IBM Announces Availability of New eX5 Systems that Rewrite Economics of ‘Industry-Standard’ Computing

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ARMONK, N.Y., - 30 Mar 2010: IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced availability for the first two models of its new eX5 systems.  The eX5 portfolio is the result of a three-year IBM engineering effort to improve the economics of operating enterprise-sized, memory-intensive x86 workloads.

The two new eX5 systems are the System x3850 X5 (four- and eight-processor configurations); and the BladeCenter HX5 (two- and four-processor configurations).  The new products start at approximately $4,600 USD. 

Both are part of the eX5 portfolio, the next generation of x86-based systems from IBM that take advantage of unique IBM innovation to support large databases and virtualized environments.  The combination gives customers a flexible, scalable infrastructure while helping to reduce the number of servers needed by half and potentially cutting storage costs by 97% (1) and licensing fees by 50% (2). 

The eX5 portfolio — an all-new class of x86-based systems -- offers six times the memory scalability available from the current generation IBM systems (3), helping to flatten the rising cost of operating today’s data centers. The eX5 portfolio marks IBM’s fifth generation of Enterprise X-Architecture. 

The new BladeCenter HX5 and the x3850 X5 feature the new Intel® Xeon® Processor 7500 series, also announced today by Intel.  Continuing a tradition of high performance, the x3850 X5 scored the highest number of transactions-per-second ever achieved by a 4-processor system on the TPC-E benchmark — more than twice that of the highest-scoring, previous-generation 4-processor system (4). The x3850 X5 also demonstrated high performance for applications running in VMware™ virtualized environments — the highest 4-socket and 32-core result to date for systems configured with the Intel® Xeon® Processor 7500 series. (5) 

For more information on IBM’s groundbreaking eX5 systems go to:

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1 (1) IBM eXFlash technology would eliminate the need for a client to purchase two entry-level servers and 80 JBODs to support a 240,000 IOPs database environment, saving $670,000 in server and storage acquisition costs.

2 (2) IBM will offer a two-socket eX5 system with MAX5 and 64 dimms capable of supporting 320 virtual machines. Users of competitive systems would have to purchase a four-socket system to support a comparable amount of virtual machines and pay 50 percent more licensing costs. Based on sizing information performed in the IBM performance lab.

3 (3) The maximum amount of memory for the current generation IBM system is 256GB. The new eX5 version with MAX5 attached is 1536GB, which is six times more memory.

4 (4) IBM System x3850 X5, 2,022.64 tpsE, $493.92 USD / tpsE, total solution availability July 30, 2010. Configured with Intel Xeon Processor X7560 2.26GHz (4 processors/32 cores/64 threads), Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition. Result current as of 3/30/10, TPC, TPC Benchmark, TPC-E and tpsE are trademarks of the Transaction Processing Performance Council. IBM System x3850 M2 with the Intel Xeon Processor X7460 2.66GHz (4 processors/24 cores/24 threads), 729.65 tpsE, $457.27 USD / tpsE, total solution availability of October 10, 2008.

5 (5) IBM has independently published a VMware VMmark score of 71.85 @ 49 Tiles for the IBM System x3850 X5 with the Intel Xeon Processor X7560 at 2.26GHz (4 Sockets/8 Cores per Socket/32 Cores Total) and 384GB of memory and VMware ESXi 4.0 build 240223. Results referenced are current as of March 30, 2010. The x3850 X5 VMmark disclosure report is available at: Information about the VMmark benchmark and a complete list of results are available at: VMware is a registered trademark and VMmark is a trademark of VMware, Inc. VMware VMmark is a product of VMware, an EMC Company. VMmark utilizes SPECjbb®2005 and SPECweb®2005, which are available from the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). All information in this disclosure regarding VMware future directions and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision of VMware's products. The information in this disclosure is not a legal obligation for VMware to deliver any material, code, or functionality. The release and timing of VMware's products remains at VMware's sole discretion.