IBM introduced the sixth generation of its enterprise X-Architecture for System x and PureSystems servers, featuring optimized x86-based systems for analytics and cloud applications.
Some highlights of the X6 architecture:
- Integrated eXFlash memory-channel storage -- an industry first, this DIMM-based storage provides up to 12.8 terabytes of ultrafast flash storage close to the processor, increasing application performance by providing the lowest system write latency available, essential for analytics applications. X6 can provide significantly lower latency for database operations, which can lower licensing costs and reduce storage costs by reducing or eliminating the need for external SAN/NAS storage units;
- A modular, scalable design that supports multiple generations of CPU -- another industry first -- and can reduce acquisition costs, up to 28 percent in comparison to one competitive offering.  X6 provides stability and flexibility through forthcoming technology developments, allowing users to scale up now and upgrade efficiently in the future;
- Resiliency features for cloud delivery models of mission-critical applications -- memory and storage increase virtual machine capacity to allow SaaS delivery of applications. Autonomous self-healing CPU and memory systems maximize application uptime by proactively identifying potential failures and taking action to correct them. In addition, Upward Integration Modules can help reduce the cost and complexity of system administration by allowing operators to perform management tasks through virtualization tools.
Server models supported by this new architecture currently include the System x3850 X6 four-socket system, System x3950 X6 eight-socket system, and the IBM Flex System x880 scalable compute nodes. IBM also is introducing the System x3650 M4 BD storage server, a two-socket rack server supporting up to 14 drives delivering up to 56 terabytes of high-density storage -- the largest available in the industry. It provides 46 percent greater performance than previous comparable IBM System x servers and is ideally suited for distributed scale-out of big data workloads.
IBM will offer specific configurations of its X6 architecture for analytics, database and cloud deployment, including IBM System x Solution for DB2 with BLU Acceleration on X6 for accelerating analytics, IBM System x Solution for SAP HANA on X6 for analytics, and System x Solution for VMware vCloud Suite on X6 for infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities.
In addition, IBM is enhancing its software defined environment (SDE) portfolio with the introduction of IBM Platform Resource Scheduler for private and hybrid IBM SmartCloud clients. This provides a virtualized, open and programmable architecture for all available IT resources -- from application software licenses to available network bandwidth.
IBM Global Financing is also rolling out new financing offerings to help reduce upfront costs for adopting these new cloud and analytics solutions. Credit-qualified clients can obtain Fair Market Value leasing when acquiring X6 architecture solutions.
In October 2013, IBM rolled out new systems and solutions to help enterprises and managed service providers (MSPs) to build private and hybrid clouds .
The rollout included new PureSystems, Power Systems, Smarter Storage Systems, System x, and Technical Computing offerings that provide the flexibility clients need to quickly deploy clouds. IBM noted that its now has more than 100 cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions and a network of more than 25 global cloud delivery centers. Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $6 billion in acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives.
"IBM is uniquely positioned to compete aggressively for public, private and hybrid cloud computing opportunities," said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems & Technology Group and Integrated Supply Chain. "The new IBM Systems and solutions provide superior efficiency and agility to help clients quickly deploy the right cloud infrastructure that best meet their needs."