5 Things To Know About the IBM System x3750 M4
David Watts 120000BVUW Visits (3702)
The IBM System x3750 M4 is a 4-socket server featuring a streamlined design, optimized for price and performance, with best-in-class flexibility and expandability. Here are 5 things you might not already know about the x3750 M4.
1. The x3750 M4 exceeds Intel’s plan of record for memory performance
When Intel develops a new processor like the E5-4600 family, it determines which memory speeds it will support for each DIMM type and number of DIMMs per channel. Most vendors design their systems to support that requirement and leave it at that. However with careful design and thorough testing, the IBM engineers were able to run the memory buses at faster speeds for certain memory configurations. The result is simple: better performance. Read more about this concept in my blog post “Exceeding Intel’s memory design with the IBM System x3750 M4”.
2. The x3750 M4 is expandable
As I mentioned in my blog post “Six ways to expand the IBM System x3750 M4”, the server is plenty expandable. Most standard models start with 2 processors and two DIMMs, but you can expand that to 24 DIMMs and 384 GB of RAM. Add the expansion tray and you can go to 4 processors and 48 DIMMs (a total of 768 GB of RAM). For storage, you can have 16x 2.5-inch bays or 32x 1.8-inch SSDs. And there are up to 9 PCIe slots. A lot packed in to 2U of rack space!
3. Based on the economical but powerful 4-way capable Intel Xeon E5-4600 family of processors
If you’re looking for the best of breed high-performance mission-critical 4-way and 8-way processors then look no further than the Intel Xeon E7 series processors found in the x3850 X5 and x3690 X5 servers. However for a more economical “business critical” 4-socket offering, consider the E5-4600 series processors in the x3750 M4.
Like the E5-2600 processors in servers like the x3650 M4, the E5-4600 processors offer up to 8 cores, clock speeds up to 2.9 GHz and L3 cache up to 20 MB. The processors each have 4 memory channels supporting 3 DIMMs per channel. And QPI links between the processors are 8 GTps (gigatransfers per second) the current upper mark for Intel processors, ensuring the best possible SMP performance.
4. Ideal for virtualization and consolidation workloads
My colleague Ilya Krutov recently produced a paper “IBM System x3750 M4: Consolidation Platform for Dual-socket Server Workloads”, that describes x3750 M4 consolidation benefits for the traditional dual-socket rack server environments. He shows how such systems can be transformed into a more efficient environment when migrated to the x3750 M4. He says the combined scale-up and scale-out approach that redefines the economics of a traditional rack-server-based data center. This approach establishes a path to additional cost savings - hardware and software acquisition, annual maintenance, operational efficiency, management, and data center floor space.
5. Ideal for Workgroup HPC applications
Last year, the IBM System x performance lab ran a series of tests, evaluating the x3750 M4 as an engine for various workgroup HPC applications. The performed various HPC benchmarks, including LINPACK, Quantum Chromodynamics (MILC), Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), and Computer Aided Engineering (FLUENT).
The results showed excellent performance – for example the Weather (WRF) benchmark showed x3750 M4 server can achieve almost linear performance scalability for HPC workloads going from eight to 16 to 32 cores. Also, IBM System x3750 M4 can provide more than four times improvement in HPC performance compared to the previous generation of x3850 X5 with Intel Xeon X7560 processors. Read more in the Redpaper and blog post.
For more information on the IBM System x3750 M4 beyond the blogs and papers mentioned above, 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.