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Jul 19 2017

Data Center Standard without Compromise: FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 with Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family Processors

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One of the toughest challenges for IT infrastructure providers is to build standard server hardware that truly deserves the name. Still worse, this goal seems to be harder to accomplish today than it was in 2007 or 1997. Fujitsu's freshly released portfolio of fourth-generation PRIMERGY dual- and quad-socket servers, however, proves it can still be done. Case in point: the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2540 M4.

For the past couple of years, experts of all shades have claimed that outsourcing IT processes to cloud service providers will solve just about any computing problem an organization may face. But although their campaigns have been quite successful, there's still a healthy dose of users who either did not make the full transition or overturned earlier 'reform' decisions, for various reasons – one of which could be that they wanted to have an on-premises fallback solution. Likewise, CSPs have a vital interest in providing powerful, reliable and flexible enough IT infrastructures that are up to any task their customers might throw at them. And that's exactly where the new FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 comes into play.

A Platform for All Regular Use Cases
What makes the PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 particularly interesting is that it was designed to take on the role of a standard system from the get-go. The point here is that the definition of "standard" will inevitably vary based on individual usage scenarios: Some enterprises may be looking for a fast and resilient host to run databases and basic business applications, e.g. accounting and document management programs; others for responsive mail, messaging and collaboration servers that react almost without latency; and still others for a powerhouse that will shoulder demanding infrastructure-related tasks such as server virtualization and consolidation. The PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 is a perfect fit for all of these use cases. But how does it do the trick?

The answer to this question is that our developers took a number of core components – among them Intel's new Xeon® Processor Scalable Family CPUs, DDR4 main memory modules, enterprise-class storage and a couple more extras – and integrated them into a whole that's more than the sum of its parts. Let's now look at each of these core components and the benefits they provide:

  • The Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family replaces older Xeon® E5 and E7 models previously used in multi-socket servers. By combining the 14nm Skylake microarchitecture with C620 series chipsets and LGA 3647 sockets, this new product line can offer more integrated functionality as well as a larger set of discrete expansion options for storage, networking and compute acceleration. Grouped into four classes – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – that offer ascending levels of power and maturity, these processors come equipped with up to 28 cores, run at clock speeds of up to 3.7 GHz in Turbo mode, and support a vast range of advanced features and functionalities such as DMI 3.0, which allows for connections to up to 20 PCIe Gen 3 storage devices; the AVX-512 instruction set, which increases the number of floating-point operations by 100% per core and thus fires up database and analytics applications; the Omni-Path high-performance communications architecture, which lifts PCIe connectivity to bandwidths of up to 58 Gb/s in x8 HFI and up to 100Gb/s in x16 HFI setups; and UltraPath Interconnect for faster data transfers between processors. To meet individual performance requirements, customers can choose from a total of 38 different Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family models. As a result of the large number of processor models, customers also get more freedom of choice with respect to base units, RAID options, storage devices, etc. In other words, server configuration is becoming easier and less restrictive, and users can be sure that the servers delivered to their data centers will fit their respective workloads to a tee.
  • DDR4 memory modules offer just the right mix of high bandwidth and low power consumption; with capacities ranging from 8 GB to 3 TB and data transfer speeds reaching up to 2,666 MT/s, they're a solid basis for all types of applications, from simple file services to virtualization and cloud computing. (Support for NV-DIMMs is planned for 2018.)
  • 8x PCIe Gen3 slots allow for flexible expandability and diverse storage options, including the integration of existing and new SSD and HDD on an as-needed basis. Less today, more in future – or vice versa.

So much for the basics. The set of advanced features includes the following extras:

  • Two types of Ethernet connectors – basic via OCP onboard LAN and extended with DynamicLoM – help to integrate the server into existing infrastructures now and in future, without the need to overhaul the entire network setup.
  • Mix & match configuration of storage drive bays – based on PCIe Gen3 technology, customers can configure servers with made-to-measure scalability that use up to twelve 3.5-inch or up to 24x 2.5-inch HDDs, SSDs or PCIe SSDs (plus an additional rear option to add four more 2.5-inch drives).
  • Up to two internal M.2 storage devices can be included for OS installation, so that the PRIMERGY RX2530 M4 may act as a base unit in virtualized environments.
  • Up to two GPGPUs are supported within one system, ensuring the PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 can serve as a basis for VDI setups and handle CAD and other graphics-intensive applications just as well as potential future tasks in areas like Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.
  • The combination of power supply units with 96% energy efficiency and Fujitsu's Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design technology guarantees that the RX2540 M4 will operate within a higher-than-usual temperature range between 5° C/ 41° F and 45° C/113° F, enabling users to substantially cut their energy costs. For even more compute-adverse environments, the server can optionally be fitted with a liquid-cooled base unit.
  • The fifth-generation Integrated Remote Management Controller (iRMC S5) is a refined version of its predecessor, designed to increase security and administrator productivity. New features include a unified API (DMTF Redfish®) that simplifies operation and management of heterogeneous infrastructures; integrated Embedded Lifecycle Management (eLCM) functions that allow for comprehensive remote management via protected HTTPS connections; new profile templates that will accelerate server deployment; and finally a modernized, secure and intuitive GUI that supports 'administration-on-the-go' via mobile devices.

Conclusion
The 2U, dual-socket PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 is Fujitsu's version of a modern "standard" data center server that will easily fulfill all the tasks that are typically associated with this type of machinery. With its combination of reliable high performance, extremely variable configuration options, energy efficiency, and enhanced features that lay the groundwork for the adoption of future technologies, it meets all the requirements IT departments may have today – and then some. For a brief taste, check out our FUJITSU Videoflash. For detailed information, please refer to the data sheet and configuration guide (both in PDF format) – or contact your Fujitsu account manager.

Marcel Schuster

 

About the Author:

Marcel Schuster

Senior Specialist Marketing Manager – Data Center Systems / Server

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