Absolute Hosting finds the sweet spot with AMD-powered Supermicro servers

Absolute Hosting, a South African provider of hosting services to small and midsize businesses, sought to upgrade its hardware, improve its performance, and lower its costs. The company achieved all three goals with AMD-powered Supermicro servers.

  • May 19, 2023 | Author: Peter Krass
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Some brands are so strong, customers ask for them by name. They ask for a Coke when thirsty, click on Amazon.com when shopping online, visit a Tesla showroom when thinking of buying an electric car.

For Absolute Hosting Ltd., a South Africa-based provider of hosting and other digital services for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), it’s not one brand, but two: Supermicro and AMD. More specifically, the combination of Supermicro servers powered by AMD EPYC processors.

“Clients who have switched over to us have been amazed by the performance of our AMD EPYC-powered servers,” says Jade Benson, the founder of Absolute Hosting and now its managing director.

Benson and his colleagues find the Supermicro-AMD brand so powerful, they offer it by name. Check out Absolute Hosting's website, and you’ll see the AMD and Supermicro brands called out by name.

SMB specialists

It wasn’t always the case. Back in 2011, when Benson founded Absolute Hosting, the company served local South African tech resellers. Five years later, in 2016, the company shifted its focus to offering hosting and virtual server services to local SMBs.

One of its hosting services is virtual private servers. VPS hosting provides dedicated resources to each customer’s website, allowing for more control, customization and scalability than they’d get with shared hosting. That makes VPS hosting ideal for businesses that require lots of resources, enjoy high traffic, or need a great deal of control over their hosting environment.

Today Absolute Hosting owns about 100 physical servers and manages roughly 300 VPS servers for clients. The company also supplies its 5,000 clients with other hosting services, including Linux web, WordPress and email.

‘We kept seeing AMD’

Absolute Hosting’s shift to AMD-powered Supermicro servers was driven by its own efforts to refresh and upgrade its hardware, improve its performance and lower its own costs. Initially, the company rented dedicated servers from a provider that relied exclusively on Supermicro hardware.

“So when we decided to purchase our own hardware, we made it a requirement to use Supermicro,” Benson says. “And we kept seeing AMD as the recommended option.”

The new servers were a quick success. Absolute Hosting tested them with key benchmarks, including Cinebench, a cross-platform test suite, and Passmark, which compares the performance of CPUs. And it found them leading for every test application.

Absolute Hosting advertised the new offering on social media and quickly had enough business for 100 VPS servers. The company ran a public beta for customers and allowed the local IT community to conduct their own stress tests.

“The feedback we received was phenomenal,” Benson says. “Everyone was blown away.”

Packing a punch

Absolute Hosting’s solution is based on Supermicro’s AS-2115GT-HNTF GrandTwin server. It packs four hot-pluggable nodes into a 2U rackmount form factor.

Each node includes an AMD EPYC CPU; 12 memory slots for up to 3TB of DDR5 memory; flexible bays for storage or I/O; and up to four hot-swap 2.5-inch NVMe/SATA storage drives.

Absolute Hosting currently uses the AMD EPYC 7003 Series processors. But the Supermicro server now supports the 4th gen AMD EPYC 9004 Series processors, and Benson plans to move to them soon.

Benson considers the AMD-powered Supermicro servers a serious competitive advantage. “There are only a few people we don’t tell about AMD,” he says. “That’s our competitors.”

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