IBM System x3650M3

Just noticed that a few new IBM system x servers have snuck into the Standalone Solutions Configuration Tool (SSCT), namely: –

  • x3650M3 Model Number 7945
  • x3550M3 Model Number 7944
  • x3500M3 Model Number 7380
  • x3400M3 Model Number 7379
  • x3250M3 Model Numbers 4251 (with 1 year maintenance) and 4252 (with 3 years maintenance)
  • x3200M3 Model Numbers 7327 (with 1 year maintenance) and 7328 (with 3 years maintenance)

The server I am mostly interested in is the x3650M3 as this will be a good platform for VMware vSphere.

I haven’t seen an announcement letter for these models but a quick look at the specs show that:-

  • They will use either Nehalem-EP (Intel XEON 55xx) or Westmere-EP (Intel XEON 56xx) processors.
  • It has 18 DIMM slots (an increase from 16 on the M2 server), meaning a maximum memory support of 144GB using 18x8GB DIMMs.  We are still not seeing the 16GB DIMMs available for the System x server yet but then with the 8GB DIMMs still so expensive would anyone really install 16GB DIMMs.  The 8GB DIMMs are still 4 times the price of the 4GB DIMMs.  18 x 8GB DIMMs at list price will cost you £13,446, whereas 18 x 4GB only costs you £3,366.  Therefore it is possible to purchase two servers with 2 processors each and 72GB Memory (18x4GB) than one server with 2 processors and 144GB Memory (18x8GB).  Of course if you are using these servers for VMware vSphere then you will need to purchase twice the amount of vSphere licences.  We can only wait for the x3690X5 with its 32 DIMM slots as standard and the ability to add a MAX5 Memory drawer to add an additional 32 DIMM slots.
  • Up to 16 Hot-Swap Hard Disk Drives, in increase from 12 on the M2 server.
  • Most of the models appear to come as standard with a RAID adapter support 6Gbps SAS drives, most of the M2 servers had a 3Gbps RAID adapter as standard which needed to be replaced to get the best performance out of the 6Gbps drive.  Some of the later M2 servers does start shipping with a 6Gbps M5014/5.

The rest of the specification looks the same as the M2 server.

An IBM System x3650M3 with two 6-core processors and 72GB memory (full of 4GB DIMMs) works out at about the same price of a x3650M2 with two 4-core processors and 64GB memory (full of 4GB DIMMs).  This will give you approximately 50% more processing power for the same cost (inlcuding VMware vSphere).

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