IBM Increases Server Density With NeXtScale System

Big Blue moves closer to hyperscale computing

IBM has taken a step towards hyperscale computing with NeXtScale – its highest density server platform, built around the x86 architecture and Intel’s new Xeon E5-2600 v2 processor family.

According to the company, NeXtScale fits three times more cores into the space currently occupied by one-unit rack servers. This results in up to 2,016 processing cores in a single 19-inch rack. This system was primarily designed for workloads such as social media, gaming and video streaming, analytics, technical computing and cloud delivery.

On the same day, IBM launched the x3650 M4 HD – a storage system that features 12-gigabyte RAID and a 60-percent higher spindle count for higher density storage.

Gaurav Chaudhry, IBM worldwide marketing manager for System x told IDG that the company is busy working on true hyperscale solutions which will feature more processing cores and consume less power, but he was unable to say when they would be introduced.

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The term ‘hypercale’ describes high density systems which contain a very large number of relatively underpowered processors, as opposed to the big, fast, hot and power-hungry chips traditionally used in the data centre. Examples of such systems include ARM-based servers from Dell and HP’s recently launched Moonshot, which is built on Atom C2000 processors.

9664185623_8d8bdfec71_zIBM has chosen the middle ground – it has built NeXtScale System on traditional x86 architecture, and packed the new half-width servers full of powerful dual-socket Xeon chips that each feature 12 cores but consume up to 45 percent less energy than their predecessors.

The new servers incorporate up to 84 systems in a standard rack, support ultra-fast 1866 MHz RAM and feature industry-standard components such as I/O cards and top-of-rack networking switches, fitting neatly into existing infrastructure. NeXtScale can operate in temperatures of up to 40C, reducing cooling requirements and further lowering energy expenditure.

“By delivering high flexibility, ultra performance and great efficiency in an industry-standard format with a powerful software stack, NeXtScale provides our clients with a versatile new data centre solution that is easy to qualify, acquire and deploy,” said Adalio Sanchez, general manager of System x at IBM. “The introduction of NeXtScale and the other offerings and enhancements we’re announcing today illustrate our continuing commitment to providing high-value, high-performance x86-based solutions to our clients.”

The NeXtScale products can be purchased as a single node, an empty or configured chassis, or in full racks as a complete pre-tested IBM Intelligent Cluster solution, delivered fully configured and ready to power on.

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