a lot of hope that by the time it is out it will be able to compete with virtualizing a big xeon box.

I mean, yes, there are some applications where you really want your own server, and the A1100, if it does ship before Intel releases the ram limits on the E3, could compete in that niche, but for ARM to really take off in the datacenter, it needs to be cheaper per unit work done than a big xeon box. E.g. I need to be able to replace one of my giant dual xeons with four or five of these puppies, and it needs to cost less over the life of the hardware.

I'm paying California prices for power, so it shouldn't be that hard, but I'm just really frustrated by the slow progress of the AMD ARM server (and ARM boards that support ECC in general.)

Yeah, I had some of the same concerns. Thanks for the details response.

Gigabyte has announced (but not released, as far as I can tell), this:


I'd be interested in hearing about this as well.

I used their beta, and was pleasantly surprised by the performance of these little boxes. I find the idea of a dedicated box vs. virtualisation quite attractive for some hard to quantify reasons.

Wondering if they'll roll-out in more regions soon. Interesting to see the international take-up, of course quite an euro-centric approach :)

Site looks good, but they do need better editors. There's a glaring typo before you even get past the first page:

"Deploy dedicated SSD servers with constant and predictable performances (sic) in 44 seconds."

More typos as you scroll down.

Help welcome :)

I have used online.net labs bare metal arm cloud servers and scaleway seems to offer the exact same. Can anyone explain the difference or is this just a re-releasing?

fwiw, i am from the east coast us, and have used both online.net labs and ovh dedicated cloud from ks and sys, and I have found that online.net has a lower latency and higher throughput to me.

also fwiw, i have not had issues with finding arm packages for developing in node, golang, or mono

Online Labs[0] turned into Scaleway.

There's a blog post about it at [1]


[0] http://labs.online.net/ [1] https://blog.scaleway.com/2015/04/02/from-online-labs-to-sca...

This is online.net labs, it just has a new name.

The CPU performance is a joke though.

c1 from instantcloud.io:

  ubuntu@c1-10-1-33-39:~$ openssl speed rsa
  Doing 512 bit private rsa's for 10s: 11119 512 bit private RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 512 bit public rsa's for 10s: 111478 512 bit public RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 1024 bit private rsa's for 10s: 1950 1024 bit private RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 1024 bit public rsa's for 10s: 34638 1024 bit public RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 2048 bit private rsa's for 10s: 291 2048 bit private RSA's in 10.01s
  Doing 2048 bit public rsa's for 10s: 9393 2048 bit public RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 4096 bit private rsa's for 10s: 40 4096 bit private RSA's in 10.16s
  Doing 4096 bit public rsa's for 10s: 2402 4096 bit public RSA's in 10.01s
  OpenSSL 1.0.1f 6 Jan 2014
  built on: Thu Oct 16 16:07:24 UTC 2014
  options:bn(64,32) rc4(ptr,char) des(idx,cisc,16,long) aes(partial) blowfish(ptr)
  compiler: cc -fPIC -DOPENSSL_PIC -DOPENSSL_THREADS -D_REENTRANT -DDSO_DLFCN -DHAVE_DLFCN_H -DL_ENDIAN -DTERMIO -g -O2 -fstack-protector-strong -Wformat -Werror=format-security -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions -Wl,-z,relro -Wa,--noexecstack -Wall -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_MONT -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_GF2m -DSHA1_ASM -DSHA256_ASM -DSHA512_ASM -DAES_ASM -DGHASH_ASM
                    sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
  rsa  512 bits 0.000899s 0.000090s   1111.9  11147.8
  rsa 1024 bits 0.005128s 0.000289s    195.0   3463.8
  rsa 2048 bits 0.034399s 0.001065s     29.1    939.3
  rsa 4096 bits 0.254000s 0.004167s      3.9    240.0
local odroid u3:

  thresh@odroid:~$ openssl speed rsa
  Doing 512 bit private rsa's for 10s: 19334 512 bit private RSA's in 9.99s
  Doing 512 bit public rsa's for 10s: 204957 512 bit public RSA's in 9.97s
  Doing 1024 bit private rsa's for 10s: 3490 1024 bit private RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 1024 bit public rsa's for 10s: 62453 1024 bit public RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 2048 bit private rsa's for 10s: 516 2048 bit private RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 2048 bit public rsa's for 10s: 17051 2048 bit public RSA's in 10.00s
  Doing 4096 bit private rsa's for 10s: 72 4096 bit private RSA's in 10.09s
  Doing 4096 bit public rsa's for 10s: 4434 4096 bit public RSA's in 10.00s
  OpenSSL 1.0.1f 6 Jan 2014
  built on: Fri Jun 20 19:00:28 UTC 2014
  options:bn(64,32) rc4(ptr,char) des(idx,cisc,16,long) aes(partial) blowfish(ptr)
  compiler: cc -fPIC -DOPENSSL_PIC -DOPENSSL_THREADS -D_REENTRANT -DDSO_DLFCN -DHAVE_DLFCN_H -DL_ENDIAN -DTERMIO -g -O2 -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -Wformat -Werror=format-security -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions -Wl,-z,relro -Wa,--noexecstack -Wall -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_MONT -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_GF2m -DSHA1_ASM -DSHA256_ASM -DSHA512_ASM -DAES_ASM -DGHASH_ASM
                    sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
  rsa  512 bits 0.000517s 0.000049s   1935.3  20557.4
  rsa 1024 bits 0.002865s 0.000160s    349.0   6245.3
  rsa 2048 bits 0.019380s 0.000586s     51.6   1705.1
  rsa 4096 bits 0.140139s 0.002255s      7.1    443.4
digitalocean cheapest vps:

  thresh@thre ~ $ openssl speed rsa
  Doing 512 bit private rsa's for 10s: 119305 512 bit private RSA's in 9.81s
  Doing 512 bit public rsa's for 10s: 1450435 512 bit public RSA's in 9.85s
  Doing 1024 bit private rsa's for 10s: 35347 1024 bit private RSA's in 9.85s
  Doing 1024 bit public rsa's for 10s: 541458 1024 bit public RSA's in 9.86s
  Doing 2048 bit private rsa's for 10s: 5259 2048 bit private RSA's in 9.84s
  Doing 2048 bit public rsa's for 10s: 161094 2048 bit public RSA's in 9.88s
  Doing 4096 bit private rsa's for 10s: 627 4096 bit private RSA's in 9.81s
  Doing 4096 bit public rsa's for 10s: 41353 4096 bit public RSA's in 9.75s
  OpenSSL 1.0.1e 11 Feb 2013
  built on: Thu Mar 19 18:31:36 UTC 2015
  options:bn(64,64) rc4(16x,int) des(idx,cisc,16,int) aes(partial) blowfish(idx)
                    sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
  rsa  512 bits 0.000082s 0.000007s  12161.6 147252.3
  rsa 1024 bits 0.000279s 0.000018s   3588.5  54914.6
  rsa 2048 bits 0.001871s 0.000061s    534.5  16305.1
  rsa 4096 bits 0.015646s 0.000236s     63.9   4241.3
amazon t1.micro:

  [ec2-user@ip-10-71-147-165 ~]$ openssl speed rsa
  Doing 512 bit private rsa's for 10s: 85447 512 bit private RSA's in 9.48s
  Doing 512 bit public rsa's for 10s: 123882 512 bit public RSA's in 9.96s
  Doing 1024 bit private rsa's for 10s: 7720 1024 bit private RSA's in 9.98s
  Doing 1024 bit public rsa's for 10s: 187876 1024 bit public RSA's in 10.04s
  Doing 2048 bit private rsa's for 10s: 1268 2048 bit private RSA's in 9.99s
  Doing 2048 bit public rsa's for 10s: 67337 2048 bit public RSA's in 10.07s
  Doing 4096 bit private rsa's for 10s: 36 4096 bit private RSA's in 7.89s
  Doing 4096 bit public rsa's for 10s: 25180 4096 bit public RSA's in 9.85s
  OpenSSL 1.0.1g-fips 7 Apr 2014
  built on: Wed Apr  9 21:51:31 UTC 2014
  options:bn(64,64) md2(int) rc4(16x,int) des(idx,cisc,16,int) aes(partial) idea(int) blowfish(idx)
                    sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
  rsa  512 bits 0.000111s 0.000080s   9013.4  12438.0
  rsa 1024 bits 0.001293s 0.000053s    773.5  18712.7
  rsa 2048 bits 0.007879s 0.000150s    126.9   6686.9
  rsa 4096 bits 0.219167s 0.000391s      4.6   2556.3

Tried running your benchmark, seems noisy.

t1.micro running ubuntu

  sign                                 verify         sign/s       verify/s
  rsa  512 bits 0.000104s 0.000015s   9647.3  67715.6
  rsa 1024 bits 0.003637s 0.000236s    275.0   4242.7
  rsa 2048 bits 0.004487s 0.000107s    222.8   9351.2
  rsa 4096 bits 0.180566s 0.003013s      5.5    331.9
t1.micro running CoreOS

  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
  rsa  512 bits 0.000109s 0.000009s   9190.4 114333.6
  rsa 1024 bits 0.000354s 0.000023s   2822.7  42725.7
  rsa 2048 bits 0.002491s 0.000078s    401.5  12833.4
  rsa 4096 bits 0.017951s 0.000289s     55.7   3454.7
t2.micro running ubuntu

                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
  rsa  512 bits 0.000060s 0.000005s  16569.7 208219.9
  rsa 1024 bits 0.000196s 0.000013s   5113.5  74559.9
  rsa 2048 bits 0.001459s 0.000045s    685.3  22400.0
  rsa 4096 bits 0.010396s 0.000165s     96.2   6050.9

It may be noisy, but so are micro's. If you had that much variation between ubuntu and CoreOS on large+, that would be interesting. (Other than the micro differences, variation like this could be 32- vs 64-bit, or different default daemons running, eating CPU).

Avoton C2750 octa-core microserver ($25/mo):

# openssl speed rsa -multi 8


                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa 512 bits 0.000024s 0.000002s 42105.8 533333.3 rsa 1024 bits 0.000096s 0.000006s 10401.5 177777.8 rsa 2048 bits 0.000639s 0.000019s 1565.5 51739.1 rsa 4096 bits 0.004635s 0.000073s 215.8 13678.5

Well, you get 4 cores. Did you try "openssl speed rsa -multi 4"?

I prefer per-core benchmarks. Things like that scale linearly, so it gives you the best idea about machine performance.

I just had very fast turnaround on a support ticket from them. Simple issue, but still - I'm really impressed.

Support ticket answered in < 2 minutes. Resolved in 9 minutes.

(The ticket was sort of my fault, partly a design issue on their UI where I couldn't resubmit info. There are teething problems, but they sorted it out really quickly.)

Any idea how a JVM would do on one of these?

I don't know if there are any commercial special purpouse ARM JVMs, but HotSpot/OpenJDK is pretty sad performance-wise on ARM.

Oracle provide Java 8 for ARM: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk8... The performance on my little Raspberry Pi went up dramatically compared to OpenJDK when they released it (over a year ago).

There's a marked absence of benchmark data on the web about this vs same on x86. Does Oracle's license forbid publication of such?

Yeah - was once instructed to use a full container (Glassfish) on ARM. A bootup took 5 minutes, requests took ten seconds. It was depressing.

I tested it with OpenTripplanner (kinda opensource Google transit) on JVM with ARM 8 jre. Times for 380 requests are in seconds:

  ARMv7 Processor rev 2 (v7l) (4) 1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  min time: 4
  max time: 1655
  mean time: 276.8
  median time: 148.5
Digital ocean 1G memory:

  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2630L v2 @ 2.40GHz (1) 1.0.0- SNAPSHOT
  min time: 1
  max time: 261
  mean time: 51.0447368421
  median time: 30.0
Digital ocean 2G memory:

  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2630L v2 @ 2.40GHz (2) 1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  min time: 1
  max time: 407
  mean time: 64.6447368421
  median time: 34.0
Local PC:

  Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz (4) 1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  min time: 0.0001
  max time: 114
  mean time: 21.9026331579
  median time: 12.0
Free redshift cloud (512MB memory):

  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2650 0 @ 2.00GHz (2) 1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
  min time: 5
  max time: 7273
  mean time: 417.507894737
  median time: 103.5
This times doesn't count roundtrip time this is purely JVM time of graph search requests. All requests are serial. All tests except redhift are run with 1GB of JVM memory. Each test was run twice before to warm JVM this is mostly seen in ARM. DO speeds varies a lot. Even bigger VPS doesn't improve speed. ARM speeds doesn't vary a lot but sometimes during testing I didn't get an answer from a server, but this could also be a problem with OTP.

I was impressed with ARM speed (it is much better then free openshift trial maybe because it only has 512MB) but now after free trial I'll probably move to DO the cheapest package, because for 11€ I can get better performance on DO even though it is varied. During normal use I can see the difference in speed between ARM and openshift in requests but not so much between ARM and DO.

Probably ARM would work better when multiple request would come (It has 4 cores) and DO has 1/2.

It would be pretty cheap to hire one of these boxes and try it out.

The title is misleading, as €0.02/hr would result in €14.4/month. Their pricing page[0] lists the servers at €9.90/month.

Their "Infinite Storage" is €0.02/month, though.

[0] https://www.scaleway.com/pricing

"How do I take advantage of the monthly billing?

Each resource is billed per hour up to its monthly cap. The monthly cost of a resource is calculated by running the hourly rate for 500 hours. If a resource is used during more than 500 continuous hours in the month, the rest of the month is free."

Thanks, i missed the hourly/monthly switch.

> Their "Infinite Storage" is €0.02/month, though.

"Infinite Storage" is, like the term "unlimited", misleading. I clicked through only to find out that it's for 1GB of storage, with unlimited requests and transfers.

I think the implication was an infinite amount of those 1Gb chunks -- IE: they can grow the infrastructure as fast are you can use it.

It is almost assuredly a lie (as someone who is working on a project scaling to PBs -- I pressed a lot of vendors on "unlimited" or "infinite" and most said they simply couldn't scale to X).

There's a FAQ at the bottom which says that it's €0.02/hr and if you reach it, then €10/mo is the cap.

And the term "infinite" is misleading, as it's actually just 1GB of data that you can transfer as much as you want.

Has anyone benchmarked the infinite storage?

Unlimited transfer seems too good to be true.

This looks great! It's interesting to see hardware innovation, self-provisioning "bare metal" and so on.

Just one problem, I'm getting an internal server error while verifying my address (home address), and the SMS isn't arriving. I'll try it a little later. But I am a little confused, how exactly do you verify a home address?

Dev here. Sorry for the address issue. It was all my fault: validation was too strict. The fix was pushed on production servers 16 hours ago. You should try again ! :)

What's the L2 cache size? They don't mention it anywhere, just plain benchmarks unrelated to memory speed.

Cool, thanks for the link!

Do you know the latency numbers?

Edit: found this https://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/integriertesysteme/emuco/file... (slide 17)

This seems pretty expensive to me. How powerful are the instances?

"The C1 server is a 4-cores ARMv7 CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 1 Gbit/s network card. It is designed for the cloud and horizontal scaling."

"How does a C1 server perform? A C1 server gives a constant CPUMark of 12K. This is equivalent to an AWS M3 medium instance. "

I find this surprising in both directions: Either that an AWS M3 medium instance is so slow or that ARM servers got so fast!

Edit: It seems that ARM CPUs got really fast: According to [1] an Intel Core i7-3930K @ 3.20GHz gets a Passmark score of 12k.

[1]: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

I am 99% sure that's not the same benchmark. The cheapest way to break 12,000 CPUMarks is a $370 Intel Core i7-5820K (15MB of cache, 6 cores, 12 threads).

Perhaps they are using the Android benchmark. A score of 12,000 is about what a quad core ARMv7 phone gets.



Compared with the cross-platform Geekbench3 a HTC One (ARMv7 4 core, 1.7-2.2Ghz, 12,000 Android CPUMarks) gets between 2,000 and 3,000 points[1], while a 5820K gets around 20,000 points[2].

[1]: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/search?q=HTC+One

[2]: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/search?q=Intel+Cor...

Ah that would explain it. That's a pretty misleading claim then. So I guess ARMs are still pretty slow and Amazon is not all that terrible after all performance-wise. That also makes more sense intuition-wise.

Just to give another data point closer to price an Atom N2800 (which kimsufi offers with ssd for the same monthly price) gets around 1100, so competitive but not world changingly so.


To bad they're older 32-bit ARMv7 cpus. Ant serious ARM computing needs to use aarch64 for any type of serious scaling and performance.

Glad to see they support Docker on them, that's one of the killer apps for ARM systems.

This is like paying $10 every month for a raspberry pi + $40 SSD, or $75 in hardware.

I rather pay $40/mo for Hetzner 3930 CPU server with something like 30 VMs.

To be fair - you're getting maybe $75 worth of hardware, plus datacenter space, power, and an unmetered 200Mb/s network feed to it - none of which you can get for free even if you have a spare 'Pi and SSD lying around doing nothing.

It's no great saving over places like Hetzner or Digital Ocean, but I don't think it's _quite_ as bad a deal as you're making out... I wonder how much more than $300 it'd cost you to buy the hardware that Hetzner give you for four times as much per month?

"I'd rather pay four times more for something better" isn't the most compelling argument against Scaleway. They're targeting people who want to host something for $10/month. For the money what they're offering is pretty good.

They are targeting people that want to deploy large quantities of such micro-servers, programmatically on demand.

Otherwise, someone willing to pay as little as possible for just a single bare metal dedicated machine, is much better of renting a Kimsufi instead.


> This is like paying $10 every month for a raspberry pi + $40 SSD, or $75 in hardware.

Raspberry Pis and SSDs do not come with bandwidth and redundant network, power, and cooling infrastructure.

except the raspberry isn't in a datacenter, it won't probably have the same network speed, you can't move an IP from a raspberry to another one, you can't easily make snapshots, ...

>I rather pay $40/mo for Hetzner 3930 CPU server with something like 30 VMs.

Good luck when Hetzner null route your server when a competitor DDoSes you

Is there any evidence that Scaleway is any better and will not do the same? At least we know the downsides of using Hetzner because they are not new.

On their premium bandwidth Scaleway do. Hetzer however provides no such protection and does not assist with mitigation whatsoever (other than null routing your server until the attack stops).

Just look on the various web hosting forums (webhostingtalk.com) with regards to Hetzer. They are very hostile to customers that have these problems.

OVH, which are priced similarly, include DDoS protection in all their new plans.

I find Hetzer are good for non public facing servers. Job processors, internal tool servers etc.

Scaleway is a brand of Online.net (in fact while it was in beta it was called Online Labs). They have DDoS protection on their network: https://www.online.net/en/dedicated-server/ddos-arbor

For the best protection you need to pay more - in the case of Scaleway, their pricing page (https://www.scaleway.com/pricing) says it's available with the "premium" bandwidth option - but anecdotally I've heard even the basic protection is pretty good.

The SSD speed will be greatly limited if using it through the raspberry pi's USB

Why would I use this over Amazon? It seems their cost is higher and it is ARM, which I assume sucks from a perspective of running e.g Python.

Python runs just fine on an ARM powered RaspberryPi (and some custom IMX233 ARM hardware I was working on a couple of years back with ARM ARCH Linux on it). I suspect not everything that gcc compiles on x86 will work, but you might be surprised at how much "just works", or has versions available where someone's already done the hard work of ensuring it compiles properly for ARM.

I don't mean it works as in it runs. I mean that the Python Jit would be optimized for X86. It has to run better to be worth the trouble of using this.

What Python jit? Do you mean PyPy?

I assumed the standard python command used a JIT.

Is this really not the case? In 2015?

Nope, CPython compiles source to bytecode (ahead of time), but then interprets that bytecode. There's no JIT.

...except for the aforementioned PyPy. Which is quite good IMO! (and supports ARM)

Fair enough.

Some of the things I might do with these don't really have that "better than the x86 version" comparison in any rel sense. I've got a DigitalOcean droplet and a CloudAtCost VM (and several others) that exclusively get used as remote endpoints for reverse SSH tunnels. These would only need to be slightly less expensive for me to seriously consider adding a French jurisdiction one as well...

The unmetered bandwidth looks useful. With Amazon you'd never know how much you'll end up paying a month, it all depends on your actual traffic.

Because it is a european company falling under european jurisdiction?

Anybody know if they (unofficially) support FreeBSD?

Support is on the way it seems:


No imprint, no address, no phone numbers. A french company.

"Online SAS, a company registered in France."

No imprint in France? Illegal.

https://www.scaleway.com/terms (at the end of the page)

    ONLINE, a simplified stock corporation (Société anonyme par actions simplifiée) with a working capital
    of €214.410,50, headquartered at 8 rue de la ville l'Evêque - 75008 Paris, FRANCE, registered with the
    Paris Corporate and Trade Register number RCS PARIS B 433 115 904, VAT number FR35433115904, reachable
    via its Internet site http//www.scaleway.com/ as well as by telephone at +33 (0) 184 130 000", or by 
    fax at +33 (0) 899 193 775 (€1.35 per call plus €0.34/min.)

Thanks - that wasn't there at launch time. Great they got it fixed.

Tried scrolling down on the Online.net's website? On the footer of their home page, they have their phone number, address and RCS number.

The offering is on another URL. That offering must have an imprint directly. Not linked on a 2nd page somewhere else.

Praise the lord. Why aren't more cloud companies selling bare metal ARM servers?

I just went searching for ARM servers last week...the options for white box systems are very slim. There are no Supermicro, Asus, etc. ARM rack mount systems yet, so you'd need to work out a deal with one of the few big name vendors with offerings in this space.

The costs seemed very high, to me, compared to whitebox/barebones AMD or even Intel based servers on a performance basis.

I think it is simply a function of them not being widely available cheaply yet. I wonder how they're getting them cheap enough to make this make sense...maybe quantity pricing is much better.

HP are manufacturing racks of high density arm servers. I would have thought someone would be renting them out.

That's one of the big names I had in mind. They're pretty expensive for the performance you get. I'd choose a multi-core AMD or Intel...even when virtualized it's gonna provide more juice for your dollar, according to the math I did. Which is weird because ARM has come so far. I'm really wanting to try ARM on the server but the costs are still wrong. This is, of course, at least partly just because the barebones and white box manufacturers haven't entered the fray.

Memory capacity was actually my biggest cost factor that made a difference. You can buy x86 boxes with 256GB capacity for quite cheap. Up to 1TB for not outrageous amounts. The micro servers are designed for quite low amounts of memory... But memory is, by far, the bottleneck I am concerned with. CPU speed barely matters at all...so virtualizing CPU is fine as long as memory can be huge and fast.

Because Intel destroys anything ARM has to offer in terms of price/performance or performance/watt, even on microservers since the Avotons came out. We're also going to see Xeon D's and Denvertons before proper ARM based server solutions come to market.

You can get 24hrs free by validating your phone number :)

Or a free 15 mn trial at http://instantcloud.io

Doesn't seem to be working, at least for Portuguese numbers. Tried resending it twice, but I'm still to receive anything.

It doesn't work for Serbian numbers either. I tried to verify my number for the free preview and it didn't work. Their mobile gateway is down probably.

Our SMS provider has issues to send messages to foreign numbers :( If you write us a ticket, we'll validate your phone manually

Yep also not working for Slovak number.

I assume the data center is in France. Is that correct?

yes, first scaleway's platforms are in Paris suburbs in our own datacenters (see http://iliad-datacenter.fr), more platforms are expected (most likely outside of France)

Feedback: Clear information; some typos in the FAQ.

Where? :)

I was looking at the wrong FAQ. There are some typos on https://www.scaleway.com/faq :

> Scaleway is also providing a fast, 100% S3-compatible, object storage service called SIS (Scaleway Infinit Storage). SIS starts at €0.00004 for 1GB of storage.

Should be 'infinite'?

> At Scaleway, we provide bare metal SSD servers. When you request a server, you get full root access on a dedicated servers.

Plural agreement. Should be 'on a dedicated server'.

> A simple, robust REST APIs to control all your cloud ressources

Plural agreement, 'Simple, robust REST APIs'. Also spelling, 'resources'.

Fixed! thanks


I thought so, hence the question mark. The whole phrase 'Scaleway Infinit Storage' could be French, although perhaps it would be 'Storage Infinit Scaleway'.


> What sort of ARM cpu's are they? 200Mhz Palm Pilot, or modern 1.4ghz A9 ones?

4-cores ARMv7 CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 1Gbit/s network card

source: https://blog.scaleway.com/2015/04/02/from-online-labs-to-sca...

Vive La France!

I thought it is 0.02 EUR per month. That would be interesting... otherwise it seems to be too expensive.

This story is posted twice, on the front page of HN.

They have only one OS available, Linux, (in various flavours), while the others are branded 'coming soon'. That alone doesn't inspire any confidence.

What other OS could you want, especially on ARM? Most alternatives to Linux are a mistake for web hosting at this point in history. As much as I like some of the ideas and features of some of the alternatives, when taken as a whole, Linux is simply the right tool for the job most of the time.

In short, while its cool if they offer other OS options, my confidence certainly is not shaken by them choosing to roll out first with just Linux support. It seems like the only sensible thing, to me, given how good Linux ARM support is.

> What other OS could you want, especially on ARM?

OpenBSD. Or any of the BSDs, but OpenBSD would be ideal.

That said, my confidence isn't exactly shaken either by the current lack of BSD availability (FreeBSD is supposedly "coming soon"). I'm getting by moderately well on Linux right now for my own "cloud" needs. It would just be nice to have my preference in operating systme (and ecosystem; I've taken a liking to OpenBSD's subprojects like relayd/httpd, OpenSMTPd, etc., and it's much easier to use these things on OpenBSD - or probably even on FreeBSD - than it is on GNU/Linux).

Exactly this: NetBSD & OpenBSD. Linux, although popular, is not the only operating system.

Even FreeBSD would be better for my use cases. At least it supports pf.

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