New generation of x86 servers from IBM

    IBM introduced the M5 portfolio - x86 servers that offer enhanced security, efficiency, and reliability for enterprise workloads and cloud computing.

    The new M5 servers have high performance, as well as built-in security features, and support a wide range of workloads and computing environments: from basic infrastructure solutions to cloud computing, big data processing and analytics. The portfolio includes configurable models of rack and tower servers, high-density and integrated systems, as well as blade servers that will help customers meet new business realities both within the data center and in the office space.

    “Customers need solutions that meet application requirements, take budget constraints into account, and provide enhanced cyber security protection for enterprise infrastructure,” said Adalio Sanchez, CEO of IBM x86 and Power Systems Solutions. “The new M5 servers are built with IBM's innovative heritage in mind to fully support enterprise applications and provide customers with the right level of security, efficiency and reliability.”

    The M5 portfolio includes:

    System x3650 M5 - a powerful and multi-functional two-socket rack server in a 2U form factor, which can be optimized for working with big data, analytics and cloud computing;
    System x3550 M5- A universal two-socket rack server in the 1U form factor, which is suitable for working with a wide range of workloads in a wide variety of business fields;
    System x3500 M5 - a high-performance dual-socket rack-mount or tower server of the all-in-one format in the 5U form factor, designed specifically for working with critical loads;

    Flex System x240 M5 - a server optimized for virtualization and enterprise application support;
    NeXtScale nx360 M5 - a half-width computing server in the 1U form factor, characterized by high rack density, design flexibility and performance;

    NeXtScale System with Water Cool Technology- a water-cooled server optimized for energy-efficient operation at a low solution cost.
    “Given the realities of the day, when loads are growing and resources are being reduced, customers need the highest levels of reliability, efficiency and automation,” said Bill Parker, Account Manager, Logicalis, IBM Business Partner. “We can't wait to share with our customers the capabilities that the new IBM systems have.”

    The new M5 servers use the latest technologies, including Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, as well as high-speed and energy-efficient DDR4 memory modules with a total capacity of up to 1.5 terabytes.

    New servers will be available for order in the very near future, with the exception of the x240 M5 and NeXtScale with Water Cool Technology, which will go on sale later this year. The x3500 M5 server will go on sale in the first quarter of 2015.

    To help its customers transfer corporate workloads to the cloud and increase the overall efficiency, reliability and productivity of their enterprise infrastructure, IBM also introduces new solutions, including:

    • IBM System x Solution for VMware VSAN is a software-defined data warehouse solution that provides users of the new System x M5 and VMware Virtual SAN servers with simplified VM storage management capabilities. The solution will help reduce the total cost of ownership, and at the same time provide high performance and reliability of data storage for virtual machines;
    • The IBM System x Solution for Microsoft Fast Track DW for SQL Server 2014 is a solution that is based on efficient M5 technologies for storage-related workloads when using SQL Server 2014. The solution maximizes application uptime and provides unmatched scalability while increasing workloads ;
    • IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure with Atlantis Computing ILIO - a solution that helps reduce data storage costs, as well as improve the ergonomics of the infrastructure when organizing virtual desktops using Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon View;
    • IBM Flex System Solutions for Microsoft Hyper-V is a cloud infrastructure solution based on IBM Flex System, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V hardware virtualization systems and System Center 2012 R2, which helps reduce operating costs, increase system reliability and performance for performing a wide range of tasks.


    All new M5 servers feature industry-leading security features through Trusted Platform Assurance, an exclusive set of System x security features and practices designed to protect information systems from malware. All new servers go through a secure development process and performance checks. In addition to this, all microcodes are created in such a way as to fully comply with the new equipment: using a system of electronic signatures and verification mechanisms during installation and updating.

    M5 servers use the latest version of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0), which uses more encryption algorithms and supports more Windows OS features. The new Secure Firmware Rollback feature prohibits the installation of any unauthorized versions of the north microcode.
    The new servers also offer additional enterprise-class data protection, such as encryption-enabled hard drives (available separately) and centralized security key management tools using IBM Security Key Lifecycle Management.


    The new M5 servers are based on IBM's many years of experience in building solutions and managing data centers. Thanks to the built-in functions for power and temperature management, the M5 systems can significantly reduce the energy consumption of the enterprise in comparison with previous generations of x86 systems. Such functions include expanding the temperature range, highlighting dual cooling zones and switching energy sources to active / sleep mode.

    For example, NeXtScale System with Water Cooling technology provides up to 40% more efficient data center operation compared to a similar solution with an integrated air cooling system (1).

    Moreover, M5 servers showed improved performance compared to the previous generation of x86 systems, reaching 131 percent (2) when working with typical loads based on Java applications, up to 61 percent (3) when working with virtualization tasks, and up to 59 percent (4) when working with databases.


    The hardware of System x servers is characterized by maximum availability from the entire x86 portfolio and is the most popular among customers (5). With the new M5 servers, IBM is consolidating its leadership in x86 systems.

    Each of the new servers offers proactive diagnostic tools in order to provide prompt service and reduce maintenance costs. For example, the new Next Generation Light Path Diagnostic Panel provides detailed information about the functioning of the system and its malfunctions, displaying relevant messages on the display. All servers support redundancy and hot-swappable components to minimize system downtime.

    The IBM hardware division offers customers a comprehensive portfolio that includes the IBM System x , BladeCenter , NeXtScale , PureFlex , System Networking , Power Systems , System z servers , and IBM Storage storage and rack and tower servers .

    1. Based on a comparison of the IBM iDataPlex M4 with air cooling and the iDataPlex M4 with water cooling.
    2. Intel internal tests conducted in June 2014 for SPECjbb * 2013 Multi-JVM max. jOPS benchmark, Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 (18C, 2.3 GHz, 145 V) compared to Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (12C, 2.7 GHz, 130 V).
    3. Intel internal tests conducted in July 2014 for the SPECVirt * 2013 benchmark, Intel Xeon E5-2697 v3 (14C, 2.6 GHz, 145 V) compared to Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (12C, 2.7 GHz, 130 V) .
    4. Intel internal tests conducted in June 2014 for the TPC-C benchmark, Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 (18C, 2.3 GHz, 145 V) compared to Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (12C, 2.7 GHz, 130 V) .
    5. Based on the ITIC 2014 Reliability Survey , as well as TBR research on customer satisfaction .

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