David Watts: I don’t know.
Ilya Krutov: Mr. Watts, you do the product though.
David Watts: I know. I do need to check before. I can’t say that without [? 00:06].
Ilya Krutov: He doesn’t believe me.
David Watts: Now that we’ve fact checked our statements…Hello again. My name is David Watts, and this is Ilya Krutov.
Ilya Krutov: Hello.
David Watts: We’re from IBM RedBooks. Today we’re going to talk about the IBM system x3750 M4. This is a 2U rackmount server with four processors, and 48 DIMM slots.
Ilya Krutov: This system is designed for certificate applications, high performance computer applications, other floating points applications, as well as mid sized databases. Basically for all kinds of applications that require four circuit processor power, but don’t require scalability on four circuits.
David Watts: it’s a very flexible system, and we’ll show you the internals in a moment. But let’s first look at the front of the system, shall we? We have two USB ports, and a video port in the front, and a DVD drive in this case. A pop out light path diagnostic panel, which has a push button here. The pop out light path diagnostic panel is useful when you’re trying to debug the system. There’s an arrow light to try and figure out what component has failed. Then this panel will aid in that discovery. Next to these components here are all the front accessible drives. In this particular machine we have two two and a half inch drives installed, and behind this cover 8x flash 1.8 inch drives.
This machine is actually capable of having up to 16 two and a half inch drives, or in fact, up to 32 of the 1.8 inch drives. Each of these segments you can have a mixture of 2.5 or 1.8 inch drives. There’s something like a dozen or more different combinations that are supported, so very flexible. When we [? 02:15] and show you inside, you’ll see that the different backplane choices give you a lot of flexibility. So should we have a look at the back?
Ilya Krutov: We have up to two hot swap power supplies, orange tabs. We also have up to eight PSA generation three slots. So basically five slots are on the motherboard, plus three optional slots on the riser card. Also we have a standard set of IO ports on the back of the system, which includes an integrated management port, video port, serial port, and two USB ports as well. This one is a specialized slot which is called a mezzanine slot, which accepts mezzanine adapters. Basically this is a flexible choice of integrated [? 03:10] or on motherboard capabilities, which includes either 10GB, or 1GB and corp reports, or optical ports. So that gives clients flexibility in choosing their on board solution.
David Watts: This adapter also, unlike the other adapters you might put in one of these slots, allows you to do out of bound management to the management module.
Ilya Krutov: That’s right.
David Watts: I would also point out too that these two power suppliers are 1400 watt power suppliers. Also available are a pair of 900 watt suppliers, or 48 volt DC power suppliers are also available as an option on this system. The system has three slots here, as Ilya mentioned, using the optional three slot riser card. There is also a two slot riser card, which we’ll talk about in a moment too. So up to eight slots on the back.
Ilya Krutov: Plus, actually up to eight slots plus the mezzanine slot.
David Watts: Plus the mezzanine slot. Let’s have a look inside shall we? To get the case open, like most of our rackmount systems, just lift this up, slide it, and lift. There you have the inside of the machine. So let’s have a look at the big picture here. So you can see here that the front of the system has a bank of fans, and the airflow is front to back. So this means that you’ve got cool air coming to the memory and processors directly from the front, all evenly. So no processors one behind the other, or memory one behind the other that you have mixed heat, and perhaps component failure from hot air.
So the big thing to note here is this try here. This is actually a tray, I’m going to open this up in a moment, that holds the two additional processors. This is a full processor system, and the other two are on the system board underneath. So let’s pull that out first, shall we. Now to do that you can see there’s a little lock symbol here to remind you that you can’t remove this until you remove the power supply. This label over here in the middle also says the same thing, remove the power supply before you remove the tray. So let’s slightly remove that a bit. There we go.
What that’s actually doing, if you can come around and see here, this is actually releasing the power connector on the power supply from the processor tray. Then we just lift this handle up like so, and then just pull straight up. So you can see here what we have is a processor tray with 24 DIMM sockets. Then here are our two base processors, one and two, with another 24 DIMM sockets. So you can see this system is four processors, and 48 DIMM slots. So if you’ve got for example let’s say 32GB LA DIMMs, which the system supports, then we’re talking about here 1.5 terabytes of RAM. If you use let’s say the 16GB DIMMs as an example, then that’s 768 GB of our RDIMM memory. So a very flexible design.
Ilya Krutov: Yes. Also as you can see, the system has so called two plus two design. So basically you have two base processors and a certain amount of memory on the base system. Plus you connect these processor and memory boards, and increase the number of processors to four. So if you want you can start with two processors, and then later increase the amount of processors to four.
David Watts: You can see that this tray actually connects via two ports. Here and here, these are two QPI ports. If you look on the system board you can see that they are the other end of those connections. We have the two, back on the tray we have two power connectors that connect to the second power supply. I might also add that as Ilya says, you can start the system with two processors and 24 DIMM sockets. If you still need to have two power supplies for this configuration, you would use, I’ve got one of these little things here. This is actually the power supply interposer. It goes into these two sockets here. That basically connects the upper power supply through the connector here onto the system board. So the system will support two power suppliers, even though you only have the system board processors, and you don’t have the tray as well. So that’s what this is for.
Ilya Krutov: Another question is, do you need the second layer of processors to support all IO?
David Watts: No you don’t. The on board five connectors here, the five slots, are driven by the first processor, and the riser card is driven by the second processor. So no, even if you only have two processors, you still have full access to all the IO slots on the system. So once again it’s a very tidy scalable system.
Ilya Krutov: Very good.
David Watts: So let’s have a look at the slots in a bit more detail. So we have here the mezzanine card. Let me just pull that out. This is the Intel x540 card. This is one of five variations that are currently available. This one has two RJ45 connections, but this is a 10GB ethernet port. There are also other 10GB SFP options, and also the four port 1GB card is also available. That goes in the special mezzanine slot, dedicated slot that goes in right there. So let’s put that back. Crunch like that. Let’s look now at the IR riser card. Let me eject that.
So what we have here is the three slot riser card. So you can see it has one card already installed in this particular model. This is the ServeRAID M5210 raid controller. There are two more slots here. Each of these three slots for this riser card are PCIE three by eight slots. They are actually physically by 16, but they’re electrically by eight. That matches the five on board slots. These are all PCIE by eight slots as well. As an alternative, if you do need by 16 cards, then you can replace this. Or instead of ordering this slot with this riser card, a riser card with two slots, one by eight, and one by 16 electrically connectors, if you needed to use adapters that are by 16 adapters. Now you can see it has got two SaaS cables, [? 10:18] in the SaaS ports of the card. These are routed through to the front to one of the back planes. This co-adapter drives in this system, the two connections on the 1.8 inch buyer eight backplane. We’ll get to those back planes in just a moment.
Ilya Krutov: Does this already have an integrated SaaS controller?
David Watts: Yes. Good. Let me put this back, and let me show you that. So let’s look at storage system then. So the system has an onboard LSI SaaS controller, it’s under this heatsink right here. The two connectors for it are right here on the system board as well. These will route through to the front of the system to the drive backplanes. Right next to the controller is a [? 11:07] connector. That’s where you would put your cache upgrade for RAID 5, RAID 6, and so on. Let’s look in more detail at the drive subsystem here, and all the backplane choices.
What we have installed right now is eight 1.8 inch drives here. Let me put that there. Those are driven by one backplane that has two connections. This is actually what it looks like here removed. So this system here has two ports, two [? 11:37] drives here. Two ports, and those are routed through to the RAID controller at the back of the system. So that’s 1.8. If you wanted to, you could have four of these, we call these X flash packs. Four of these in the front of the system for a total of 32 drives if you wished. You would need the onboard controller, plus three adapters to drive that many drives, but that’s one of the options.
This over here, we’ve got two drives here, two 2.5 inch drives. This is a, this is a user single backplane, and that says backplane here. So you can see there’s three connectors for the 2.5 inch drives, and that has one SaaS connector. In this system here, that SaaS connector is routed through around here to this onboard SaaS controller here. That’s another variation. Now we’ve also got an eight drive backplane. So if you’re looking to have eight 2.5 inch drives along the front, then you would use this backplane. It has two connectors, again, routed by cables through the back here. If you really wanted to have one, you’re going to have 16 drives, 16 2.5 inch drives all connected via one adapter.
Then we also offer this backplane. So it’s another eight drive backplane, so we’ve got two of those. They would connect side by side. This one here, you can see at the back they are different. This one has a SaaS expander connected to the back of the backplane. These two cables here connect to the second backplane here like so. One here, sorry. One here, and that’s connected to here. Then these two backplanes, they stay chained together, and then are routed through to either the onboard controller, or perhaps to an adapter. Which basically means you can have all your drives driven by one adapter, one RAID controller, so you can form one volume if you want, one RAID 5, or one RAID 6, or 50 RAID 60, all one together. Or with the different variations of backplanes you can split them up and have several adapters. Of course you could more performance if you have more controllers. But if you wish to have them all as one volume, you can do that with one adapter as well. Very flexible design as a result. The RBM System x3750 M4.
Ilya Krutov: Running Intel’s M processor E5 4800 B2 product family.
David Watts: Hope you’ve enjoyed the video. See you later.
Ilya Krutov: Bye.