Optimized for virtualization and database applications with maximum
memory and compute capacity in a blade
Please see the Legal Information section for important notices and information.
IBM BladeCenter HX5
Product Overview 1
Selling Features 2
Key Features 6
Key Options 15
HX5 Images 17
HX5 Specifications 20
The Bottom Line 21
Server Comparison 22
For More Information 23
Legal Information 23
Scalable 2-to-4-socket blade server optimized for virtualization/
consolidation, database, and ERP
Suggested uses:Front-end and mid-tier applications requiring high performance (CPU, memory
or I/O), enterprise-class availability, and extreme flexibility and power efficiency.
has been designing and implementing chipsets under the X-Architecture
name since 2001.
eX5 technology represents the fifth generation of products based on the same design principle
IBM began with in 1997: to offer Intel
processor-based systems that are expandable,
offer “big iron” reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features, with extremely competitive
The eX5 technology is primarily designed around three major workloads: database servers,
server consolidation using virtualization services, and Enterprise Resource Planning (application
and database) servers.
If you’re using industry-standard servers to run business critical applications, the systems that run
these applications need the type of technology designed into IBM’s eX5 technology systems. The
eX5 chipset represents a $100M+ investment in designing a flagship offering that can harness
the power of 4-socket-and-up 64-bit x86 (x64) Xeon processors. The eX5 family includes a
scalable performance blade server with the ability to scale from a single-wide blade (30mm) to
a double-wide blade (60mm).
Maybe you’d like to start out with a 2-socket blade and possibly add sockets later, if your needs
change. Or perhaps you need more than a 2-socket blade, but don’t want to get locked into a
monolithic 4-socket blade—again, in case your requirements change. With IBM, you can start at
2 sockets and grow to 4 if needed. And if you require a variety of 2- and 4-socket servers in your
data center, you only have to qualify one server for all these workloads. This can save much time
and effort and speed deployment. You can also save money on software licensing by virtualizing
a 4-processor server into many VMs, rather than using multiple 2-processor servers. Huge
amounts of memory also enable more or larger VMs, and larger databases (especially databases
stored entirely in memory).
Reducing an entire server into a little over .5U of rack space (i.e., up to 14 servers in 9U) does
not mean trading away features and capabilities for smaller size. The IBM BladeCenter
blade server offers features comparable to many 1U rack-optimized full-featured servers, and
then some: The HX5 supports up to two of the latest high-performance 10-core,8-core, 6-core,
or 4-core Intel Xeon E7 family or 7500/6500 series processors. The Xeon processors are
designed with up to 30MB of shared cache and leading-edge memory performance (up to
1066MHz) to help provide the computing power you require to match your business needs and
growth. The new Xeon E7-4800 and E7-2800 series processors offer up to 40% greater
performance than the previous-generation Intel 7500/6500 series processors.
Because business requirements change and a 2-socket server that meets those needs today
may not meet them in the future, the HX5 was designed to be upgradeable to meet the diverse
needs of multiple workloads. For compute-intensive workloads, it can be configured as a 2-
wide blade server with up to 4 processors / 40 cores, 32 DIMMs (512GB), 4 PCIe cards, 16 I/O
ports, and 4 solid-state drives (SSDs). Conversely, for memory-intensive workloads, the
HX5 can be configured as a 2-wide server consisting of 1 blade server and 1MAX5 memory
expansion blade, with up to 40 DIMMs (640GB) total. IBM FlexNode partitioning allows a
physical 4-socket configuration to be remotely reconfigured by software into two logical 2-socket
servers, as needs change or for daily peak and off-peak workloads.
The HX5 supports VMware vSphere Hypervisor (formerly ESXi)preloadedon a standard USB
flash drive. It operates in a diskless configuration, offers a smaller memory footprint, extremely
high performance, and stronger security, making getting a system up and running in a virtualized
environment faster and easier than ever before. You can save money on software licensing by
using the huge memory capacity to virtualize the server into many VMs, rather than using
multiple servers. Huge amounts of memory also enable larger VMs and larger databases.
IBM’s eX5 technology-based systems are the ideal solution for scale-up database-serving
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