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New IBM x86 M5 Servers Offer Higher Security, Efficiency and Reliability For Enterprise Workloads, Cloud Environments

Featuring Trusted Platform Assurance for security, innovations for energy efficiency, proactive diagnostic tools

ARMONK, N.Y., Sept. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced its M5 portfolio of x86 servers, delivering new innovations in security, efficiency and reliability that clients need for mission-critical applications.

New M5 x86 servers from IBM combine high performance with built-in security, efficiency, and reliability, supporting a wide range of enterprise workloads and computing environments, from infrastructure basics to cloud computing to big data and analytics. Shown here is the new NeXtScale System with Water Cool Technology, optimized for energy efficient performance at low cost. (Photo Credit: IBM)

The new M5 servers combine high performance with built-in security, efficiency, and reliability, supporting a wide range of enterprise workloads and computing environments, from infrastructure basics to cloud computing to big data and analytics. The portfolio includes highly configurable models of rack and tower servers, dense systems, blades and integrated systems to help clients address pressing business challenges in the data center and in the office.

Images to accompany this announcement can be found at this link.

"Clients need to support more demanding workloads with limited budgets while dealing with increasingly sophisticated attacks on their infrastructure," said Adalio Sanchez, general manager for IBM x86 and PureSystems Solutions. "Our new M5 servers are designed with the long-standing heritage of IBM innovation to support these enterprise applications with the high security, efficiency and reliability they require."

The new IBM System x M5 servers include:

  • System x3650 M5 – a powerful, versatile 2U, two-socket rack server that can be optimized for big data, analytics and cloud;
  • System x3550 M5 – a flexible 1U, two-socket rack server designed for a wide range of workloads across diverse industries;
  • System x3500 M5 – a high performing, all-in-one 5U, two-socket tower or rack server, designed for business-critical workloads;
  • Flex System x240 M5 – optimized for performance, mainstream virtualization and enterprise applications;
  • NeXtScale nx360 M5 – a half-wide, 1U compute server optimized for density, flexibility, and performance;
  • NeXtScale System with Water Cool Technology – a direct water-cooled server optimized for energy-efficient performance at low cost.

"In today's environment of ever-growing workloads and fewer IT resources, customers are demanding the highest levels of reliability, efficiency, and automation," said Bill Parker, account manager for IBM Business Partner Logicalis. "We look forward to sharing more with our customers about the increased levels of security, reliability and efficiency architected into these new systems."

In addition to System x innovations, the new servers come with all the latest industry-standard features, including Intel's new Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, and up to 1.5 terabytes of faster, energy-saving TruDDR4 memory. All these servers are scheduled to begin shipping to customers this year, except the x3500 M5, which is scheduled to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2015.

To help clients move enterprise applications to the cloud and improve overall efficiency, reliability and performance, IBM also announced a series of enterprise solutions, including:

  • IBM System x Solution for VMware VSAN, a software-defined storage solution that enables the new System x M5 servers and VMware® Virtual SAN™ to simplify VM storage management. It can help lower total cost of ownership, while delivering high performance and high storage reliability for virtual machines;
  • IBM System x Solution for Microsoft Fast Track DW for SQL Server 2014, a solution that builds on cost-effective M5 technologies for data warehouse workloads using SQL Server 2014, delivering results quickly, maximizing application uptime, and enabling seamless scalability as workloads increase;
  • IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure with Atlantis Computing ILIO, a solution designed to help reduce storage costs and enhance the user experience for desktop virtualization, built on Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon View;
  • IBM Flex System Solution for Microsoft Hyper-V, a solution for cloud infrastructure based on IBM Flex System, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V virtualization and System Center 2012 R2, yielding reduced operational costs, high reliability, and high performance for a wide range of workloads.

All the new IBM workload-focused solutions are designed to deliver value to clients by capitalizing on collaboration with industry-leading software vendors. These solutions deliver performance, scalability and reliability that can help clients drive business results.

Security Innovations
All the new M5 servers contain built-in, industry-leading security with Trusted Platform Assurance, an exclusive set of System x security features and practices designed to help safeguard the systems from low-level malware attacks.1 All the new servers undergo a highly secure development process and a rigorous validation cycle with controlled updates. In addition, all firmware is designed to be securely built, digitally signed, and verified, so that only authorized firmware can execute.

The M5 servers add hardware support for the latest version of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) to enable more encryption algorithms and Windows OS support. The new Secure Firmware Rollback feature prohibits any unauthorized updates of previous firmware versions. The new servers also offer enterprise-class data protection with optional self-encrypting drives and simple, centralized key management through IBM Security Key Lifecycle Management.

Efficiency Innovations
Expertise and experience in efficiency that IBM has gained in managing data centers for more than 50 years have been incorporated into the new M5 servers. With built-in innovations in power and thermal management design such as extended operating temperature ranges, dual fan zones, and active/standby mode for power supplies, the M5 systems can deliver significant energy savings compared with many prior-generation x86 systems. For example, the NeXtScale System with Water Cooling technology delivers up to 40 percent more energy efficiency in the data center than a comparable air-cooled solution2.

In addition, the M5 servers have demonstrated improved performance over the previous generation by up to 131 percent3 for a typical Java-based workload, up to 61 percent4 for a typical virtualization workload, and up to 59 percent5 for a typical database application, for faster business outcomes. And the new x3650 M5 just achieved a two-processor world record on the two-tier SAP® Sales and Distribution standard application benchmark6, with 66-percent performance improvement over the previous generation system7.

Reliability Innovations
System x server hardware has achieved the highest availability of all x86 servers and they consistently rank number one for customer satisfaction8. With the M5 portfolio, IBM extends that leadership for its x86-based systems. 

Each of the new servers has IBM-exclusive, built-in proactive diagnostic tools for easy serviceability and reduced labor costs. For example, the new Next Generation Light Path Diagnostic panel delivers extensive status messages and error messages on an intuitive, menu-driven display for reduced downtime and labor costs. All the servers are equipped with built-in redundant, hot-swappable components for no single point of failure, and are backed with IBM world-class services and support.

IBM Systems and Technology Group offers a full portfolio that includes IBM System x rack and tower systems, BladeCenter, NeXtScale, PureFlex, System Networking, Power Systems and System z servers, and IBM Storage solutions.

Media contacts:
Jay Cadmus
IBM External Relations
914-766-4966
jcadmus@.ibm.com

IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, PureSystems, PureFlex, Power Systems, BladeCenter, NeXtscale, System x, System z PureApplication, PureData, Storwize, Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. For a current list of IBM trademarks, please see www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml.

All other company, product or service names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of others. Statements concerning IBM's future development plans and schedules are made for planning purposes only, and are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Reseller prices may vary.

1. Trusted Platform Assurance should be used should be used in conjunction with industry-standard security practices

2. Based on comparisons between NeXtscale M5 Water Cooled system vs. NeXtScale M5 (air cooled) system

3. Internal measurements as of June 2014 for representative Java workloads, Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 (18C, 2.3GHz, 145W) vs. Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (12C, 2.7GHz, 130W)

4. Internal measurements as of July 2014 for representative virtualization workloads, Intel Xeon E5-2697 v3 (14C, 2.6GHz, 145W) vs. Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (12C, 2.7GHz, 130W)

5. Internal measurements as of June 2014 for representative database workloads, Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 (18C, 2.3GHz, 145W) vs. Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (12C, 2.7GHz, 130W)

6. This benchmark fully complies with the SAP Benchmark Council regulations and has been audited and certified by SAP AG (certification number 2014---). Details can be obtained from IBM and SAP. The benchmark was performed at IBM in Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, by IBM engineers

7. The claim of achieving 66 percent improvement in performance is based on results on the two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark achieved by the IBM System x3650 M5 (2 processors / 24 cores / 48 threads) on the Intel Xeon Processor E5-2699, 2.7 GHz, 64 KB L1 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core, 30 MB L3 cache per processor (certification number 2013022). The server achieved 96,15 SAP SD benchmark users; average dialog response time: 0.93 seconds; 1,055,670 fully processed order line items per hour; 3,167,000 dialog steps per hour; 52,780 SAPS; average database request time (dialog/update): 0.015 sec / 0.009 sec; CPU utilization of central server: 99 percent. The server was running Windows Server 2012 Standard   Edition; DB2 10; and SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0.

8. Based on the ITIC 2014 Reliability Survey (http://itic-corp.com/blog/2014/04/itic-2014-reliability-survey-ibm-servers-most-reliable-for-sixth-straight-year-cisco-ucs-comes-on-strong-hp-reliability-rebounds/) and TBR survey of customer satisfaction (http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=SA&subtype=WH&htmlfid=XSL03136USEN&attachment=XSL03136USEN.PDF&appname=STGE_XS_XS_USEN_WH#loaded

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Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO

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