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Mar 09 2018

Tower Powerhouse with the Richest Feature Set: FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY TX2550 M4

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Even in this age of cloud computing and "Everything-as-a-Service," robust and cost-efficient tower servers still form the infrastructure backbone for many small, medium and large enterprises. Fujitsu's new PRIMERGY TX2550 M4 tower system adds the latest technologies and options to an already solid design concept proven via its TX2560 M2 and TX2540 M1 platforms. As a result, the TX2550 M4 provides powerful performance for a wide range of workloads, and at the right economics.

Despite the recent buzz about HPC and HPC-ready servers, it's important to note that the bulk of today's business applications still run on legions of standard rack and tower servers. Under regular conditions, these systems toil away steadily at their given tasks and therefore remain largely unnoticed. Only if they don't react as quickly and reliably as expected or, worse yet, remain unresponsive, they will suddenly draw everybody's attention. If you've ever watched IT teams scramble to bring central, compute- and memory-heavy applications like SCM, databases or email back up, you know exactly what we mean. Consequently, both customers and ICT vendors have to focus on these industry standard devices with the same intensity as on the high-end hardware that often soaks up all the attention. We at Fujitsu recognize this, hence we're constantly improving the capabilities of our 'workhorse offerings' – namely, PRIMERGY rack and tower servers.

Solid Platform for Enterprise Workloads
Among the latest examples for this approach is the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY TX2550 M4. Designed to serve as a solution that will replace both the TX2540 M1 and TX2560 M2 models, it can host a wide variety of demanding workloads, underpinning critical infrastructure services such as SharePoint as well as typical compute-/memory-oriented enterprise applications, e.g. SAP modules or BI and data analytics. The unifying element in all these usage scenarios is that to handle them properly, a system must provide a better-than-ordinary combination of compute and memory performance, storage capacity, and I/O throughput. The dual-socket PRIMERGY TX2550 M4 does just that, with a couple extras on top:

  • Like all new PRIMERGY models, it builds on Intel's Xeon® Processor Scalable Family; customers can choose from a total of 27 different CPUs (2 Bronze, 6 Silver, 16 Gold and 3 Platinum models) to find the ones that best fit their individual business needs. Core counts start at 4 and max out at 26, and base clock speeds range from 1.7 to 3.6 GHz; processors with 10 or more cores typically run at speeds between 2 and 3 GHz. All models support the AVX-512 instruction set (short for: Advanced Vector Extensions), which helps to increase the number of floating-point operations per core, thus ramping up processor speed in certain applications while at the same time improving the performance of built-in protection mechanisms like Boot Guard or TXT, which Intel developed to repel attackers who try to directly manipulate the hardware.
  • Main memory capacities start at 8 GB for systems tasked with 'ordinary' jobs and peak at 768 GB – enough to support applications with tougher-than-usual requirements on CPU speed and RAM capacity, such as large-scale databases.
  • With up to 32 SFF (2.5-inch) or up to 12 LFF (3.5-inch) drives including SAS, SATA or PCIe HDDs/SSD options, the PRIMERGY TX2550 M4 offers enough room to operate a large number of applications without having to rely on external storage. System capacity and responsiveness will vary according to drive size and type; currently, the largest HDDs offer 10 TB raw capacity while the largest SSDs can hold 7.68 TB, and both drives use a 12 Gb/s SAS interface to connect to the rest of the system.

Workload Optimization Expanded
Based on these key components, we developed a tower server that looks like a standard model but behaves almost like it was custom-built once it's turned on. To achieve this, we used the concept of workload optimization – which is key to Fujitsu's product design strategy and also forms the basis of Intel's new processor family – as a guiding principle and took it one step further. Thanks to a plethora of configuration options, customers will be hard pressed to find an application or usage scenario the PRIMERGY TX2550 M4 does not or cannot support. For example, IT teams will easily find a configuration or configurations that help them set up their own virtualized Salesforce environment, complete with relevant plug-ins. Likewise, they can pick the right model(s) based on whether they provide sufficient storage expandability and networking capabilities or meet high data transfer requirements now or in future. In total, we are offering a set of ten base units to choose from, each of which can be tweaked to meet company-specific, individual demands:

  • The 3.5-inch drive base unit configurations are ideal for maximizing storage capacity with a focus on cost-effectiveness. These configurations come in 2 core variants, equipped with either 4 or 8 drives, 6 or 8 card slots, redundant fans, and optional optical disc drive. Both configurations are expandable, so the smaller one may house 8 and the larger one 12 drives. Optional rack upgrade kits are available for both base units; the 8-drive unit may also be ordered as a rack version ex-factory.
  • The 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs offer several advantages. In particular, their compactness allows for high drive density configurations, which in turn are optimal for advanced RAID setups that minimize the risk of data loss and thus improve data protection levels. These units are available in 3 standard configurations – a non-expandable basic variant that holds 8 drives and 6 card slots, and 2 expandable editions featuring either 8 or 24 drives that may be upgraded to a total of 24 and 32 drives, respectively, and both of which offer 8 card slots. To improve cost-effectiveness, we're also offering a 16-drive configuration that works without a SAS expander and is only available on special order. All expandable units and the special configuration may also be ordered as rack models ex-factory.
  • Each unit may be optimized to suit varying networking needs: Onboard LAN will satisfy basic requirements, whereas DynamicLoM meets higher standards. In addition, the TX2550 M4 can be tuned with high-throughput cards, to enable transfer speeds of 10 or 25 Gb/s. Furthermore, advanced 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet controllers are also available for the most demanding data transmission requirements.

Conclusion
Despite the flurry regarding Big Data and HPC that has shaped the debate about data center infrastructures in recent years, most use cases are those in which customers don't need massive, expensive equipment to shoulder computational or collaborative tasks. In almost all these scenarios, suitably advanced standard servers will turn out to be a better deal. Equipped with the right components, they offer the required performance, reliability, expandability and flexibility, and don't break the budget with a massive price tag. Fujitsu's tower powerhouse PRIMERGY TX2550 M4 proves that point exceptionally well: With its stack of quality components and ample configuration options, it offers dynamic performance, with core counts ranging from 4 to 26 per processor and RAM capacities between 8 and 768 GB, as well as tons of storage space that can reach a theoretical maximum of 246 TB, all at an affordable price. In other words, customers can acquire a powerful, versatile system without having to exhaust their financial resources, and that's something most IT departments are still very much attracted to.

Nitin Sitaram

 

About the Author:

Nitin Sitaram

Product Marketing Expert, Server

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