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Jul 25 2017

A Platform for Digital Transformation: FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 with Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family CPUs

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Since at least 2010, businessmen, politicians and technicians from all over the world have discussed plans for a digital transformation (or "digitalization") of the global economy. The core idea behind these concepts is that in order to boost their productivity and revenues (and, possibly, their home country's GDP), companies must connect and integrate business and IT processes as well as information and production systems as closely as possible. Unfortunately, that sounds much easier than it is, since many enterprises don't operate adequate hardware platforms that would help them to get the job done. Thankfully, Fujitsu's new quad-socket rack server PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 has all the capabilities they need for the powerful backend.

Designed to host databases and transactional applications (e.g. booking and payment services) as well as business intelligence workloads, in-memory databases and other compute- and data-heavy programs, this fourth-generation model will reliably fulfill just about any routine task its users may assign to it – and perhaps a few more. At the same time, it's the right system to run for IT departments that have been instructed to consolidate their 'server zoos,' optimize system utilization through virtualization, and build private or hybrid clouds. In other words, this new server was developed to provide all essential backend capabilities required for successful digitalization. And yes, we agree: This claim sounds more than just a little ambitious and certainly much bolder than any regular message you'd expect to hear from us about one of our products. But fortunately for us, our channel partners and customers, there's nothing regular about the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX4770 M4. And that means that yes, we can deliver on our promise.

Advanced Technology for the Backend
So, what exactly is it that makes us feel so confident about our new server? The answers are manifold, and one of the first that comes to mind is that its predecessor wasn't a weakling to begin with. Thus we had a solid, capable system to build on and didn't need to start from scratch. Yet multiple hard- and software upgrades and improvements will boost performance and functionality in ways that CIOs and their staff may have dreamed of, but didn't expect to find anytime soon.

Speaking of upgrades, the single-most significant change is that from this PRIMERGY generation onward, we're switching to Intel's Xeon® Processor Scalable Family CPUs that will gradually replace the Xeon E5 and E7 models previously used in multi-socket servers. This new product line combines the 14nm Skylake microarchitecture with a C624 chipset and fits into the LGA 3647 socket; as a result, it offers 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 advanced features and functionalities such as the AVX-512 instruction set, which speeds up floating-point operations by 100% per processor core; Omni-Path, a high-performance communications architecture that lifts PCIe bandwidths to as much as 58 Gb/s in x8 HFI and 100Gb/s in x16 HFI setups; and UltraPath Interconnect for faster data transfers between CPUs in a multi-socket system. Since it's expected to be a real powerhouse, the 4U PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 runs on Gold- or Platinum-class processors by defaultcustomers get to choose from a total of 35 different models to find the dual- or quad-socket configuration that best suits their individual needs.

These specifications are certainly impressive, but server systems can only take full advantage of the new processors' capabilities if other key building blocks are at least up to par. That's why memory and storage were also given a major power boost:

  • Each PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 has 48 memory slots that can be outfitted with DDR4 memory modules, capacities per single module range from 8 to 128 GB. In its most basic configuration, the RX4770 M4 will hold 16 GB of RAM, the equivalent of what you'll find in gaming PCs; but more demanding users can easily expand that capacity up to a total of 6 TB – enough to run in-memory databases such as SAP HANA® or perform real-time business analytics without having to worry about overcharging the system. (Support for NV-DIMMs is planned for 2018.)
  • Equipped with eight PCIe Gen3 x16 slots, the PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 offers enhanced flexibility and the integration of diverse storage options – it's even possible to run HDDs and SSDs side by side in the same server. Each RX4770 M4 will hold up to 16x 2.5-inch SAS or SATA drives, along with a Blu-ray or DVD writer; alternatively, and if performance matters, it may be equipped with a dozen 2.5-inch PCIe SSDs.
  • Together with the PCIe slots, an onboard dual-channel 10 Gbit/s Ethernet controller provides increased LAN bandwidth for even faster time-to-business insights.

For any ordinary server, these specifications would already be more than sufficient. The PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 and its predecessors, however, were always regarded as platform systems that deliver reliable backend services and shoulder infrastructure-related tasks. Previous editions therefore offered a broader-than-usual set of advanced features and functions that helped them take on this role, and the fourth-generation RX4770 follows in the same tradition. These 'key extras' include:

  • Comprehensive RAS features that ensure fail-safe operation – memory protection technologies such as Advanced ECC, memory scrubbing, SDDC and DDDC prevent bit errors and data corruption, while redundant and hot-pluggable PSUs and fans allow for higher availability and longer uptimes than one would find in standard servers
  • Two types of Ethernet connectorsOCP onboard LAN and DynamicLoM help to integrate the server into existing infrastructures now and in future, without the need to overhaul the entire network setup
  • An internal M.2 storage device can be included for OS installation, turning the PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 into a rock-solid virtualization base
  • A combination of power supply units with 94% energy efficiency and Fujitsu's Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design technology that ensures the RX4770 M4 will operate within a higher ambient temperature range between 5° and 40° C (41° and 113° F), enabling users to substantially cut their energy costs (liquid cooling is available optionally, see below)
  • New and improved remote management features – the fifth-generation Integrated Remote Management Controller (iRMC S5) includes a unified API (DMTF Redfish®) that simplifies operation and management of heterogeneous infrastructures; lets admins carry out their tasks via protected HTTPS connections; accelerates server deployment with the help of new profile templates; and has a modernized, secure and intuitive GUI that supports administration via mobile devices

Availability and Pricing
The FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 is available immediately from Fujitsu and its channel partners. Customers can choose between three base unit configurations – a 'regular' one with up to 16 SAS or SATA and up to twelve PCIe drives, all in 2.5-inch format; an 'LC' edition that uses the same drive architecture, but replaces Cool-safe® ATD with liquid cooling technology (hence the added moniker) for operation in hostile environments; and finally, a performance-optimized version with eight drives and Platinum-category processors. Pricing varies based on configuration and region.

For more information, please refer to the data sheet and configuration guide (both in PDF format) – or contact your Fujitsu account manager. Or if you'd rather get glimpse of the PRIMERGY RX4770 M4 in operation, check out this FUJITSU Videoflash.

Marcel Schuster

 

About the Author:

Marcel Schuster

Product Marketing Manager Server & PRS

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