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Nov 06 2018

Expandable, Adaptable, Advanced: FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY TX1330 M4

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For several years, neutral observers and potential buyers alike have patiently listened to ICT vendors' ever-evolving stories about future use cases like IoT, Industry 4.0 or smart cities. But captivating as they are, such stories tend to drown out more measured reports about the constant innovation of brick-and-mortar products such as mono-socket servers for small data centers and SMB environments. Our three-part mini-series takes a closer look at Fujitsu's latest offerings in this category of 'everyday gear' and their state-of-the-art capabilities. In the final chapter, we examine the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY TX1330 M4, our expandable mono-socket tower, which was launched today alongside two cousins, the PRIMERGY TX1320 M4 and the PRIMERGY RX1330 M4.

What are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? Not too long ago, the answer to that question was quite simple: SMEs were businesses whose headcount didn't exceed certain limits and whose revenue and profits stayed below a given threshold. The actual limitations would vary, depending on where a company was located; but the abstract definition was applied worldwide and worked quite well – meaning that no organization labeled SME in one place would fall into a different category elsewhere. On the other hand, the description has a few inherent bugs. One is that it leaves ample room for interpretation, especially with regard to an SME's reach and relative market position: Put simply, the firms are often considered to be of mere local relevance even though they have extended (or are extending) their customer base at the regional, state, national or worldwide level. In other words, many SMEs may already be bigger than analysts, customers or sometimes their own managers believe.

However, this success and strong market position is often not reflected in their IT infrastructures. We've all heard of accountancies, bakeries or construction firms that hold on to old-fashioned gear out of pragmatism ("our old servers are still good enough") or because they shy away from the frequently substantial investments an upgrade may entail. Either way, these companies will sooner or later face a particularly irritating catch-22: As soon as customer and employee numbers or product and service portfolios outgrow their original boundaries, servers and other infrastructure components rapidly start to age. Consequently, the time for a refresh may arrive sooner than expected. These are the scenarios the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY TX1330 M4 was built for.

Key Hardware Specs
Since its inception some four years ago, the PRIMERGY TX1330 has been promoted as a natural follow-on to the TX1320 for workloads that require the same compute and memory performance, but at the same time call for more storage space, flexibility, and expandability. The TX1330 is considerably larger, offering more storage and configuration options, along with rack upgradeability to scale the server as the business grows:

  • To achieve the maximum performance required for managing large datasets, the PRIMERGY TX1330 M4 mono-socket system will be equipped with new six-core processors from the Intel® Xeon® E-2100 product family. The new CPU replaces kit from the older Xeon® E3-1200 series and offers significantly faster clock speeds of up to 3.8 GHz in regular and 4.7 GHz in turbo mode, a total of up to 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes for enhanced bandwidth and throughput in compute-heavy workloads, twice as many floating-point operations as its predecessor thanks to the integration of Intel's AVX-512 instruction set, and faster data transfers between processor cores and memory modules since it supports DDR4 SDRAM.
  • According to Intel, the new Xeons deliver significantly better performance when looking at how much work a processor can perform in a given unit of time, basically the rate at which a system can complete its defined tasks. The SPECrate® 2017 Integer and SPECrate® 2017 Floating Point benchmarks are used, which measure the throughput or work per unit of time. In general, the integer workload maps to the performance of business applications such as those found in the typical data center, whereas the floating point workload maps to scientific calculations and compute workloads, which are usually more common in an R&D environment. The base scores represent the use of standard compiler options when running the test, and are hence more representative of standard applications whose code has not been recompiled specifically for benchmarking alone. Between these two benchmarks, it is hence possible to get a fair idea of whether a new processor actually delivers on the performance front. And it is here that the Intel's Xeon® E-2100 processors are quite credible. In Intel's words, the new processors deliver huge performance gains when tested for the SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite, with 48% better performance, in the SPECrate® 2017 Floating Point base (estimated), and 39% with SPECrate® 2017 Integer base (estimated). In short, the new processors will enable the server to perform across multiple classes of workloads.
  • FUJITSU's own benchmark test records back this up. The TX1330 M4 currently holds the top records for the SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite for throughput and is currently delivering excellent results in speed tests as well. In throughput, the TX1330 M4 is #1 in both SPECrate® CPU2017 Integer with a score of 43.3 and SPECrate® CPU2017 Floating Point with a score of 38.5. The TX1330's smaller cousin, the TX1320 M4 shares its compute and memory architecture and may well exceed these records in the future, but for now, the TX1330 M4 has established a new standard and is in testing to deliver even more records.
  • Moreover, the new processors come equipped with hardware-based security functions, such as integrated malware protection, and baked-in management, monitoring and virtualization features. For less demanding scenarios, we also offer configurations with Intel® Core™ i3, and Pentium® processors as more affordable alternatives.
  • As mentioned above, the new processors allow for higher data transfer rates, so the hardware refresh would not be complete without a matching memory upgrade, in this case to ECC-enabled DDR4 SDRAM bars that deliver transfer rates of up to 2,666 MT/s (previously 2,400 MT/s). Like other systems from the family, the PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 has four slots that can be fitted with modules of varying size (4, 8 or 16 GB); total RAM capacities start at 4 GB and max out at 64.
  • With these compute and memory advances, the TX1330 M4 is well suited to perform across multiple workloads common in the SME setup. These can be either stand-alone or virtualized and encompass appropriately-sized workloads such as infrastructure (e.g. file/print, directory services, DNS server), collaboration (email, messaging), or business-specific ones (light CRM/ERP, industry applications).

The CPU and memory refreshes are of course meaningful, but don't convey a full picture of what we've done in this upgrade – making the TX1330 M4 particularly well suited for those use cases which require the highest levels of cost-effective storage flexibility. That's because just like its predecessors, the PRIMERGY TX1330 M4 has much more to offer in terms of configuration options and flexibility than competing mono-socket systems. On the face of it, this new generation retains the selection of three distinct storage configurations customers can choose from, but if you look under the surface, you'll find that one of them has just been supercharged:

  • Optimized for high capacities and low costs per gigabyte, the most basic configuration includes 4, 8 or 12 easy-to-swap, 3.5-inch SAS or SATA HDDs capable of storing up to 144 TB of data.
  • The second setup relies on 2.5-inch, hot-pluggable HDDs or SSDs equipped with SAS or SATA connectors. Previously known as the high-performance/high-throughput edition, this variant contains 8, 16 or 24 drives; maximum capacities per drive top out at 7.68 TB for SATA SSDs and 2.4 TB for SAS HDDs, allowing for total capacities of 184 and 57 TB, respectively, in fully configured systems.
  • Finally, we have the mixed drive configuration. Originally designed to strike a balance between performance and capacity, it had 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs working side by side with 3.5-inch HDDs. The benefits of this setup were its inherent scalability and flexibility, as it could be equipped with either 8 + 8 or 16 + 4 drives per size and type to suit individual usage scenarios. The new model replaces this setup with a next-generation layout: The PRIMERGY TX1330 M4 may now include up to four 2.5-inch NVMe SSDs that support faster read and write speeds as well as lower latencies and help to cut power consumption. More specifically, they deliver five- and six-digit IOPS figures in random reads and writes, and sequential data transfer rates are usually in the gigabyte-per-second range. The new drives can be combined with either four or eight SAS or SATA 3.5-inch HDDs or SSDs in a smaller and eight or sixteen 2.5-inch models in a larger configuration. In essence, the new NVMe-based configurations replace the earlier generation ones built around standard drive units, with new setups which dramatically enhance the system's capability to handle and consolidate large datasets and serve as basis for application virtualization.

All configurations can be equipped with an internal FUJITSU PRAID EP540i RAID controller that works with NVMe, SAS or SATA drives, supports up to seven RAID levels and feature 2, 4 or 8 GB L2 caches. In addition HDDs and SSDs, they may optionally be fitted with BD or DVD drives as well as LTO tape or RDX drives for backup purposes.

Further Improvements
Like its cousins from the mono-socket family, the PRIMERGY TX1330 M4 boasts numerous less visible extras, for example a new chipset with more expansion options and better connectivity (20% more PCIe lanes), two M.2 devices (1x SATA; 1x NVMe/SATA) as additional boot drives (or mirrored dual micro SDs for VMware ESXi), optional 10/25 GbE and Fibre Channel adapters for connecting to the LAN and storage devices, optional redundant standard or high-efficiency PSUs, and our fifth-generation Integrated Remote Management Controller iRMC S5, which adds multiple advanced features such as secure remote management via HTTPS connections and a user interface that enables administration on the go. Further features include:

  • The integrated Fujitsu Battery Unit (FJBU), which replaces an external UPS and enables a graceful shutdown in case of power outages, and finally
  • Fujitsu's innovative Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design technology that reduces heat emissions and power consumption, enables silent operation, and expands the range of ambient temperatures under which it remains functional to now in between 5 and 45 °C (41 and 113 °F)

Conclusion
The FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY TX1330 M4 stands out among its peers as a versatile tower powerhouse that can handle just about any task reasonable administrators may decide to assign it with. With its powerful hardware, flexible configuration options and mature feature set, it's perfectly suited for SMEs that are ready to expand and therefore need a system that they can work with over the next few years.

For more information, please refer to our product site and the data sheet. Or if you favor a quick taste, check out the videoflash below. Better still, sign up for our presentation at this year's Fujitsu Forum in Munich that starts tomorrow morning .

 

Nitin Sitaram

 

About the Author:

Nitin Sitaram

Specialist Marketing Manager, Product Data Center Server, Global Marketing

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