Outstanding performance, superior mainframe-like
reliability, and fault-tolerant memory characteristics
has been designing and implementing chipsets under the X-Architecture
2001. eX4 technology represents the fourth generation of products based on the same design
principle IBM began with in 1997: to offer systems that are expandable, offer “big iron” reliability,
availability, and serviceability (RAS) features, with extremely competitive price/performance on
The eX4 technology is primarily designed around three major workloads. These workloads are
database servers, server consolidation using virtualization services, and Enterprise Resource
Planning (application and database) servers.
If you are adopting industry-standard Xeon EM64T servers for running business critical
applications, the systems that run these applications need the type of technology designed into
IBM’s eX4 technology systems. The eX4 chipset represents a $100M+ investment in designing
a flagship offering that can harness the power of 4-socket-and-up 64-bit x86 (x64) Xeon
processors. The eX4 design includes two 4U 4-socket rack-optimized chassis (x3850 M2 and
x3950 M2) with the ability to scale up to 16 sockets and up to 96 cores. In fact, you can start
with a single-node x3850 M2 chassis, and by adding a ScaleXpander Option Kit, you can turn
it into an x3950 M2, ready to expand into a multi-node configuration providing more flexibility in
deploying your scalable solution than ever before.
The x3850 M2 now offers selected models integrated with VMware ESXi 3.5 preloaded on an
IBM 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Key. It operates in a diskless configuration, offers a smaller memory
footprint, extremely high performance, and stronger security, making getting a system up and
running in a virtualized environment faster and easier than ever before.
IBM X-Architecture pioneered XpandOnDemand
(“pay as you grow”) scalability, which allows
chassis to be simply cabled together to form larger scale-up systems. This unique capability
allows IBM to sell a large SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) system at entry price points. Other
Intel OEMs can’t match this capability. If they offer a 16-socket product at all, they require you to
start out with a 16-socket chassis, whether you’ll ever grow into it or not. With
XpandOnDemand, you can start small, with a 4- or 8-socket configuration, and later expand as
your needs change, without requiring you to buy more than you need up-front or throw away
parts later as you expand.
IBM’s eX4 technology-based systems are the ideal solution for scale-up database-serving
applications on Microsoft
with Microsoft SQL Server
or IBM DB2
, as well as Linux
with Oracle 9i RAC and 10g, or IBM DB2. Database hosting demands ultimate server reliability
features, and once installed, they grow and grow. The eX4 design offers two strong selling
arguments against the competition: lower initial purchase price, and potentially much lower long-
Another strong application area for the eX4-based systems is enterprise server consolidation
activities. Larger servers have more processor, memory and I/O resources, which make
maximum use of any applicable virtual machine software licensing fees and deliver superior
system utilization levels. The name of the game in consolidation activities is to deploy the fewest
new servers possible and help IT staff manage more images with the same or fewer overall
One of the fastest growing application areas for eX4-based systems is ERP workloads, including
SAP and Oracle. eX4-based systems can offer considerable savings over UNIX deployments,
using our certified solution stacks on either Windows or Linux.
The 4-socket eX4 servers are designed to protect your data with high performance, high
reliability, and high availability. They support the latest six-, quad- and dual-core Intel
processors, designed with high-performance quad 1066MHz front-side buses (FSB), 64-bit
extensions (EM64T), and either 8MB (dual-core); 4MB, 6MB, or 8MB (quad-core); or 9MB of
L2 cache; 8MB, 12MB or 16MB (six-core) of L3 cache, and up to 256MB of L4 cache per
chassis (all models), to help provide you with the computing power you need to match your
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