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Nov 06 2018

Rock-Solid and Blazingly Fast: FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX1330 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 first chapter, we examine the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX1330 M4, our most recent rack from the family, which was launched today alongside two cousins, the PRIMERGY TX1320 M4 and the PRIMERGY TX1330 M4.

Like its immediate predecessor, the new PRIMERGY RX1330 was developed to meet the IT needs of SMBs and expanding companies that are starting to build their in-house data centers and now need a server platform that combines four key characteristics – namely, strong performance, high reliability, adaptability to varying usage scenarios, and affordability both in terms of upfront investments and operational costs. To achieve this, our product development decided to refine the existing 1U, single-socket rack server by adding the latest processor technology from Intel and faster memory modules as well as new configuration options, thus further expanding an already rich feature set.

New Components
For maximum performance, the FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 can be equipped with a freshly introduced hexa-core CPU from Intel's Xeon® E-2100 family of processors. As successors to the old Xeon® E-1200 series, these provide higher maximum clock speeds of up to 3.8 GHz in regular and up to 4.7 GH in turbo mode, support DDR4 DIMMs that allow for faster data transfers between CPU and RAM than their predecessors, boost I/O capabilities by offering 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 bandwidth and throughput for compute-intensive workloads, and incorporate Intel's AVX-512 instruction set, which essentially doubles the number of floating-point operations that every single core can carry out per clock cycle.

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 benchmarks used are the SPECrate® 2017 Integer and SPECrate® 2017 Floating Point suites 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 processor family performs in an outstanding fashion. 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).

Altogether, the Xeon® E-2100 processor family offers significant performance increases across a range of possible use cases. The RX1330 M4 is hence well-suited to handle a range of appropriately sized stand-alone or virtualized (small-scale) workloads. These can include both standard SME ones such as file/print, mail and messaging, plus even web applications or industry-specific workloads hosted at data-centers.

Moreover, the entire new Xeon® E series delivers hardware-based security and manageability functions, including integrated malware and identity protection, remote and local monitoring, and even a set of repair options that help administrators cure potential problems on the spot. – For less demanding scenarios, we also offer configurations with Intel® Core™ i3, Pentium® and Celeron® 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 its older cousin, 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.

Otherwise, the system offers a variety of incremental improvements, such as a new chipset with more expansion options and better connectivity (20% more PCIe lanes), two M.2 devices (1x SATA; 1x NVMe/SATA) or dual micro SDs as additional boot options, two USB 3.1 ports both at the front and rear, more powerful hot-plug fans, and lastly our fifth-generation Integrated Remote Management Controller iRMC S5 that adds advanced features like remote management via protected HTTPS connections; profile templates for speedier server deployment; a unified API for better control over heterogeneous infrastructures; and modern GUI that supports administration via mobile devices.

As a result of these numerous improvements, the PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 has won the No. 1 position in its class in the virtualization benchmark VMmark 3, scoring 1.41@1tile during performance-only tests, 3.4996@1tile during performance with server power tests, and 1.9102@1tile during performance with server and storage power tests.1

New Configuration Options
One of the most popular features in previous RX1330 generations was an unusually large set of storage and RAID configuration options that essentially could be grouped into three categories – the so-called "all-round", "many drives" and "maximum capacity" versions. The PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 takes this approach to the next level: All three 'classic' versions can now host more data than their predecessors, and we've added a new "high-speed" variant to support particularly I/O-intensive applications. Let's look at the details:

  • The "maximum capacity" version comes equipped with four 3.5-inch SATA HDDs and can hold up to 48 TB of information, four times as much as the previous generation. As before, this is the ideal setup for a file server.
  • The "many drives" version houses up to ten 2.5-inch, SAS or SATA HDDs or SSDs with a maximum total capacity of 76.8 TB. These drives deliver enterprise-class performance in scenarios where fast access to data and applications and low latencies are of paramount importance.
  • The "all-round" version supports up to eight 2.5-inch SAS or SATA HDDs or SSDs, holds up to 61.4 TB of data, has room for optical drives, and covers most use cases in between.
  • The new "high-speed" version can be fitted with up to four 2.5-inch PCIe NVMe drives, four 2.5-inch SATA or SAS HDDs or SSDs, and an ODD. This version is for applications that rely on extremely fast transfers and low latencies, for instance OLTP, small databases, infrastructure services like virus scanners, and virtualization, to name a few.

As in previous editions, the 'classic' storage architectures can be configured to meet various data protection and performance needs. Standard onboard configurations include four SATA drives in a cost-effective RAID 0 or RAID 1 setup. Servers equipped with SAS drives offer a broader selection of RAID levels (0, 1, 10, 5 and 6) as well as 8 GB caches. Equipped with Fujitsu's PRAID EP420i RAID controller, the system can even provide the optional SafeStore functionality, which ensures that all data remains encrypted and protected even when an HDD is removed. This function is typically associated with more powerful multi-socket systems.

Energy Efficiency and Cost
The final, and probably most important, key characteristic expanding companies factor in before making purchase decisions is affordability. But whether customers do in fact get their money's worth is not only determined by an attractive price tag. After all, each of us has heard stories about (or perhaps worked with) irresistibly "cheap" systems that soon became money pits – be it because they used massive amounts of energy, were too complicated to manage, required extensive repair and maintenance, or simply grew old and susceptible to failure and outages before their time. The PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 on the other hand is worth every cent invested, as it helps customers avoid these risks. That's because we apply a rigorous set of standards during both development and production, to ensure consistent product quality, high energy efficiency, and ease of use:

  • All systems build on first-class core components from leading manufacturers that not only deliver top performance, but also offer a better power/performance and cost/performance ratio.
  • To these, we add our own building blocks, namely redundant, hot-pluggable power supplies. For the PRIMERGY RX1330 M4, we picked an 80 PLUS Platinum-rated PSU with a power efficiency of 94%, as opposed to an efficiency of 80% or less in servers that use conventional power supplies. The substantial increase in power efficiency not only translates into longer product lifecycles, but also enables cost savings of up to €275 ($315) per system over a 5-year period.
  • One redundant PSU can be swapped with a FUJITSU Backup Unit (FJBU), which serves as an internal UPS that helps customers avoid severe data and financial losses by enabling graceful server shutdowns.
  • Our innovative Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design technology expands the range of ambient temperatures under which the server remains functional to in between 5 and 45 °C (41 and 113 °F), reduces the heat emission and carbon footprint, and facilitates server operation in non-AC rooms, once again saving cooling power and costs.
  • Integrated management controllers simplify and streamline server operation and maintenance. The same rule applies on the software side: The PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 supports the four most popular server operating systems (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linus Enterprise Server, Windows Server, and VMware ESXi), and each system includes our comprehensive ServerView® Management Suite free of charge. ServerView provides all necessary functions for fail-safe, flexible and automated 24/7 server operations, including features like PDA (Prefailure Detection and Analysis) and ASR&R (Automatic Server Reconfiguration and Restart) that support an early detection of potential malfunctions and a proper shutdown/reboot with automatic disabling of defective parts.

Conclusion
With its unique combination of powerful yet efficient first-rate hardware, flexible and adaptable storage configurations, and constantly expanding feature set, the PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 is the system of choice for all companies that are about to hit the big time. The fact that it's equally suitable for routine deployments, e.g. as file or mail server, and more exotic tasks in virtualized environments only makes it more attractive, and so does its cost-saving potential.

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. Alternatively, you can find it at the Fujitsu Forum in Munich, in a hands-on demonstration onsite or per video-on-demand.

 

[1] The VMmark results were achieved by FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX1330 M4 systems. Full test results including system specification, further details and current results can be found at: https://www.vmware.com/products/vmmark/results3x.html.

The comparisons reflect the status as on 5th Nov 2018. VMware and VMmark are trademarks or registered trademarks of VMware, Inc. VMware® VMmark® is a product of VMware, Inc. VMmark utilizes the SPEC Power and Temperature Daemon (SPECPTDaemon), which is available from the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC®). VMmark results are not SPEC metrics and cannot be compared to SPEC metrics in any way.

Sylvia Ahongshangbam

 

About the Author:

Sylvia Ahongshangbam

Specialist Marketing Manager, Product Data Center Server, Global Marketing

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