Monday March 20, 2017

AMD Ryzen IOMMU and the B350 Chipset Challenges

While Ryzen certainly is a very tempting platform for virtualization on the cheap, we have reported before that it may not be quite there yet. ServeTheHome has had some further relevant issues with their Ryzen system on the B350 platform with certain configurations resulting in an ADM-Vi error before the system is fully booted.

While I am certain these things will be solved in time, it does go to show that right now is probably not the best time to build a virtualization box using Ryzen. As the Magic 8-Ball says, "Try Again Later".

A lot has been made about AMD Ryzen ECC support at launch. Since we now have several Ryzen test platforms we are managing demos on, the discussion on ECC memory, at this point, is misplaced. There are a myriad of platform issues that still need to be ironed out, such as this AMD Ryzen B350 IOMMU issue, memory support, and OS kernel patching, before one will need to worry about ECC memory on the Ryzen platform. We do think that the AMD Ryzen platform will be a winner in the low-end 1P server market several months from now when the platform matures and we get appropriate motherboards (e.g. with iKVM and IPMI.) Although we do advise against buying these systems today for mission-critical services, we have told executives at AMD and multiple server vendors that these will be category killer 1P server platforms if a mature platform hits the market.