Five Things To Know About the Flex System x240 M5

The Flex System x240 M5

The Flex System x240 M5 is Lenovo’s mainstream workhorse server for Flex System and has the capacity and performance to fit just about any application.

Here are five things to know about the new system:

1. The x240 M5 supports the latest Intel processors and memory technology

The x240 M5 supports the new Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 family of processors. The use of these processors improves productivity by offering superior system performance with up to 18-core processors and 45 MB of L3 cache. These processors support new features such as Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0 (AVX 2.0) which enables acceleration of enterprise-class workloads, such as databases and ERP.

The x240 M5 support for up to 1.5 TB of DDR4 memory. DDR4 is the newest iteration of system memory which allows memory to operate at 2133 MHz but is even more energy efficient than DDR3 by operating at 1.2V instead of 1.35V or 1.5V.

The internals of the x240 M5 show the locations of the processors and system memory

2. The x240 M5 uses TruDDR4 memory that is tested and supported above Intel speeds

Lenovo offers TruDDR4 Memory for use with the x240 M5. TruDDR4 memory has been thoroughly tested and verified by Lenovo to strictest standards. It is because of this testing that we’re able to supported higher speeds than the baseline memory speeds that Intel publishes (commonly known as industry standard or Intel plan of record).

Table 1 shows the Intel plan of record for RDIMM and LRDIMM, which is dependent upon the number of DIMMs per channel and the memory type.

Table 1: Intel Plan of Record
Memory Type  1 DIMM per channel 2 DIMM per channel 3 DIMM per channel
RDIMM 2133 MHz 1866 MHz 1600 MHz
LRDIMM 2133 MHz 2133 MHz 1600 MHz

By using TruDDR4 memory, clients can get industry leading performance with the Flex System x240 M5 node. Table 2 shows the improved speeds achievable by using TruDDR4 memory detected and supported by the system when installed.

 

Table 2: TruDDR4 Memory speeds
Memory Type 1 DIMM per channel 2 DIMM per channel 3 DIMM per channel
RDIMM 2133 MHz  2133 MHz 1866 MHz (16GB)*
LRDIMM 2133 MHz 2133 MHz 1866 MHz

* The TruDDR4 16GB dual-rank RDIMM operates at 1866 MHz. Other RDIMMs operate at 1600 MHz

The bottom line is that with TruDDR4 memory, you get the fastest possible speeds out of the memory subsystem and fully supported by Lenovo.

3. The Enterprise Chassis supports a full complement of x240 M5 servers, even with 145W processors

The Flex System Enterprise Chassis has enough power and cooling capacity to support a full complement of x240 M5, even when using the top-bin E5-2699 v3 and E5-2697 v3 processor models. This means in a single 10U chassis, you can have 14 servers each 18 cores and 1.5TB of memory. That means 252 cores and 21 TB of memory in each 10U of rack space.

The flexibility of the Enterprise Chassis means you can mix-and-match other servers from the Flex System family to meet your application needs. Also supported in the same chassis are our other Flex System servers, including the x880 X6 compute nodes with E7-8800 processors for enterprise-grade database applications, and the x222 dual-server compute node, where two 2-socket servers fit in one compute form factor offering the ultimate in dense computing.

The Enterprise Chassis supports up to 14 compute nodes including the new x240 M5 and supports different compute node types as your applications require it

4. The x240 M5 supports the latest in drive technology with PCIe NVMe drives

The x240 M5 has two standard 2.5-inch SAS/SATA drive bays. However, for the ultimate in I/O performance, you can replace these with new PCIe NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) drives. These solid-state drives are directly connected to the PCIe bus of the second processor. Such connectivity, when combined with the I/O performance of SSDs, ensures the lowest possible latency while still using a standard drive form factor. Available drive capacities range from 400 GB to 2 TB per drive.

A screen grab of our walk-through video where we describe the new PCIe NVMe drives with the x240 M5

5. Embedded virtualization with RAID-1 SD Cards

The x240 M5 supports the VMware vSphere (ESXi) hypervisor on one or two SD cards with the optional SD Media Adapter. This adapter is installed in a dedicated slot under I/O Adapter slot 1, as shown in the following photograph.

SD Media Adapter installed in the x240 M5

The adapter offers built-in RAID-1 capability when two SD cards are installed. This means that if an SD card fails, the adapter will manage the failure and the system will continue without operation.

The SD Media Adapter is also quite versatile in that it allows you to create other volumes on the SD cards (up to 16 in total) and these are visible to the UEFI as bootable devices if needed. This means other you can use the SD cards to house deployment tools and other support programs as needed by your organization.

 

I hope this information has been helpful. For more information see the Flex System x240 M5 Product Guide. You might also be interested in watching my walk-through video on the server.

David WattsDavid Watts is a Senior IT Consulting at Lenovo. He writes books and papers on many areas related to Flex System, BladeCenter IBM System x. Follow David on Twitter at @DavidAtRedbooks