Explore the Unique Features Found in Lenovo X6 Servers

In a previous blog titled 10 Advantages of Lenovo X6 Servers, I wrote about Lenovo X6 features such as high performance, agility, server consolidation, memory capabilities, fast service delivery, enterprise applications and solutions. Today, I'm talking about some of the unique X6 features of which you may not be aware.

1) Upgrading processors

If you already have a Lenovo x3850 X6 or x3950 X6 system, you can upgrade to the latest Intel Xeon E7-4800/8800 processors without replacing your current server. This is accomplished by replacing your X6 Compute Books with the latest Intel E7 processors.

Each Compute Book pulls out of the front of the server and supports two hot-swap fans, one X6 processor and 24 DIMM slots. This allows the x3850 X6 to deliver up to 6 TB of memory and the x3950 X6 to deliver up to 12 TB of memory.

2) Light Path Diagnostics

Both the x3850 X6 and x3950 X6 systems contain a menu-driven front LCD panel that provides descriptive details such as bootup status, system progress, IP address, firmware version and error codes—clearly identifying whether a fault is hardware or firmware related, and specifying the failing part—even when the server is down. Light Path Diagnostics allows you to diagnose the source of problems in seconds instead of hours or days. (No more swapping DIMM after DIMM until you find the failing one.) It works hand-in-hand with Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA), which monitors more types of system components than on other servers. PFA-enabled components include processors, memory, HDDs, SSDs, fans, power supply units (PSUs) and voltage regulator modules (VRMs).

To learn more about Light Path Diagnostics, watch the video Improved Server Uptime with Lenovo Light Path Diagnostics.

3) Partitioning

The 8-socket x3950 X6 server can form a two-node configuration by using a feature called partitioning. The x3950 X6 server electronically splits into two independent servers or nodes, which use their own set of resources and have their own operating system installed. When partitioning is enabled, the 8-socket x3950 X6 server is seen by the operating systems as two independent 4-socket servers.

A single partition is created out of both halves of the x3950. Each half independently maintains its own set of hardware, such as storage backplanes and power supplies, and as I mentioned, can support its own independent operating system installation. However, both halves must be at the same level of UEFI firmware and integrated management module (IMM) firmware.

4) Choice of Optional I/O Books

The x3850 X6 and x3950 X6 both have a primary I/O Book and two choices of optional I/O Books. The primary I/O Book hosts the IMM, PCIe slots and the new dedicated Mezz-LOM slot that supports flavors of 1GbE copper and 10GbE fibre or copper I/O cards. 

The optional I/O Books deliver an additional three PCIe slots—allowing up to nine PCIe slots in the rear of the server. Optional I/O books come in two flavors.

  • Half-length I/O Book that supports three half-length, full-height PCIe cards. Full-length adapters are not supported and the maximum power consumption for each PCIe slot is 75 W.
  • Full-length I/O Book that supports three full-length, full-height PCIe cards. The full-length I/O Book support specialty graphics or accelerator cards. The full-length I/O Book also includes two auxiliary power connectors. With the use of these connectors and the supplied power cords, the I/O Book supports one double-wide adapter up to 300 W.

As with the primary I/O Book, the optional I/O Books are installed from the rear side of the server.

5) Lenovo X6 RAS

While all Lenovo servers have strong reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) capabilities, the Lenovo x3850 X6 and x3950 X6 have advanced, mainframe-like RAS features not found in other servers because they integrate across the hardware and software stack. The differentiated X6 self-healing technology proactively identifies potential failures and transparently takes necessary corrective actions.

Levels of X6 RAS BEYOND standard RAS available on other Intel processor-based servers are listed below.

  • Intel Run Sure Technology – Enterprise RAS only available on the E7-4800/8800 Intel processors used in the x3850 X6 and x3950 X6.
  • Lenovo Platform RAS Innovation – Higher availability, more platform-level RAS.
  • Lenovo Management Innovation – Greater solution-level RAS management with X6 software stack integration.

To find out more about X6 RAS read The Only Good Downtime is NO Downtime blog.

For more information:

Read about the Lenovo System x3850 X6, a 4U rack server scalable to four processors and the Lenovo System x3950 X6, an 8U rack server scalable to eight processors.