IBM Introduces NeXtScale System: High Performance Computing Experience And Technology Move From The Lab To The Data Center

IBMIBM (NYSE: IBM) introduced the NeXtScale System, a new, flexible computing platform providing three times as many cores as current one-unit rack servers, making it ideal for the fastest growing workloads such a social media, analytics, technical computing and cloud delivery.

The rapid adoption of these workloads and delivery models is putting increased demands on data centers, and clients are looking for new technologies that meet those demands with the highest performance and the lowest power consumption to drive high efficiency and lower costs. NeXtScale is the latest addition to IBM’s x86 portfolio, designed specifically to run those applications with the power of a supercomputer in any data center, via a simple, flexible and open architecture that will support options for compute, storage, and graphics processing acceleration.

This new system incorporates up to 84 x86-based systems and 2,016 processing cores in a standard EIA 19-inch rack, allowing easy integration into any data center. It uses industry-standard components including I/O cards and top-of-rack networking switches for flexibility of choice and ease of adoption. IBM also provides a powerful software stack to run on top of NeXtScale, including IBM General Parallel File System, GPFS Storage Server, xCAT, and Platform Computing, providing powerful scheduling, management and optimization tools.

The result is a single architecture based on open standards that delivers high performance and high efficiency, and that is designed to blend seamlessly with clients’ data centers, current practices and x86 tools. NeXtScale’s design can help clients better manage their operations and capital expenditure budgets by allowing them to maximize the compute power in a minimum amount of space in their data centers. Because of its standard-rack form factor and broad use of industry-standard components, IBM Business Partners can now deliver IBM’s high performance computing technology to a broad range of users.

NeXtScale is ideal for:

  • Large data centers requiring efficiency, density, scale, and scalability;
  • Public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures;
  • Data analytics applications like customer relationship management, operational optimization, risk/financial management, and new business models;
  • Internet media applications such as online gaming and video streaming;
  • High-resolution imaging for applications ranging from medicine to oil and gas exploration;

“Departmental” uses where a small solution can increase the speed of outcome prediction, engineering analysis, and design and modeling.

In addition, IBM introduced the x3650 M4 HD, an enhancement of its 3650-class system featuring first-in-class 12-gigabyte RAID and a 60-percent higher spindle count for higher density storage and higher IO performance, making it ideal for applications such as big data and business-critical workloads. IBM NeXtScale and System x3650 M4 HD are two new entries headlining a broad refresh of the entire System x core server portfolio of two-socket systems including System x racks and towers, Flex System, iDataPlex, and BladeCenter offerings. All of these offerings will feature the new Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v2 product family, providing performance increases of up to 45 percent*.

By delivering high flexibility, ultra performance and great efficiency in an industry-standard format with a powerful software stack, NeXtScale provides our clients with a versatile new data center solution that is easy to qualify, acquire and deploy,” said Siddhesh Naik, Country Manager, IBM System x, India South Asia. “The introduction of NeXtScale and the other offerings and enhancements we’re announcing today illustrate our continuing commitment to providing high-value, high-performance x86-based solutions to our clients.

NeXtScale supports the industry’s fastest x86 processors and ultra-fast 1866 MHz memory, and can be integrated into data centers or departmental IT closets, including those running at 100-127V power inputs. NeXtScale is approved for operation in higher-temperature data centers (up to 40C/104F degrees), reducing cooling requirements and further lowering operational costs for users. NeXtScale’s Native Expansion concept allows users to add common functionality such as storage, graphics acceleration or co-processing, either at the time of shipment or in the future. Available with NeXtScale are new solution starter kits that make it easier for users to configure many common departmental HPC and small cloud solutions, such as Ansys, MPI-BLAST, and OpenStack.

NeXtScale offers IBM Business Partners a highly flexible system that can be ordered as building blocks from distributors, allowing Business Partners to add high-value components, services and support for additional opportunities to drive revenue. This channel friendly, high performance computing offering enables IBM Business Partners to approach new clients and sell into the fastest growing infrastructure space in the x86 market.

Built for flexibility, NeXtScale can be purchased as a single node, an empty or configured chassis, or in full racks as a complete pre-tested IBM Intelligent Cluster solution, delivered fully configured and ready to power on. With Intelligent Cluster, NeXtScale arrives at the client location racked, cabled, and labeled with user-supplied naming, with pre-programmed IMMs and addresses, and with burn-in testing completed at virtually no additional cost. This can reduce time from arrival to production readiness by 75 percent**, while also substantially reducing packaging waste.

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