Last week, IBM announced the IBM System x3650 M4 HD (High Density) Storage Server. We designed this platform specifically aimed to address data-intensive analytics and business critical applications. Here are 5 things to know about this new server in the System x product family.
IBM System x3650 M4 HD
1. Built on our best-selling system, the x3650 M4
The design of x3650 M4 HD is based on our most popular server, the x3650 M4. The two systems share common elements:
2U rack server
2 socket high-performance server
24 DIMM sockets supporting UDIMMs, RDIMMs and LRDIMMs
6 PCIe 3.0 slots
Support for GPUs and High IOPS adapters
Hot-swap fans (redundant, with 2 cooling zones), redundant power supplies and drives
We added capabilities to the x3650 M4 platform specifically to address big data and data analytics applications. The x3650 M4 HD leverages the proven scalability, performance, and reliability of the x3650 M4 and adds more processing power at better energy efficiency. This results in a server that can handle large amounts of data and process that data in flight extremely rapidly, yielding faster insight and better results.
2. “HD” means high density storage
The server is called x3650 M4 HD, and high density means more storage – up to 62% more drive bays than the successful x3650 M4 platform on which it is based. The x3650 M4 supports 16 2.5-inch drive bays, but the new x3650 M4 HD has 26 2.5-inch drive bays -- 24 in the front and 2 in the back. Alternatively, it supports a combination of 16 1.8” drives and 16 2.5” drives
Here are the two drive bays located at the back of the server. You can configure these as your boot device if you wish.
The x3650 M4 HD supports two 2.5-inch drives at the rear of the server
3. The x3650 M4 HD is powered by the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 family
Last week, Intel launched the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2, formerly codenamed “Ivy Bridge”, and several of our new models and systems, including the x3650 M4 HD, 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. The benefits of these new processors include:
50% more cores (from 8 cores in the E5-2600 to 12 cores in the E5-2600 v2)
17% faster memory (from 1600 MHz in the E5-2600 to 1866 MHz in the E5-2600 v2)
50% more L3 cache (from 20 MB in E5-2600 to 30 MB in the E5-2600 v2)
Popular processor options E5-2620 v2 and E5-2630 v2 have lower power consumption (95 W down to 80 W)
4. The x3650 M4 HD offers extreme storage flexibility
The x3650 M4 HD offers flexibility in drive choices, and one such option is to replace 8 of the 2.5-inch drive bays with 16 1.8-inch solid-state drive bays. You can see this configuration in the photo below.
The x3650 M4 HD with 16 2.5-inch drive bays and 16 1.8-inch drive bays
These are the different drive combinations possible (all hot-swap):
16x 2.5-inch drive bays (front) – the standard configuration
24x 2.5-inch drive bays (front)
16x 2.5-inch drive bays (front) + 2x 2.5-inch drive bays (rear)
24x 2.5-inch drive bays (front) + 2x 2.5-inch drive bays (rear)
16x 2.5-inch drive bays (front) + 16x 1.8-inch drive bays (front)
We also support a variety of configurations to connect these drives, from just one controller for all drives (maximizing flexibility and minimizing cost) to spreading drives across 3 RAID controllers (maximizing performance).
All the details about the configuration options are covered in the IBM Redbooks Product Guide for the new server.
5. Operates in warmer data centers to reduce energy consumption
The x3650 M4 HD is designed to reduce energy consumption both inside and outside the server.
Inside, the power supplies are Energy Star compliant and 80 Plus Platinum certified. 80 PLUS is a performance specification for power supplies for servers. Platinum is the highest grade meaning that they are some of the most efficient power supplies available. This means you get more computing power for every kW of electricity you use. More information on 80 PLUS is available at 80PLUS.org.
The x3650 M4 HD is also designed to operate in a warmer data center. The server is ASHRAE class A3 compliant which means it can operate in temperatures up to 40°C (104°F), much warmer than the usual 35°C or cooler that other servers require. This means you don’t need to drive your computer room air conditioning units as hard thereby reducing data center operating expenses.
With its optimal blend of performance, uptime, and dense storage, the IBM System x3650 M4 HD is the ultimate high density storage server, designed for data-intensive analytics and business critical workloads.
For more information on the IBM System x3650 M4 HD, see the IBM Redbooks Product Guide.
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.