The IBM System x3750 M4 is a powerful four-socket server and there are plenty of ways to expand it. Here are six ways you can expand the x3750 M4 to meet your business needs.
These two go hand-in-hand so I’ll group them. The system planar has two processor sockets and 24 DIMM sockets. Each processor in the server connects directly to DIMMs installed in 12 sockets. If you need more processing power than two processors, you can add the Processor and Memory Expansion Tray, which gives the server two more processor sockets (4 total) and 24 more DIMM sockets (48 total). The expansion tray connects to the system planar via two QPI ports. See the image below for the major components.
As we as the usual support for RDIMMs, the server also supports LR-DIMMs if you want to maximize the total memory installed in the server – up to 1.5 TB of RAM using all 32 GB LR-DIMMs.
Read all about the processor and memory capabilities of the server in Section 1.7 and 1.8 of the x3750 M4 Implementation Guide from IBM Redbooks.
The server has space for up to 16 2.5-inch bays or up to 32 1.8-inch bays with plenty of combinations of the two. The 1.8-inch bays are designed for solid-state drives (SSDs).
The drive area at the front of the server is divided up into four sections. Each of these sections can be either four 2.5-inch drives or eight 1.8-inch drives. So if you want you could have 12 2.5-inch HDDs and 8 1.8-inch SSDs.
Here’s the server with 16 1.8-inch drive bays (two eXFlash kits). As you can see, you can fit 16 1.8-inch drives in the space of where eight 2.5-inch drives would go. You can fit up to 32 1.8-inch drives if you go all SSD.
There are actually 25 different combinations you can have for internal drives, offering the ultimate in flexibility. Read all about them in Section 1.9 of the x3750 M4 Implementation Guide.
4. PCIe slots
The x3750 M4 has up to eight PCIe 3.0 slots plus one special Ethernet slot for a total of nine I/O slots. Five of the slots are integrated on the system board and if you need the extra I/O capacity, the other three can be enabled via a riser card. Some of the slots require the second processor to be installed, since they connect to the I/O hub integrated into that processor. This photo shows the riser card that adds three additional slots.
5. Onboard Networking
The server has an Emulex BE3 controller with two standard 1 Gb Ethernet ports on the rear of the server. In addition, you can add two 10GbE ports, still connected to the onboard Emulex controller, by installing one of the two available dual-port cards, either a card with 10GBase-T (RJ45) connections (part 88Y7427), or Fiber (SFP+) connections (part 88Y7429). This is an inexpensive way of adding 10 GbE to your server. You can see the adapter installed in the dedicated slot in the photo below.
6. Power supplies
Most standard models come with one power supply. If your server is critical to your business (it probably is), then you can add a second power supply and the two of them will form a redundant pair. This will help keep your system running in the event of a power supply failure or even a circuit breaker trip. You have the choice of 900W or 1400W power supplies. Both are Energy Star certified.
So there you have it. To read more about the x3750 M4, check out two documents from IBM Redbooks: