New IBM x86 M5 Servers offer higher security, efficiency and reliability for enterprise workloads, cloud environments

IBM-logoBangalore, India, September 11, 2014: IBM has introduced its M5 portfolio of x86 servers, delivering new innovations in security, efficiency and reliability that clients need for mission-critical applications.

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.

“Clients need to support more demanding workloads with limited budgets while dealing with increasingly sophisticated attacks on their infrastructure,” said Siddhesh Naik, Country Manager, System x, IBM India and South Asia. “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 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. 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 solution.

In addition, the M5 servers have demonstrated improved performance over the previous generation by up to 131 percent for a typical Java-based workload, up to 61 percent for a typical virtualization workload, and up to 59 percent 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 benchmark, with 66-percent performance improvement over the previous generation system.

Reliability Innovations 

System x server hardware has achieved the highest availability of all x86 servers and they consistently rank number one for customer satisfaction. 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 andSystem z servers, and IBM Storage solutions.

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