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Nov 07 2017

Fulfilling Essential Data Center Needs: FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2520 M4


Over the summer, Intel launched its long-awaited, highly-touted Xeon® Processor Scalable family of CPUs, which was supposed to simplify cloud computing and virtualization as well as HPC and AI scenarios and drove the release of new server designs from the world's leading ICT vendors. Among the first products available on the market was Fujitsu's 2017 class of dual- and quad-socket rack and scale-out systems, collectively dubbed PRIMERGY M4. This fall, we are launching the 'second wave' of these systems, starting with the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2520 M4, the scalable rack server for essential business apps.

Boring as its initial description may seem, this new system features a host of innovations that directly derive from the fresh processor and server designs. Probably most important among these innovations is what you could call "adaptability by design": Unlike older models, the PRIMERGY RX2520 M4 will be available in six specific baseline configurations that may be optimized for either performance or capacity. Moreover, within these boundaries customers will benefit from our modular approach to server design that allows them to choose from a broad selection of components and technologies that support a wide variety of individual needs and usage scenarios. In other words, they still get the reliable standard server they are looking for, but one equipped with such a rich set of configuration options that it almost feels like a custom design.

Key Specifications
Since such outlines remain notoriously abstract, it's time to look at the details and find out just what it is that turns a basic data center server into a versatile, agile hardware platform:

  • Processors – as a dual-socket system in a 2U housing, the PRIMERGY RX2520 M4 may be fitted with up to two Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family CPUs of the Bronze, Silver or Gold class. Customers can choose from a total of eleven processor types, starting with a hexacore design that runs at a clock speed of 1.7 GHz and maxing out with the 14-core Intel® Xeon® Gold 5120 processor, which operates at a base clock speed of 2.2 GHz (2.6 in Turbo mode) and allows for maximum internal transfer rates of 10.4 GT/s (billion data transfers per second). Compared with the previous generation, this amounts to a 30% increase in data transfer rates and notably faster connections to built-in storage.
  • Main memory – with up to 384 GB of RAM, the PRIMERGY RX2520 M4 boasts twice the maximum amount of its immediate predecessor, which only adds to the massive performance boost. Moreover, the new server uses DDR4 DIMMs, which not only support higher data transfer speeds of up to 2,666 MT/s (as opposed to the 1,600 MT/s achieved by DDR3 modules in earlier systems), but also helps customers save between 1 and 2 watts of power per module per system. In a typical data center setting, this will result in meaningful cuts of the energy bill.
  • Storage – as noted above, the PRIMERGY RX2520 M4 is available in multiple diverse configurations that essentially make up two distinct branches on the same family tree. The small form factor (SFF) versions are optimized for performance and offer 8, 16 or 24 slots for 2.5-inch SAS, SATA or PCIe HDDs or SSDs, with drive capacities ranging from 300 GB to 2 TB per HDD and 240 GB to 1.92 TB per SSD. These three base units come in five different flavors: the basic edition holds 8 disks in total and houses up to 16/15 TB of information depending on the choice of drive technology. The 'basic expanded' model also offers 8 disks, but adds another 4 PCIe SSDs to speed up critical applications. Next in line is the "16 drives fixed" configuration, which offers twice as much storage space as the basic edition and may optionally be upgraded with the help of a SAS expander to a capacity of 24 drives. In its maximum configuration, the SFF edition holds a total of 24 drives, but is no longer expandable – The capacity-optimized, or large form factor (LFF), versions all rely on 3.5-inch SAS or SATA HDDs with rotational speeds of up to 15,000 RPM and capacities ranging from 450 GB to 10 TB. Like their counterparts, they come in three editions that provide low, medium or high amounts of storage space. Users can start with a 4-drive configuration and initial raw capacities between 1.8 and 40 TB. This basic edition may be expanded according to business needs; users who choose this option can double the number of drives and thus the total capacity they have at their disposal. The maximum configuration houses 12 LFF drives and maxes out at 120 TB raw capacity when equipped with the largest drives. – Both the SFF and the LFF editions are available with optional SATA M.2 SSDs that hold 150 GB and are reserved for OS installations, so that the 'regular' capacity may be exclusively allotted to application data.
  • Extras – all models, regardless of type or size, benefit from Fujitsu-typical tweaks such as redundant and/or hot-pluggable PSUs and fans or the iRMC S5 remote management module, which help streamline server administration and maintenance. Customers who want to save energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the process may opt for a 'green' model featuring our Cool-safe® ATD Extended server design that enables servers to operate within a temperature range of 5 to 45 °C (41 to 113 °F) and allows for a massive increase in server performance per watt.

On the software side, the PRIMERGY RX2520 M4 supports various operating systems and virtualization platforms, namely VMware vSphere, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Univention Corporate Server. And like all other PRIMERGY models, it comes with our ServerView management suite pre-installed. In other words, it's almost ready to run – all the IT department has to do is switch on the device, connect it to the network, install the required application and get going.

Usage Scenarios
The FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX2520 M4 combines compute and storage capabilities in a way that perfectly suits essential data center needs. Designed to run baseline data center workloads, it will work equally well as a file server or as hardware basis for storage virtualization. Likewise, it can host collaboration platforms (e.g. groupware or CMS), act as a web server for sites with low to medium traffic, or be incorporated as a scale-out/nearline system for environments with high storage and average performance demands. Combining reliability and adaptability with an affordable price and built-in savings options, the PRIMERGY RX2520 M4 will fulfill nearly all standard tasks – and for the rest, we offer bigger, more powerful systems.

To learn more, please see our press release and the product page.

Marcel Schuster


About the Author:

Marcel Schuster

Senior Specialist Marketing Manager – Data Center Systems / Server


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