IBM 把 OpenPOWER Foundation 交給 The Linux Foundation

標題雖然是「Big Blue Open Sources Power Chip Instruction Set」,但實質上應該就是 IBMOpenPOWER Foundation 交給 The Linux Foundation

找了一下兩邊的新聞稿,其中 The Linux Foundation 的新聞稿在「The Linux Foundation Announces New Open Hardware Technologies and Collaboration」這邊,但 OpenPOWER 的網站好像從 2018 年年底就沒更新了...

開放硬體最近比較紅的應該是 RISC-VOpenRISC 這些專案?IBM 這一招不知道是怎麼樣...

重新了解 Amazon EC2 的 T2/T3 Unlimited

剛好跟同事聊到 Amazon EC2 的 T2/T3 Unlimited,因為有些疑惑所以回家查了一下資料,發現以前的理解不夠完整。這是 T2/T3 Unlimited 的說明文件:「Unlimited Mode for Burstable Performance Instances」。

在文件的這塊說明了 T2/T3 Unlimited 模式的計算方式:

When its CPU utilization falls below the baseline, it uses the CPU credits that it earns to pay down the surplus credits that it spent earlier. The ability to earn CPU credits to pay down surplus credits enables Amazon EC2 to average the CPU utilization of an instance over a 24-hour period. If the average CPU usage over a 24-hour period exceeds the baseline, the instance is billed for the additional usage at a flat additional rate per vCPU-hour.

我本來以為是剩下的 CPU credit 不夠時就會被收費,但依照官方文件的說明,是可以用後面賺到的 CPU credit 支付前面使用的 CPU credit,而可跨越的時間區間是 24 小時。

所以有時候會在 AWS web console 上看到 CPU 沒有在用,但是 CPU credit 卻長回不來的情況,是因為這時候還在還之前的債...

用 Machine Learning 改善 Streaming 品質的服務與論文

Hacker News 上看到「Puffer」這個服務,裡面利用了 machine learning algorithm 動態調整 bitrate,以提昇傳輸品質。

測試得到的數據後來被整理起來一起放進論文:「Continual learning improves Internet video streaming」。

在開頭介紹了 Fugu 這個演算法:

We describe Fugu, a continual learning algorithm for bitrate selection in streaming video.

而 Puffer 就是實驗網站:

We evaluate Fugu with Puffer, a public website we built that streams live TV using Fugu and existing algorithms. Over a nine-day period in January 2019, Puffer streamed 8,131 hours of video to 3,719 unique users.

這個站台提供了許多真實的頻道進行測試:

Stream live TV in your browser. There's no charge. You can watch U.S. TV stations affiliated with the NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, FOX, and Univision networks.

可以看到 Fugu 的結果很好,比起其他提出的方案是全面性的改善:

這邊是用 WebSocket 測試,並且配合了不同的 TCP congestion algorithm,沒有太考慮額外的計算成本...

Ubuntu 改變放掉 i386 的計畫

先前在「Ubuntu 19.10 要放掉 i386 架構」這邊提到 Ubuntu 要放掉 i386 的計畫,因為造成的迴響很大,現在官方決定修改本來的結論:「Statement on 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS」。

在本來的計畫裡,是完全放生 i386 架構 (完全不管):

While this means we will not provide 32-bit builds of new upstream versions of libraries, there are a number of ways that 32-bit applications can continue to be made available to users of later Ubuntu releases, as detailed in [4]. We will be working to polish the 32-bit support story over the course of the 19.10 development cycle. To follow the evolution of this support, you can participate in the discourse thread at [5].

現在則是打算透過 container 技術支援 32-bit library & binary,算是某種緩衝方式:

We will also work with the WINE, Ubuntu Studio and gaming communities to use container technology to address the ultimate end of life of 32-bit libraries; it should stay possible to run old applications on newer versions of Ubuntu. Snaps and LXD enable us both to have complete 32-bit environments, and bundled libraries, to solve these issues in the long term.

但應該還是會有程式沒辦法在 container 環境裡跑,看起來官方決定放掉了...

Raspberry Pi 4 開賣,USD$35

Raspberry Pi 4 開賣,目前推出的是 Model B,最低規格的 1GB RAM 版本與之前 RPi 3 相同都是 USD$35,另外這次提供了以前沒有的 2GB 與 4GB 版本,分別是 USD$45 與 USD$55:「Raspberry Pi 4 on sale now from $35」。

有兩個比較大而且要注意的改變,第一個是電源接頭變成 Type-C 了:

We’ve moved from USB micro-B to USB-C for our power connector. This supports an extra 500mA of current, ensuring we have a full 1.2A for downstream USB devices, even under heavy CPU load.

另外一個是 HDMI 接頭換成 D Type:

To accommodate dual display output within the existing board footprint, we’ve replaced the type-A (full-size) HDMI connector with a pair of type-D (micro) HDMI connectors.

這兩個改變都需要準備額外的設備或是線材,其他的改變應該還好...

這次改版最明顯的是效能的增加,官方宣稱 CPU 速度是前一代的三倍:

A 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU (~3× performance)

而在 GPU 相關的則是對 H.265 的 4Kp60 硬體解壓縮:

4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video

先前用 RPi 3 放客廳還是覺得不太夠,也許可以考慮看看這個...

EC2 的 C5 系列機器推出 12x、24x 以及 metal 類別

EC2c5 系列主機推出了 12xlarge24xlarge 以及 metal 三種新的類別:「Now Available: New C5 instance sizes and bare metal instances」。

本來的 c5largexlarge2xlarge4xlarge9xlarge (這邊有一些不規則了),現在多了 12xlarge24xlarge,應該是大到需要依照硬體規格對齊數字了?

另外一個是,c5.24xlargec5.metal 其實是一樣的硬體規格 (以及價錢),主要的差異在 c5.metal 沒有虛擬化,所以除了壓榨效能以外,還可以看到很多硬體資訊:

  • do not want to take the performance hit of nested virtualization,
  • need access to physical resources and low-level hardware features, such as performance counters and Intel VT that are not always available or fully supported in virtualized environments,
  • are intended to run directly on the hardware, or licensed and supported for use in non-virtualized environments.

Ubuntu 19.10 要放掉 i386 架構

Ubuntu 19.10 版將不再支援 i386 架構了:「i386 architecture will be dropped starting with eoan (Ubuntu 19.10)」。

查了一下 x86-64 條目,AMD 的第一個 x86-64 版本是在 2003 年四月推出的:

The first AMD64-based processor, the Opteron, was released in April 2003.

Intel 則是在 2004 年六月推出:

The first processor to implement Intel 64 was the multi-socket processor Xeon code-named Nocona in June 2004.

但是 mobile 版的是 2006 年七月:

The first Intel mobile processor implementing Intel 64 is the Merom version of the Core 2 processor, which was released on July 27, 2006.

不論如何都已經十年了,如果考慮到 Ubuntu 18.04 提供五年支援,其實到 2023 年四月前都還有得用...

在一連串的安全更新後,AMD 的 CPU 比 Intel 快了...

在「Intel Performance Hit 5x Harder Than AMD After Spectre, Meltdown Patches」這邊看到的測試:

把現有的安全性更新都開啟後,Intel CPU 的效能掉了 20% 左右 (在 Intel 上需要把 HT 關掉):

While the impacts vary tremendously from virtually nothing too significant on an application-by-application level, the collective whack is ~15-16 percent on all Intel CPUs without Hyper-Threading disabled. Disabling increases the overall performance impact to 20 percent (for the 7980XE), 24.8 percent (8700K) and 20.5 percent (6800K).

The AMD CPUs are not tested with HT disabled, because disabling SMT isn’t a required fix for the situation on AMD chips, but the cumulative impact of the decline is much smaller. AMD loses ~3 percent with all fixes enabled

可以注意到兩家目前桌機的頂規在上了安全性更新後,AMD 的 2990WX 比 Intel 的 7980XE 快了一些些... 當初擠牙膏擠出來的都吐回去了,不知道之後出的 security issue 還需要再吐多少回去。

針對 JavaScript 時代調整網頁的效能評估指標

早期網頁的效能評估指標都沒有考慮 JavaScript 的情況,大多都是 TTFB (Time to First Byte) 或是網頁大小以及 DOMContentLoaded 或是 load 這類 DOM event 為主,但因為 Goodhart's law,現代的網頁設計會故意將許多 JavaScript 要做的事情搬到 load 以後開始做,以降低 load 被延遲的問題,讓前端的「KPI」比較好看:

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

但在 load 之後整個網站還是不能用,使用者的體驗其實很差,這個評估方式的價值變低不少。所以「Measuring Jank and UX」這篇就再找出一些新的指標,來評估 JavaScript 造成的問題。

可以看到文章裡面評估了很多關於 CPU loading 與操作時間的指標,也許這一兩年還會有用,不過我覺得還是會遇到 Goodhart's law 描述的問題... XD

AWS 推出使用 AMD CPU 的 t3a.*

AWS 推出了 t3a.* 的 EC2 instance:「Now Available – AMD EPYC-Powered Amazon EC2 T3a Instances」。

目前開放的區域有限,但算是個開始:

You can launch T3a instances today in seven sizes in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), US East (Ohio), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) Regions in On-Demand, Spot, and Reserved Instance form.

價錢大約再低個 10% 左右:

Pricing is 10% lower than the equivalent existing T3 instances; see the On-Demand, Spot, and Reserved Instance pricing pages for more info.

有些超小的機器可以考慮重開的時候就順便換過去...