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IBM Unveils New Solutions to Help Make Smarter Computing Real for x86 Users

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Expanding analytics and cloud capabilities introduced across the IBM System x product line.

IBM has announced new server solutions designed to expand cloud and analytics capabilities across its entire portfolio, helping make Smarter Computing a reality for x86 clients.

The new offerings include high-performance systems, networking and software products aimed at helping clients optimize data center operations with flexible, easy-to-deploy solutions to help reduce complexity, lower costs and deliver rapid return on investments.

Today, clients are looking for solutions that help them handle specific business challenges and make better use of existing IT infrastructures, according to IBM.  More and more clients are turning to cloud computing, analytics and other smarter computing solutions to help their businesses grow.  Cloud computing deployments are expected to grow more than 19 percent per year, according to IDC1, and a recent IBM CIO study2 showed cloud implementations nearly doubling from 33 percent to 60 percent over the last two years.

"From the design of the servers, software and services, IBM solutions are created to help accelerate the journey to Smarter Computing," said Adalio Sanchez, general manager, IBM System x business. "IBM is delivering easy-to-deploy cloud and analytics products to help clients align their businesses to manage unprecedented amounts of data, and become much more efficient at turning that information into timely business insights," said Sanchez.

Among the solutions introduced is a new version of IBM's BladeCenter Foundation for Cloud (BCFC), an integrated virtualization platform with built-in system management and preconfigured with servers, storage, and networking. BladeCenter Foundation for Cloud is now powered by the new generation of IBM BladeCenter HS23 systems that offer 62 percent more compute power, and comes integrated with the new 10GbE Virtual Fabric technology that enables clients to run 20 percent more virtual machines, creating an optimal environment for building and deploying advanced cloud applications.

The increased bandwidth and up to four times more memory allow the HS23 to support faster data transfers that are essential to virtualized cloud and analytic workloads.  In addition, IBM FastSetup for BladeCenter, a cost and time-saving console application can help clients reduce from days to hours the time it takes to complete large deployments.

Customer Experiences

California-based Bytemobile (http://bit.ly/wwxyCC) and Germany's Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Munich are among the first customers to purchase IBM next generation x86 systems.  Santa Clara-based Bytemobile, a leading global provider of mobile Internet solutions for global wireless network operators, is using IBM BladeCenter HS23 servers as the foundation for its cloud computing implementation.

"With the new performance capabilities of the BladeCenter HS23 combined with our software, we are able to achieve two-and-a-half times the performance over our previous infrastructure," said Chris Koopmans, chief operating officer, Bytemobile. "The IBM solution allows us to process large amounts of network data more quickly and easily. Given the way that video traffic is exploding on mobile networks around the world, this is crucial in being able to provide customers an optimal, seamless end-user experience," said Koopmans.

The Leibniz Supercomputing center provides supercomputing services to scientists in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and other parts of Europe. It is in the process of installing a new high-end supercomputer based on IBM System x iDataPlex technology, which will help scientists solve a broad range of challenging scientific problems.

"Our new iDataPlex-powered SuperMUC system will help enable the scientific community to test theories, design experiments, and predict outcomes as never before," said Professor Dr. Arndt Bode, director of the LRZ supercomputing center. "In addition, the new SuperMUC system will be able to provide previously unattainable energy efficiency along with sustained performance."

Mid-sized Business Clients

IBM also introduced new and affordable SmartCloud solutions powered by its latest IBM System x 3650 M4 server, the most expandable, upgradeable system of its kind.  The x3650 M4 demonstrated excellent performance on industry-standard benchmarks. It achieved a leadership two-processor score for SPECvirt_sc2010 benchmark3, set a new record for two-processor server performance on TPC-E4, more than 45 percent faster than the previous-generation result achieved by the HP ProLiant DL380 G7 server5, and a leadership two-processor result on Windows on two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark.6

The System x 3650 M4 also comes with IBM eXFlash solid-state storage technology, bringing exclusive IBM enterprise-class storage capability to a two-socket rack server. The SSD technology enables 30 times more performance and a 90 percent increase in performance per watt for consolidating collaboration and database workloads.  In addition, the new x3650 M4 system supports the IBM Smarter Analytics portfolio of offerings, a set of compact, integrated, single-analytics offerings supported by storage-dense System x two-socket systems running IBM InfoSphere Data Warehouse and Cognos business intelligence and performance management software.

IBM's new portfolio of x86 computing solutions also include:

  • The IBM System x iDataPlex dx360 M4, which offers significant flexibility for supporting a wide range of high-performance computing workloads.  The system is designed for datacenters requiring high performance with limited floor space, and power and cooling infrastructure.  Available with specially designed exclusive IBM warm water-cooled technology, this iDataPlex system is up to 40 percent more energy efficient than air-cooled systems, recovering 90 percent of heat per nodes.
  • The IBM System x 3550 M4, a dense, feature-rich 1U server designed for data and business critical workloads, and the IBM System x3500 M4 tower that provides data center performance in a desktop package.  The x3550 delivers four times more memory, more virtual machines, and improved networking performance in less space at a comparable price.  The x3500 also offers four times the memory, plus 33 percent more storage capacity than prior generations. It is designed for quiet operation and fits easily under a desk or rack, making it ideal for office environments.
  • IBM Feature on Demand across the IBM System x product line. Feature on Demand allows clients to activate or unlock features in the firmware or software on demand, providing customers the ability to grow their systems as they grow their businesses without the need for costly rip and replace.

Business Partner Incentives

The IBM Solution Accelerator incentive is a new channel initiative to sell combined software and systems, and business solutions. It has two elements. First is a Software and Systems reward that amounts to a 5 percent incremental rebate for selling eligible IBM systems and a 15 percent incremental rebate for selling eligible software together to a single client. Second, a Business Solutions Reward offers an additional 10 percent rebate for selling a solution aimed at a particular IT challenge on eligible software content of the solution. Eligible solutions cover client needs such as turning information into insights, managing risk, security and compliance and social business. In addition, approximately 1 percent in fees can be earned when clients finance their solution through IBM Global Finance.

The new products will begin shipping worldwide by March 16, 2012. For additional information about IBM System x and BladeCenter solutions, visit: www.ibm.com/systems/x86/betterfuture.  Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/IBMSysxBlade.


1. IDC Worldwide Enterprise Server Cloud Computing 2011-2015 Forecast, doc #228916, June 2011.

2. IBM 2011 Global CIO Study, "The Essential CIO".

3. x3650 M4's result: overall performance score of SPECvirt_sc2010 2,158 @ 132 VMs. Configuration: 2 chips/16 cores/8 cores per chip, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690 (2.9GHz with 20MB L3 cache per processor), 512GB of memory, Red Hat Enterprise Linux® 6.2 and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. Result referenced is current as of March 6, 2012, and posted at http://www.spec.org/virt_sc2010/results/. View all results for SPEC benchmarks at http://www.spec.org/. SPEC and SPECvirt_sc are trademarks or registered trademarks of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC).

4. x3650 M4's results: 1,863.23 tpsE (transactions per second E) at $207.85 USD / tpsE, total solution availability May 31, 2012. Configuration: 2 processors/16 cores/32 threads, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690 (2.9GHz with 20MB L3 cache per processor), 512GB of memory, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition SP1. Results referenced are current as of March 6, 2012. View all TPC results at www.tpc.org. See the details for this result at http://www.tpc.org/tpce/results/tpce_last_ten_results.asp

5. HP ProLiant DL380 G7 Server with Intel Xeon Processor X5690 (3.46GHz—2 processors/12 cores/24 threads, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition; 1,284.14 tpsE at $250.00 USD / tpsE, total solution availability of May 4, 2011. Results referenced are current as of March 6, 2012. To view all TPC results, visit www.tpc.org.

6. IBM System x3650 M4's result of 7,855 SAP SD benchmark users on the two-tier SAP SD standard application benchmark: 2 processors/16 cores/32 threads, Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690 (2.9GHz with 20MB L3 cache per processor), 128GB of memory, 64-bit DB2 9.7, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition, and SAP enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0. Certification number 2012---.

Results referenced are current as of March 6, 2012. View SAP benchmark results at http://www.sap.com/benchmark.

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.



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