IBM adds to X3-based server range

IBM is adding to its recently introduced eServer X3 architecture-based servers with the new xSeries 460. Designed for highly scalable, always-on environments, the x460 entry configuration starts with a four-way server and scales up to 32-way processing.

The dual-core-capable x460 features increased scalability, larger cache processor performance, expandable memory and I/O resources, systems manageability and simultaneous support for both 32- and 64-bit applications. Target applications include database serving, ERP, CRM, server consolidation and vertical market custom applications. The systems run 64-bit x86 OS software from Microsoft, Red Hat and Novell, among others.

The X3 architecture provides up to 60 percent higher eight-way performance than IBM’s previous generation of Intel Xeon processor MP-based eight-way server, according to Big Blue. Applications include running native and virtualised 32- and 64-bit applications simultaneously along with traditional transaction and data processing.

The x460 server and IBM DB2 UDB delivered 250,975 tpmC (transactions per minute C) — the highest performance result to date for an eight-way Intel processor-based server on the industry-standard TPC-C online transaction processing benchmark, said IBM. The company said the eServer xSeries 445 with eight Intel Xeon Processor MP at 3.0GHz with 4MB L3 cache achieved 156,105 tpmC at a cost of US$4.31/tpmC.

The X3 architecture was introduced in February and is, said IBM, “the culmination of a three-year, $100m development effort to bring mainframe-inspired capabilities and sophisticated high-end technology to the company’s next-generation 64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP-based xSeries servers.”

IBM claimed to be the leader in the eight-way and above Intel server market with 54.5 percent share.

Customer comment

“Our business is driven by transaction speed with five 9’s reliability. If our systems are not up and running full-speed, we can not service our customers. So every second counts, which is why we’ve been buying the fastest eight-way servers on the planet from IBM,” said Cendant Travel Distribution Services manager Bryan Harwood.

“You just can’t touch IBM’s Enterprise X-Architecture for performance and reliability. With the launch of their eServer X3 architecture, the x460 unlocks some phenomenal new capabilities for an x86 server. Incredible 64-bit performance, unmatched scalability, and that continued commitment to availability leave little doubt what we’ll be deploying into the future.”

“The x460 has impressed us by demonstrating a new level of performance and scalability that is better matched to the growth requirements of our business,” said IT director Justin Poulter at St. Paul Travelers Insurance Company. “Already using the IBM x445 server architecture to provide a robust VMware environment, we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new IBM x460 to move to the next phase.”

“The combination of the significantly extended scalability of IBM’s x460 and VMware’s virtualisation solutions brings customers unparalleled scalability and flexibility in a single system,” said VMware president Diane Greene. “The new high-end performance capabilities that IBM’s X3 architecture enables are an ideal fit with the enterprise capabilities of VMware’s ESX Server virtualisation products.”

IBM VP Leo Suarez said, “The eServer x460 is peerless in the scalable x86 marketplace. Other vendors either can’t compete or will mix two to three architectures as they try to provide solutions that stand up to IBM’s offerings — one of the industry’s most extensive line of 64-bit Intel Xeon processor servers.”

Pricing and availability

The IBM eServer xSeries 460 is planned to be available in mid-June. The x460 entry price starts at $18,129 in the U.S., and typical eight-way configurations start at $72,182 in the U.S.

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