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Thursday, January 16, 2014
IBM Introduces X6 Architecture, Optimizes x86-Based Servers for Cloud, Analytics

IBM on Thursday outlined the sixth generation of System x and PureSystems servers, providing improvements in the performance and economics of x86-based systems for analytics and cloud.

IBM's X6 architecture integrates eXFlash memory-channel storage -- a DIMM-based storage that provides up to 12.8 terabytes of flash storage close to the processor, increasing application performance by providing low system write latency, essential for analytics applications.

It has also a modular, scalable design that supports multiple generations of CPUs. It offers increased virtual machine capacity along with autonomous self-healing CPU and memory systems to maximize application uptime.

In addition, Upward Integration Modules can help reduce the cost and complexity of system administration by allowing operators to perform management tasks through virtualization tools.

Server models supported by this new architecture currently include the System x3850 X6 four-socket system, System x3950 X6 eight-socket system, and the IBM Flex System x880 scalable compute nodes. IBM also introducedthe System x3650 M4 BD storage server, a two-socket rack server supporting up to 14 drives delivering up to 56 terabytes of storage. It provides 46 percent greater performance than previous comparable IBM System x servers and is suited for distributed scale-out of big data workloads.

IBM also announced new solutions for its X6 architecture for analytics, database and cloud deployment, including IBM System x Solution for DB2 with BLU Acceleration on X6 for accelerating analytics, IBM System x Solution for SAP HANA on X6 for analytics, and System x Solution for VMware vCloud Suite on X6 for infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities.

The new IBM FlashSystem 840 is also available. The new system provides nearly double the bandwidth and double the performance -- 1.1M IOPS -- of its predecessor, the FlashSystem 820. Supporting up to 48 terabytes of usable capacity in a 2U unit, the all-Flash array also features IBM MicroLatency technology that speeds data access times from milliseconds to microseconds (less than 135 microseconds). In addition, a new management GUI - as well as datacenter-optimized features such as hot-swap components and concurrent code load - enable fast installation and easy management.

IBM also introduced the FlashSystem Enterprise Performance Solution, which bundles the FlashSystem 840 and IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) technology. The solution includes a suite of data management features ranging from Real-time Compression, snapshots, thin provisioning, VAAI, and application aware copies, to FlashCopy, and storage virtualization with IBM Easy Tier.

In addition, IBM's software defined environment (SDE) portfolio now includes the IBM Platform Resource Scheduler, which provides a fully virtualized, open and programmable architecture that allows enterprises to take advantage of all available IT resources -- from application software licenses to available network bandwidth.

Integrated with OpenStack, this dynamic resource management tool provides a set of intelligent, policy-driven scheduling features that automatically allocate the right resources to the right job, balances workload demand with infrastructure supply and ensures adherence to service level agreements.

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