If you are looking for an enterprise-grade x86 server to run mission-critical database or virtualization applications, then look no further than IBM eX5 servers. Here are 5 things to know about them:
1. IBM eX5 systems are based on Intel Xeon E7 processors
The Xeon E7 processor family is Intel’s flagship processor product line, which is designed to maximize performance, scalability and reliability. They feature large cache sizes and large numbers of cores. Intel Xeon E7 processors offer enterprise grade reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features not found in other processor families like the Xeon E5 processors. Such RAS features include redundant links between processors and I/O hubs, Machine Check Architecture support and QPI link clock failover. These special RAS features ensure that applications stay running longer.
2. IBM eX5 systems come in rack and blade form factors
IBM eX5 systems are available in a 4U rack server (IBM System x3850 X5), a 2U rack server (IBM System x3690 X5) or as a blade server (IBM BladeCenter HX5). You decide what you need based on the infrastructure you use in your data center, the need for internal storage and number of processors in the server and your scalability requirements.
3. IBM eX5 systems support the most memory - up to 16 DIMMs per processor and even more with MAX5
For database and virtualization applications, available memory is critical to maximize performance. With IBM eX5 systems and Intel Xeon E7, each processor supports 16 DIMMs per processor. In contrast, Xeon E5 systems max out at 12 DIMMs per processor. IBM eX5 systems can have even more memory with MAX5 memory expansion units. An x3850 X5 server with four processors and a MAX5 can have up to 3 TB of RAM!
4. x3850 X5 systems scale to 8 processors
The x3850 X5 server supports four processors but the server’s architecture is designed so that two servers can be connected together to form a single 8-socket server with up to 80 processor cores. Such a server can support massive enterprise databases without the need to distribute the data across multiple federated systems.
5. IBM eX5 systems are benchmark leaders
The IBM System x3850 X5 holds the world-record for performance with the TPC-E benchmark both for 8-socket systems (benchmark result as of March 8, 2013) and for 4-socket systems (benchmark result as of November 28, 2012). This means that for an enterprise-grade database, you can’t get a better system than eX5 systems like the x3850 X5.
For more information on IBM eX5 systems, see these documents from IBM Redbooks:
And if you're interested, check out more five things to know about IBM products at the 5 Things To Know blog.
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.