IBM NeXtScale System is a new dense offering from IBM. It is based on our experience with IBM iDataPlex and IBM BladeCenter along with a tight focus on emerging and future client requirements.
Today we announced two components:
IBM NeXtScale n1200 enclosure – a 6U enclosure that can hold up to 12 NeXtScale System servers
IBM NeXtScale nx360 M4 server – a half-wide server with up to 2 processors, 8 DIMMs (256 GB), 2 PCIe 3.0 adapters, and 2 HDDs or 4 solid-state drives
Here are 5 things to know about this new x86 offering from IBM.
The IBM NeXtScale n1200 enclosure
1. NeXtScale is powered by “Ivy Bridge”
This week, Intel launched the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2, formerly codenamed “Ivy Bridge”, and NeXtScale System compute nodes are designed around this new family of processors. The Xeon E5-2600 v2 series uses a 22nm manufacturing process in contrast to the 32nm used in the E5-2600. This new smaller transistor technology provides the ability to design more powerful processors with better power efficiency. Each of the servers supports up to two processors, each with up to 12 cores and 30 MB of cache.
2. NeXtScale System is a dense offering
The NeXtScale n1200 enclosure is a 6U chassis that holds up to 12 nx360 M4 servers. The enclosure supplies the power and cooling needed for all the servers. At up to 7 enclosures per rack, that means you can have up to a total of 2,016 cores per rack. Because the nx360 M4 servers are half-wide, you get double the density compared to a comparable 1U rack server. And if you compare NeXtScale System to 1U rack servers running previous-generation 8-core E5-2600 processors, you get 3 times the density.
The ports and slots on the IBM NeXtScale nx360 M4
3. The servers are a modular design
The nx360 M4 compute node has a modular, building-block design. Plans are underway to bring out additional top mounted trays for key workloads:
For applications that need more local storage, we’re developing a tray with space for 7x 3.5-inch HDDs for a total of 8 3.5-inch drives per server
For applications that support GPUs or coprocessors, we’re developing a tray with two GPU slots that support up to 300W each
4. Designed with large scale computing in mind
The IBM NeXtScale nx360 M4 compute node contains only the essential components in the base architecture to provide a cost-optimized platform. The nx360 M4 compute node provides a dense, flexible solution with a low total cost of ownership.
1 or 2 Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 series processors
Up to 8 ECC DIMMs operating up to 1866 MHz providing a total memory capacity of up to 128 GB
2 on-board 1Gb Ethernet ports
Integrated management with the IMM2 supporting IPMI and UEFI industry standards
PCI Express 3.0 I/O expansion capabilities through a 16x riser cage
Additional mezzanine slot for FDR InfiniBand or 10Gb Ethernet without consuming a PCIe slot
The internals of the IBM NeXtScale nx360 M4
5. NeXtScale System is easy to order
IBM NeXtScale System will be available through standard System x channels and ordering systems making this a business-as-usual offering from IBM System x. Alternatively, for more integrated solutions, you may elect to use the IBM Intelligent Cluster process to configure a fully integrated solution from IBM.
For more information on the IBM NeXtScale System and the nx360 M4 server and n1200 enclosure, see the IBM Redbooks Product Guide. In my next blog post, I show some photos of the new hardware to give you a bit of a walk-through. Read
David Watts is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He writes books and papers on many areas related to IBM Flex System, IBM BladeCenter and IBM System x. Follow David on Twitter at @DavidAtRedbooks.