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    11 Jan 2023 · Semaphore News

    Power-Up Your Pipelines: New Machines Available

    4 min read

    Our goal at Semaphore is to provide you with the fastest CI/CD platform possible. A big part of that is the most powerful hardware. That is why we’re adding new machines with better CPUs, more disk, and memory that can speed up your workflows by up to 50%.

    Do more with these machines

    The new machines come in two generations:

    • E2 series: a direct upgrade from the classic E1 series. This will eventually become the new default. A balance of computing power, memory, and cost. It is a good choice for many applications.
    • F1 series: a new option for those running CPU-intensive jobs. F1 machines deliver the highest performance.

    Here are the key differences between these two new machine types and the classic E1 generation:

    • Latest generation of processors – E2 and F1 generations are powered by 3.6 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 and 4.6 GHz Intel i5 processors respectively, resulting in a noticeable difference in pipeline performance and speed
    • We are doubling the RAM – This means that you can now use machines with lower CPU counts for those memory-intensive apps and jobs.
    • Up to three times free disk space – Doubling the size of the disk means that there is almost three times free disk space left for your jobs that require large storage.

    Already achieving amazing results

    We started evaluating the new machines early in 2022. Throughout the year we ran extensive benchmarks and fine-tuned them to get the best performance. In the last quarter, customer trials began.

    The new generation of machines was much welcomed since they improved build times and saved costs. Here are success stories from two of our customers.

    Success story 1: cutting build times in half

    We´ve written in the past why continuous integration should take less than 10 minutes to be effective. The problem with slow builds is that they lead to a long feedback cycle where developers lose momentum, which hurts productivity and increases frustration.

    The organization in this success story was suffering from low productivity due to its 20-minute pipeline. After initial troubleshooting, they found the cause for slowness: a large amount of single-thread jobs which didn’t benefit from having multiple-CPU machines. 

    They needed higher-clock CPUs and they found their solution by switching from e1-standard-2 to f1-standard-2. This change alone cut down build times by half.

    The average build time dropped from 19 minutes to just over 11 minutes!

    Success story 2: cutting the costs in half

    For another organization the value of the new machines came from the increased memory and disk size. They were already satisfied with the performance of their pipelines, however, their app required large amounts of memory and disk space to run so their only viable option was to use e1-standard-8 machines. 

    They decided to utilize the double memory and disk size that the E2 generation offers and have switched to e2-standard-4 machines. 

    Switching to a machine with a lower CPU count but larger memory/disk has cut their costs in half.

    There was an added benefit too. Since E2 machines perform up to 20% better than E1s, the new setup performed slightly better (even with reduced CPU count) resulting in a bit faster pipelines that further reduced spending. 

    Frequently asked questions

    I want to try the new machines. Help!

    Both the E2 and F1 generations of machines will be available by default on the upcoming Semaphore Startup and Scaleup plans. We will be launching the new plans in early Q1 2023. 

    If you are interested in testing out the machines sooner, please join our waiting list by filling out this form, and our team will contact you as soon as the spot opens.  

    What will happen with E1s?

    Nothing. Even though we plan to make E2 the new default in the future, the E1s will remain available.

    What Operating Systems are available?

    Only the latest Ubuntu 20.04 image will be available on the new machines. We do not have plans to support the old Ubuntu 18.04 image on E2 and F1 machines. 

    Where can I find more info?

    Our docs have been updated, so make sure you check out our Machine Types docs page. If you want more information, reach out to our support team and we will make sure to expand our documentation.

    Who doesn’t need more power?

    Be it because you need more memory or disk or simply because you want your CI to run faster, now you have more cost-effective options to run your workflows.

    Thanks for reading, and happy building!

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    Writen by:
    Project and product manager with 10+ years of experience in developing great products and services from idea to market. Always excited to work with excellence seeking teams.