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IBM Updates System X Server Line With X6 Architecture

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

IBM has announced several new systems designed to run on the company's next generation x86 driven X-Architecture. Announced today, the sixth generation architecture (X6) provides performance enhancements and possible cost savings for IBM's System x and specialized PureSystems server solutions.

IBM System x3650 M4 BD storage server. Image courtesy of IBMIBM System x3650 M4 BD storage server. Image courtesy of IBMLike most upgrades, these are incremental but do contain a few performance enhancements designed to benefit enterprises which are using workload intensive database, business intelligence (BI), analytics, or cloud applications.

This release includes refreshes to existing models and the introduction of a new storage server. Thefour-socket System x3850 X6, the eight-socket System x3950 X6, and the IBM Flex x880 scalable compute nodes are the latest generation of existing models.

The System x3650 M4 BD storage server is a newly introduced two-socket rack server that supports up to 14 drives and up to 56 terabytes of high-density storage. IBM indicates this server provides a 46% improvement over their previous comparable System x servers.

The IBM x86 servers support Microsoft Windows Server, Linux, and VMware vSphere operating systems.

The X6 architecture will support future upgrades of CPUs without having to swap out the motherboard. In one comparison against a competitive offering, IBM claims that acquisition costs can be reduced by up to 28%. The new X6 modular design will allow support for at least three or more generations of CPU technology in a single chassis.

IBM's spec sheet for the System x3650 storage server shows that it is being powered by an Intel Xeon E5-26000 v2 series CPU. According to IBM, the chip is one of the components that makes the server more resilient by providing autonomous self-healing and proactively correcting possible failures.

Using IBM Director Upward Integration Modules (UIM), the X6 architecture gives system administrators the ability to perform management tasks virtually from management servers other than IBM Director Server. The existing management applications include Tivoli, Microsoft SMS, HP OpenView, CA Unicenter, and BMC Patrol.

Another new feature of the X6 architecture is its use of integrated eXFlash memory channel storage. This is DIMM based storage that can provide up to 12.8TB of flash storage. Being close to the processor increases application performance and decreases latency for workload intensive database applications.

Lastly, along with this release, IBM has also announced the latest in its line of all flash storage appliance, the FlashSystem 840.

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Bill Oliver has worked in IT as a techie, trainer, manager, and in business roles supporting IT for 20+ years.  For the past 12 years his focus has been on the business side of IT Contracts, Software Licensing, and all things related to IT Purchasing.

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