The new eX5 servers are the result of a three-year effort that has resulted in an engineering first -- decoupling memory from its traditional place alongside the server's processor, thereby eliminating the need to buy another server to support growing memory-intensive workloads. The new eX5 servers improve the economics of operating enterprise-sized, x86-based systems and offer dramatically more scalable, workload-tuned computing on the x86 platform.
With eX5, IBM says it has radically expanded the capabilities of the x86 platform and is redefining the x86 server landscape with unique innovations based around IBM's Enterprise X Architecture.
By taking advantage of integration with IBM middleware to create a highly virtualised environment, eX5 can give users a flexible, highly scalable system that can dramatically reduce the number of servers needed and reduce associated licensing fees by 50%.
Independent memory scaling technology, called MAX 5, enables the eX5 servers to offer six times more memory than is available across the industry today, which can allow clients to run 82% more "virtual servers"
for the same license costs and reduce middleware and application expenses dramatically. For example, clients running a Microsoft database can cut their license costs by 50% with eX5.
Also in the eX5 servers is the eXFlash, a next-generation flash-storage technology that can slash storage costs up to 97% by replacing hundreds of hard-disk drives and thousands of wires and cables.
Acxiom Corp., a US-based leader in interactive marketing services, is an early user of eX5 systems. Acxiom CIO David Guzman says "The IBM eX5 systems are game changers. We've been able to double our virtualisation capacity, dropping our software licensing costs. The price/performance equation is extraordinarily compelling, with five times the performance at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, there is a positive impact on all of the other key components of IT cost -- space, power, labour, maintenance. The concrete results of this next generation machine are exciting, and the roadmap has a 'knock-your-socks-off' vision."