Feeds

IBM flicks out HS22V Xeon blade

Sharpened for virtualization

Boost IT visibility and business value

IBM has launched a new Xeon-based blade server for BladeCenter boxes that it says is tuned specifically to support virtualization hypervisors that in turn run virtual Linux or Windows instances.

What IBM means mostly is that the box has gobs of memory and fast and small flash drives for storage.

The single-wide, full-height HS22V blade has 18 DDR3 main memory slots, meaning it can support up to 144 GB for a two-socket Xeon 5500 blade. The Xeon 5500, also known as the "Gainestown" quad-core processor in the Nehalem-EP family of chips, was launched last March and is about to be refreshed with a six-core "Westmere-EP" variant that should provide roughly 50 per cent more oomph. But IBM has to sell what is on the X64 truck today, and the HS22V will no doubt sport Westmere-EP processors (presumably to be called the Xeon 5600s) before too long to match its large main memory.

This extra main memory, says IBM, allows the blade to support 50 per cent more virtual machines than the normal HS22 blades, which top out at 96 GB of main memory.

The HS22V blade supports the Xeon E5540 (80 watts, 8 MB cache, running at 2.53 GHz with 1 GHz main memory), the Xeon X5570 (95 watts, same 8 MB cache, and running at 2.93 GHz with 1.33 GHz main memory), and the Xeon E5506 (80 watts, 4 MB of cache, and running at 2.13 GHz with 800 MHz memory).

The blade also is configured with 1.8-inch, 50 GB Micro-SATA solid state disks, which are based on flash memory and consume a lot less electricity and throw off a lot less heat than a disk drive while also driving up high I/O throughput.

In terms of software, the HS22V blade supports VMware's ESX Server 3.5 and 4.0 hypervisors (and the embedded ESXi variants of these two) as well as the Xen hypervisors embedded inside of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11. While Windows Server 2008 in it many variants as well as RHEL 4 and 5 and SUSE Linux 10 and 11 are supported as guests atop this virtualized blade, Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor is not certified for the blade; neither is the standalone XenServer variant of Xen from Citrix Systems or the Oracle VM distribution of Xen from Oracle.

All of these hypervisors will almost certainly work on the box, regardless of certification, but network and I/O drivers could be a wildcard.

The HS22V blade server will be available on March 19. The base machine with a single 2.53 GHz E5540 processor, 6 GB of memory, and the Micro-SATA drive costs $3,289; boosting the processor up to the 2.93 GHz X5570 drives the price up to $4,219. A base HS22 blade using the E5540 processor, but with only 4 GB of memory and a 600 GB 2.5-inch SATA drive costs $3,145; while the HS22 using the X5570 costs $4,075.

Clearly, IBM is not charging much of a premium for those extra six memory slots and is willing to make up some revenue selling the main memory, which costs around $1,000 for an 8 GB stick. The 4 GB sticks for this machine run to $235 and 2 GB sticks cost $125.

There is no reason to even bother with 1 GB sticks, which cost $85, at this point. Spend the extra money and get at least 4 GB sticks at this point. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.