IBM Unveils New x86 Servers With Latest Six-Core Intel Xeon Processors

IBM has announced two IBM System x servers – the System x 3950 M2 and x3850 M2 – both of which feature new six-core processor technology from Intel.

Among their benchmark achievements is becoming the first single x86 server to burst through the 1 million transactions per minute barrier on a TPC-C benchmark.

This was achieved with an 8-socket System x server running 64-bit IBM DB2 9.5 on Red Hat Linux 5.2.

Both the System x 3950 M2 and x3850 M2 seamlessly support IBM’s portfolio of virtualization technologies including WebSphere Virtual Enterprise.

As part of a SmartSOA approach, WebSphere Virtual Enterprise provides application infrastructure virtualization capabilities designed to deliver greater flexibility, agility and efficiencies to clients.

It virtualizes application servers through policy-based workload, application health and application edition management.

James Northington, vice president of IBM System x, said that as the market leader in high-end x86 servers and the only vendor to design its own chip set for Intel-based servers, IBM was addressing the performance needs of our clients and the growing demand for scale up x86 servers.

He said the IBM System x servers, together with VMware technology and WebSphere Virtual Enterprise, provide a powerful combination that can enable clients to reap the full benefits of virtualizing their data center.

"The new System x servers provide the innovation our x86 clients have come to expect, with better performance and power usage than our competitors’ offerings," he said.

Northington said the new servers would be an important element in helping clients develop a new enterprise data center, which offers dramatic improvements in IT efficiency and provides for rapid deployment of new IT services to support future business growth.

IBM is helping clients move to new enterprise data centers by focusing on best practices around virtualization, green IT, service management and cloud computing.

Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Server Platforms Group, said the world-record database and enterprise resource planning benchmark results posted by IBM were testaments to the performance of the Intel Xeon Processor 7400 series with IBM’s eX4 chipset.

"These represent more compelling examples of how Intel technology paired with the innovative fourth generation of IBM’s X-Architecture is providing IT managers’ greater performance, scalability and investment protection for their enterprises," he said.

Other benchmarks the new servers recently topped include:

* The highest 4-socket x86 server TPC-C benchmark, delivering more transactions per minute than any other 4-processor server.

* Highest 4-processor performance and overall best price/performance on the TPC-E benchmark, outpacing the Dell 4-way server in both performance and price/performance.

* The world record for 8-processor results on two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark.

Based on eX4, the fourth generation of IBM’s chipset for Intel processor-based servers, X-Architecture, the new systems include the following advantages:

* System x3950 M2: IBM has tuned the memory of the x3950 so clients can take full advantage of virtualization on the system with mainframe-like reliability and high efficiency power supplies and memory technology capable of up to 37 percent lower overall power consumption.

* System x3850 M2: With special features for fast performance and efficiency, clients can support a large number of demanding business applications like those for ERP and database on a single server. The system offers flexible scalability that allows clients to easily expand their system from 4 sockets to 16, so clients can pay for more capacity only when they need it — not up front as with other vendors.

The IBM System x3850 M2 and x3950 will be available with Intel Xeon 7400 processors in September, starting at USD $10,389 and $13,389 respectively.

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