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Nov 14 2014

Scalable, Smart, Powerful: FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY CX400 M1


In January this year, we introduced our latest generation of multi-node scale-out servers for HPC and Big Data applications. Now this product family has produced new offspring: the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY CX400 M1 appears just in time for the Fujitsu Forum next week and is supposed to bring extreme compute power to cloud service providers (CSPs), research facilities, and regular data centers alike.

Modern IT concepts and application scenarios such as HPC, Cloud Computing or Big Data are often associated with giant systems residing in monstrous data centers. Given the dimensions of new facilities planned by leading ICT companies around the world, that's not really a surprise. Google's latest project in Eemshaven (Netherlands), for example, will cover 44 hectares (109 acres) of ground, an area as big as Vatican City. In other words, it could easily pass for a municipality on its own. Then again, it's not size that matters here, but the fact that this is one of only 14 Google data centers worldwide – a fact that in turn speaks volumes about the enormous computational power amassed in these facilities. At the core of this power is something that hardware designers call compute density, i.e. the capability to fit as many CPUs and RAM modules as possible into a single rack in order to create a stable, high-performance system.

New Features and Improvements
It goes without saying that the servers deployed to such "data megastores" are typically custom-made. The concept of density, however, also works in the more regular settings of banks, large retail chain stores, CSPs or research institutes – in short, wherever there's a demand for massive I/O performance and throughput. And with that demand steadily increasing, there's a good reason for Fujitsu to expand its portfolio of scale-out solutions and enhance those systems' capabilities.

The enhancements now become manifest in the new FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY CX400 M1, the first model in the CX series to feature third-generation Intel® Xeon® processors and Fujitsu's innovative Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design (ATD). In a nutshell, we're talking about improvements in four key areas:

  • Performance: By replacing older CPUs with Intel's Xeon® E5-2600 v3 family of processors, Fujitsu was able to boost general computing performance by up to 38% compared to previous CX models. Likewise, support for two (instead of one) GPGPU or co-processor cards helps to increase performance in the advanced scenarios the CX400 series was designed for.
  • Memory: To get the most out of the third-generation Xeons, our developers swapped established DDR3 technology for more powerful DDR4 memory modules that provide substantially higher data transfer rates, starting with 2,133 MT/s, and eat up 20% less energy than their predecessors. In short, customers profit from a much better power/DIMM ratio and higher memory capacities per server node.
  • Cooling: Like PRIMERGY rack servers and ETERNUS storage systems, the CX400 M1 relies on Cool-safe® ATD, which enables operation in ambient temperatures ranging from 5° to 40° C (41° to 104° F) instead of the regular 5° to 35° C. Practically, this means that customers can significantly cut their power bills, as every single additional degree in the data center translates into about 5 to 6% lower costs for air-conditioning.
  • Storage: With support for both 2.5" PCIe-SSD and SATA DOM, the FUJITSU PRIMERGY CX400 M1 offers an unprecedented amount of flexibility in storage configurations. While PCIe SSDs are ideal for caching, the small SATA DOM device – basically a minuscule SSD that can be placed on the mainboard – may be used to drastically shorten boot-up times.

Like its immediate predecessor, the 2U PRIMERGY CX400 M 1 will be available in two configurations, with different server nodes tuned to specific application scenarios:

  • For highest CPU density and high storage expandability, we offer the PRIMERGY CX2550 M1. This is a half-wide, 1U dual-socket server node equipped with Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v3 processors with up to 18 cores. Memory capacities start at 16 GB and may be extended to 512 GB in 16 memory slots; further extension to 1 TB is planned for 2015. The PRIMERGY CX2550 M1 has room for six 2.5 inch HDDs or SSDs, thus offering a maximum of 6 TB internal storage. If the focus is more on throughput, it's also possible to have a mixed configuration with four "conventional" HDDs or SSDs and two PCIe SSDs. Customers who opt for this server get a 4-node configuration in a 2U chassis – the best choice for Big Data and HPC scenarios (e.g. Apache Hadoop) or CSP server farms.
  • Alternatively, we offer the PRIMERGY CX2570 M1 as an enhanced HPC node with up to two GPGPU or co-processor cards. This node is also half-wide, but occupies two height units, which means you can pack two of them into one enclosure. Regarding processors, main memory and internal storage, the options are practically identical with those for the CX2550 M1. The main difference, then, comes with the GPGPU or co-processor cards: here, customers can pick from a variety of NVIDIA® Tesla™ and GRID K2 or Intel® Xeon Phi™ models to accommodate individual usage scenarios, for instance parallel workloads in financial analytics, meteorology or HPC applications that require hardware acceleration. In addition, NVIDIA's GRID cards also support demanding VDI solutions in graphics-intensive fields like CAD/CAE, 2D and 3D animation or simulation.

Availability and Pricing
The FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY CX400 M1 and the PRIMERGY CX2550/2570 M1 server nodes will be generally available from November 17, 2014. They will replace the PRIMERGY CX400 S2 and matching nodes. Prices vary depending on configuration.

Florian Frimmel


About the Author:

Florian Frimmel

Global Product Marketing Manager, responsible for PRIMERGY tower and scale-out servers, at Fujitsu 


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