IBM on Thursday outlined its sixth generation of System x and PureSystems servers with a dose of flash memory advances.
Big Blue's so called X6 Architecture is designed to boost performance of x86 servers so they can better handle workloads such as big data analytics. virtualization and enterprise resource planning.
The architecture will start rolling out with the product rollouts in February. Pricing for systems based on X6 will be announced in February, but systems are expected to start in the $10,000 range.
With the new architecture, IBM will be connecting its FlashSystem storage units. IBM rolled out an aggressive campaign to take flash-based storage systems mainstream in the data center about a year ago.
IBM's X6 architecture includes the following:
- Integration with eXFlash memory channel storage, which moves up to 12.8 terabytes of flash storage closer to the processor to boost performance.
- A design that supports various processors and generations. For instance, a customer doesn't have to buy a fully configured X6 system and could use a current generation processor with plans to upgrade later.
- Better virtual machine capacity and self-healing systems.
- The new server models under the new architecture are System x3850 X6 four-socket system, System x3950 X6 eight-socket system and the IBM Flex System x880. There's also System x3650 M4 BD storage server, a two-socket rack server that supports up to 14 drives.
- IBM FlashSystem 840, which is now available, and doubles the performance of its predecessor. The all-flash system supports up to 48 terabytes of usable capacity.
Alex Yost, vice president and business line executive for PureFlex, System x, BladeCenter, said customers have "greedy requirements" for performance as they try to crunch data. IBM's role is to increasingly provide more high-performance systems. "Give them the arms and they'll fight the war," said Yost.
He said that the audience for the X6 systems will revolve around those that want speed and performance and customers that want more task specific hardware.
To that end, IBM is planning systems for analytics, database and cloud deployments under the new architecture. Systems will be tailored for IBM's DB2 database, analytics, SAP Hana and VMware vCloud.