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Models of the x3500 M3 offer impressive scalability, including dual-processor support, up to 192 GB of memory, and the capability to expand internal storage up to 12 TB with 24 high-performance 2.5-inch hot-swap SAS HDDs. Comprehensive systems management tools, Predictive Failure analysis, and the ability to control resources from a single point make it easy to deploy, integrate, service, and manage.
The challenge of a high-performance business is to do more with less—serve more Web pages, handle more secure connections, support more email users. You need to reduce the costs of doing business and improve the service you deliver to your customers while lowering your overall risk. The dual-socket IBM System x3500 M3 can reduce your costs with its energy-smart design. It can improve service with reduced operational complexity and increased management functionality. It will lower your IT risk with the resiliency that comes from having no single point of failure. And like all IBM servers, the x3500 M3 offers you the trust that comes from IBM global reach, service, and support.
The x3500 M3 offers numerous features to boost performance and reduce costs:
- Up to two 6-core Xeon 5600 series processors offering superior performance. Xeon 5600 series processors offer up to 54% better performance than the previous generation 5500 series processors (workload dependent).
- 16 DIMMs of registered 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC memory provide speed, high availability, and a memory capacity of up to 192 GB.
- High-performance 6 Gbps SAS RAID controllers and 15K RPM 6 Gbps SAS disk drives in a variety of capacities to suit your local storage requirements.
- The use of solid-state drives (SSDs) instead of or along with traditional spinning drives (HDDs) can significantly improve I/O performance. An SSD can support 20,000 I/O operations per second (IOPS) whereas a typical HDD handles fewer than 500 IOPS.
Flexibility and scalability
The x3500 M3 has the ability to grow with your application requirements with these features:
- A choice of 4-core or 6-core processors with clock rates from 1.6 GHz to 3.6 GHz.
- 16 DIMM sockets allowing memory expansion of up to 192 GB.
- Up to two redundant hot-swap 920 W AC power supplies.
- Seven USB 2.0 ports available – two front, four rear, and one internal for an embedded hypervisor.
- The tower chassis can be converted to a 5U rack-mount chassis with the optional tower-to-rack conversion kit.
- Storage bay flexibility: Up to 24 hot-swap 2.5″ drive bays for SAS or SATA HDDs, or solid-state drives (intermixing supported) in addition to a bay for an internal optical drive.
- Direct-attach SAS storage with the EXP2512, EXP2524, and EXP3000 storage enclosures is supported. IBM System Storage servers, including network-attached storage (NAS), and iSCSI or Fibre Channel-attached storage, can also be attached.
- Up to eight PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 I/O slots for increased network or storage connectivity. Optional PCI-X slots for specialized adapters.
Manageability and security
Powerful systems management features simplify local and remote management of the x3500 M3:
- The x3500 M3 includes an Integrated Management Module (IMM) to monitor server availability, perform Predictive Failure Analysis, and trigger IBM Systems Director alerts.
- An optional Virtual Media Key enables additional systems management capabilities, including web-based out-of-band remote control (keyboard video and mouse), remote optical drive support, Windows “blue screen” error capture, and support for LDAP and SSL protocols.
- Text Console Redirection support allows the administrator to remotely view x3500 M3 text messages over Serial or LAN connections.
- Integrated industry-standard Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) next-generation BIOS. New capabilities include:
- Human readable event logs — no more beep codes.
- Complete out-of-band coverage by the Advance Settings Utility to simplify remote setup.
- A complete setup solution, allowing adapter configuration functions to be moved into UEFI.
- Integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 support.
- Industry-standard AES NI support for faster, stronger encryption.
- Integrated IPMI 2.0 support alerts IBM Systems Director to anomalous environmental factors, such as voltage and thermal conditions. It also supports highly secure remote power control using data encryption.
- IBM Systems Director is included for proactive systems management. IBM Systems Director comes with a portfolio of tools, including IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager, IBM Service and Support Manager, and others. IBM Systems Director also offers extended systems management tools for additional server management and increased availability. When a problem is encountered, IBM Systems Director can issue administrator alerts via email, pager, and other methods.
- IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager provides advanced power management features with actual real-time energy monitoring, reporting, and capping features.
Availability and serviceability
The System x3500 M3 provides many features to simplify serviceability and increase system uptime:
- The x3500 M3 servers offer Chipkill ECC memory protection (when using x4 DIMMs). Chipkill memory is up to 16 times better than standard ECC memory at correcting memory errors. This can help reduce downtime caused by memory errors.
- The server offers memory mirroring for redundancy in the event of a non-correctable memory failure.
- The server supports up to two redundant hot-swap 920 W AC power supplies.
- Toolless cover removal provides easy access to upgrades and serviceable parts, such as HDDs and memory. Similarly, the Virtual Media Key and the ServeRAID controller can be installed and replaced without tools. This means less time (and therefore less money) spent servicing the x3500 M3.
- The server offers hot-swap and redundant fan modules and power supplies and hot-swap disk drives (redundant when implemented in conjuction with a RAID controller). These features mean greater system uptime.
- Toolless slides ship with the server, together with a cable management arm (CMA), that allows the rack server to easily slide into place.
- A light path diagnostics panel and individual light path LEDs quickly lead the technician to failed (or failing) components. This simplifies servicing, speeds up problem resolution, and helps improve system availability.
- Solid-state drives (SSDs) offer significantly better reliability than traditional mechanical HDDs for greater uptime.
- The three-year (parts and labor) limited onsite warranty provides peace of mind and greater investment protection than a one-year warranty does.
The System x3500 M3 has an energy-efficient design with features including the following:
- Low-voltage processors draw less energy and produce less waste heat than high-voltage processors, thus helping to reduce data center energy costs. Available 4-core Xeon 5600 series processors use only 40 W and 6-core processors consume as little as 60 W.
- Optional solid-state drives (SSDs) use only 2 W of power per drive, compared to 9 – 10 W for 2.5-inch HDDs. This is as much as 80% less power than a 2.5-inch HDD would use, with a corresponding reduction in heat output that further improves the overall bottom line.
- Support for 1.35 V low-voltage DDR3 memory DIMMs that consume 20% less energy.
- Energy-efficient components, including low-voltage transistors and voltage regulator modules, and power supplies that are up to 90% efficient.
- The x3500 M3 uses hexagonal ventilation holes in the chassis. Hexagonal holes can be grouped more densely than round holes, providing more efficient airflow through the system chassis. This ultimately results in reduced operational costs.
- An altimeter works in conjunction with the IMM to govern fan rotation based on the readings that it delivers. This saves money under normal conditions because the fans do not have to spin at high speed.
Figure 2. Front view of the IBM System x3500 M3
Figure 3. Rear view of the IBM System x3500 M3
Figure 4 shows the locations of key components inside the server.