IBM X3620 M3 User Manual

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A cost-optimized storage-rich alternative to traditional enterprise 2U dual-socket servers

Product Guide

May 2010

IBM System x3620 M3

Product Overview

Cost-effective 2U storage server packed with innovation


Product Overview

Selling Features

Key Features

Key Options

x3620 M3 Images

x3620 M3 Specifications

The Bottom Line

Server Comparison

For More Information

Legal Information

Suggested Uses: Departmental and file/print servers, online gaming, messaging, video/photo sharing, email, transaction processing, blog hosting, and search engines; for large enterprise, mid-market, SMBs, and emerging markets.


In today’s tough economic environment, your challenge is to do more with less—serve more Web


pages, handle more secure connections, support more e-mail users, and do it all on a tight

budget. You need to reduce the costs of doing business and improve the service you deliver to


2your customers while lowering your overall risk. The dual-socket IBM® System x3620 M3 can

reduce your costs with its new energy-smart design and budget-conscious features. It can

4improve service with reduced operational complexity and increased management functionality. It

11can lower your IT risk with the resiliency that comes from hot-swap/redundant features. And like all IBM servers, the x3620 M3 offers you the trust that comes from the IBM global reach, service

13and support.

14The x3620 M3 is a game-changing rack server that uses significantly less power than previous generations, with unified systems management tools; high reliability, availability, and


serviceability features; and broad system flexibility, housed in a compact 2U mechanical



The x3620 M3 features Intel® Xeon® 5600 Series 6-core and 4-core, and 5500 Series 4-core



processors, with up to 12MB of shared L3 cache, to provide you with the computing power you

19need to match your business needs and growth. The new line of Intel processors delivers unprecedented intelligent performance with features like adaptive performance for applications and environments, Turbo Boost Technology and Hyper-Threading Technology, and integrated power gates and automated power management.

The x3620 M3 supports up to 12 DIMMs / 96GB of RDIMM 1333MHz DDR3 memory and provides ChipkillECC (Error Checking and Correcting) protection—for high performance and reliability. For even higher levels of availability, the x3620 M3 also offers memory mirroring. Two integrated high-speed Gigabit Ethernet ports are included, as are three high-performance PCIe adapter slots. The x3620 M3 offers an optional embedded hypervisor to manage your virtual workloads.

Some System x3620 M3 models support up to 8 hot-swap 3.5-inch Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) or Serial-Attached ATA (SATA) HDDs with an internal storage capacity of 16TB. Other

models support up to 4 simple-swap SATA drives, with a storage capacity of up to 8TB. The server includes firmware RAID-0/1 standard, and offers a choice of several IBM ServeRAID® storage controllers that provide broad levels of hardware-based RAID solutions. To meet your backup needs, the x3620 M3 supports a choice of internal tape drives, as well as the internal

RDX Removable Disk Backup System.

The ultra-dense 2U form factor allows businesses to increase their computing power and spread their workload without outgrowing their current data center. Up to 21 of these 2U servers can be installed in a single 42U rack, for a total of up to 42 processors, 252 processor cores (and 504 threads), offering tremendous deployment flexibility.

Standard in the x3620 M3 is the Integrated Management Module (IMM) that enables the user to manage and control the server easily—both locally and remotely. The IMM offers a high level of manageability that is designed to keep costs down and the system up—even when network

usage increases. The IMM helps maximize network availability by increasing uptime, as do

Active Memoryprotection, hot-swap/redundant SAS or SATA HDDs, hot-swap/redundant ultra-efficient power supplies and redundant fan modules; integrated RAID; temperaturecontrolled fans; IPMI 2.0 support, including highly secure remote power control and Serial over LAN; as well as text-console redirect over LAN.

Another improvement with the new generation of X-Architecture is the replacement of old BIOS with a new generation United Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). UEFI provides a more intuitive user interface and understandable event logs and better management.


Please see the Legal Information section for important notices and information.

A cost-optimized storage-rich alternative to traditional enterprise 2U dual-socket servers



With the inclusion of unique IBM service and support features such as the IMM, IBM Systems



Director 6.1, IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager, IBM ToolsCenter, IBM



ServerGuide, and support for the optional Virtual Media Key for remote presence capability, the



x3620 M3 is designed for superior uptime.



If you need highly manageable, dual-socket/multi-core computing power in a budget rack-dense



package, the x3620 M3 is the ideal system.






Selling Features




The x3620 M3 offers numerous features to boost performance and reduce costs:



Up to two 6-core or 4-core Xeon 5600 Series or 4-core Xeon 5500 Series processors and



12MB or 4MB of cache per processor, offer superior performance capable of tackling the



toughest jobs. 64-bit extensions provide the flexibility to run 32-bit and 64-bit applications



concurrently. Xeon 5600 series processors offer up to 43% better performance than the



previous-generation 5500 series processors (depending on workload).



Low-voltage processors (available via the Configure To Order process) draw less energy



and produce less waste heat than high-voltage processors, thus helping to reduce data center



energy costs. Selected 4-core Xeon 5600 Series processors use only 40W and selected 6-



core processors consume only 60W. This is less than half the wattage consumed by 130W






Twelve DIMMs of registered 1333MHz DDR3 ECC memory with Chipkill1 protection



(optional) provide speed, high availability, and a memory capacity of up 96GB.



x3620 M3 servers using the L5640 (via CTO) and X56xx processors support 2 DIMMs per



channel (2DPC) at 1333MHz (using 1.5V DIMMs).



Two x8 (“by 8”) PCIe Gen 2 and one x4 PCIe Gen 2 adapter slot offer investment protection



by supporting high-performance adapters, such as 10Gb Ethernet, Fibre Channel and



InfiniBand cards, none of which will run in older 33MHz and 66MHz conventional PCI slots.



The optional integrated 3Gbps ServeRAID-BR10il v2 controller, or the 6Gbps ServeRAID-



M1015, ServeRAID-M5014, or ServeRAID-M5015 controller, provide high-performance RAID



support for SAS/SATA drives.



Up to 8 3.5-inch hot-swap SAS/SATA hard disk drives offer high-performance and high



capacity, with high availability. Up to 4 3.5-inch simple-swap SATA drives offer high



capacity and quick servicing



The integrated dual-port Gigabit Ethernet controller with IPMI 2.0 provide high-speed



network communications.



A high degree of device integration—including hot swap SAS/SATA HDDs, multiple



hardware-based ServeRAID options, Gigabit Ethernet ports, systems management and video



controllers—lowers costs and frees up valuable adapter slots.










The x3620 M3 has the ability to grow with your application requirements, thanks to



A choice of 4-core or 6-core processors with 2.13 to 2.66GHz clock rates, up to 6.4



gigatransfers per second, and 80W or 95W maximum power draw. (Two additional choices,



40W and 60W, are available via CTO.)



A choice of either standard 1.5V DIMMs, or 1.35V DIMMs2 that consume 20% less energy.



Up to 96GB of high-speed registered DDR3 system memory.



Three available high-performance PCIe adapter slots in all models.



Upgrading to one of several ServeRAID controllers provides up to 512MB of battery-backed



cache to enable higher-performance hardware RAID support, and allows the x3620 M3 to



offer five RAID levels standard: RAID-0/1/10/5/50 (and optionally 6/60 with Self-Encrypting






The five USB 2.0 ports (two front, two rear, one internal) are up to 40X faster3 than older USB



1.1 ports. This provides speedy access to external HDDs (non-arrayed), optical drives, tape



drives, and other USB devices. Two ports are on the front of the unit and two are on the back.



The internal port supports an internal tape or IBM RDX Removable Disk Backup System, and



a flash drive with embedded hypervisor can be support via another internal USB port.



A choice of up to eight 3.5-inch hot-swap SAS/SATA HDDs or four 3.5-inch simple-swap



SATA drives and one internal tape drive or RDX Removable Disk Backup System, offer a



variety of storage options. The SATA models provide a maximum of 16.0TB of internal



storage, while the SAS models support up to 4.8TB.









1 All models require Chipkill-enabled DIMMs (provided standard) for Chipkill protection.


Please see the Legal Information section for important notices and information.

A cost-optimized storage-rich alternative to traditional enterprise 2U dual-socket servers

Alternatively, direct-attach, network-attached storage (NAS), or iSCSI or Fibre Channelattached storage can be attached using IBM System Storage® servers.

Manageability / Security

Powerful systems management features simplify local and remote management of the x3620 M3:

The x3620 M3 includes an Integrated Management Module (IMM) to monitor server availability, perform Predictive Failure Analysis, etc., and trigger IBM Systems Director alerts. The IMM performs the functions of both the Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) of earlier systems and the advanced Remote Supervisor Adapter II and is upgradeable to remote presence/cKVM.

An optional Virtual Media Key provides additional systems management capabilities, including Web-based out-of-band control; virtual floppy and optical drive support; Windows “blue screen” error capture; LDAP and SSL support; and remote redirection of keyboard, PCI video and text, and mouse (cKVM). And it does all this without consuming a valuable adapter slot.

Text Console Redirection support allows the administrator to remotely view x3620 M3 text messages over Serial or LAN.

Integrated industry-standard Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) next-generation BIOS. New capabilities include:

Human readable event logs — no more beep codes

Complete out-of-band coverage by the Advance Settings Utility to simplify remote setup

A complete setup solution, allowing adapter configuration functions to be moved into UEFI

Consistent firmware management across an entire product line

Industry-standard AES NI support for faster, stronger encryption (in 5600 Series processors only).

Integrated IPMI 2.0 support alerts IBM Systems Director to anomalous environmental factors, such as voltage and thermal conditions. It also supports highly secure remote power control using data encryption.

IBM Systems Director 6.1x is included for proactive systems management. IBM Systems Director comes with a portfolio of tools, including IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager, IBM Service and Support Manager, and others. In addition, IBM Systems Director offers extended systems management tools for additional server management and increased availability. When a problem is encountered, IBM Systems Director can issue administrator alerts via e-mail, pager, and other methods.

IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager, an IBM-exclusive, is designed to take advantage of new system power management features, by providing actual realtime energy monitoring and reporting features.

Availability and Serviceability

The System x3620 M3 provides many features to simplify serviceability and increase system uptime:

x3620 M3 servers offer Chipkill ECC memory protection4 (when using x4 DIMMs). Chipkill memory is up to 16X better than standard ECC memory at correcting memory errors. This can help reduce downtime caused by memory errors.

The x3620 M3 offers memory mirroring for redundancy in the event of a non-correctable memory failure

Toolless cover removal provides easy access to upgrades and serviceable parts. Similarly, the Virtual Media Key and the ServeRAID controller can be installed and replaced without tools. This means less time (and therefore less money) spent servicing the x3620 M3. Additionally, hot-swap/redundant HDDs and power supplies, redundant fan modules, as well as mirrored memory, mean greater system uptime while these components are being serviced.

The external LED panel and helps to quickly lead the technician to failed components. This simplifies servicing, speeds up problem resolution and helps improve network availability.

Optional integrated 3Gbps or 6Gbps RAID controller to enhance system availability and data protection without using a PCIe slot.

IPMI 2.0 supports highly secure remote system power control using data encryption. This

2 1.35V DIMMs available in Q3/10.

3 Data transfer rates may be less than the maximum possible.

4 Chipkill protection is supported with x4 DDR3 DIMMs, but not x8 DIMMs.


Please see the Legal Information section for important notices and information.

A cost-optimized storage-rich alternative to traditional enterprise 2U dual-socket servers

allows an administrator to restart a server without having to visit it in person, saving travel time and getting the server back up and running quickly and securely. It also adds new features to those provided by IPMI 1.5, including VLAN support, Serial over LAN, enhanced authentication and encryption algorithms (RMCP+ and AES) and a firmware firewall.

Temperature-controlled fans adjust to compensate for changing thermal characteristics. At



the lower speeds they draw less power and suffer less wear. Equally important in a crowded



data center, temperature-controlled fans produce less ambient noise in the data center than if



they were constantly running at full speed.



The three-year (parts and labor) limited onsite warranty5 helps afford you peace of mind



and greater investment protection than a one-year warranty does.







Key Features

High-Performance / High-Efficiency Xeon 5600 / 5500 Processors



The x3620 M3 supports up to two high-performance Intel Xeon 5600 Series or 5500 Series



processors, allowing you to upgrade to a second processor as your business needs require. The



x3620 M3 offers a choice of processor clock rates, memory access speeds and energy draw,






95W 6-core Xeon 5600 models X5650 running at 2.66GHz with reduced power draw and



impressive performance/watt (only 15.83W per core; 6.4GTps QPI speed), 12MB of L3



processor cache, 1333MHz memory access, 2 threads per core, and Intel Turbo Boost and



Hyper Threading technology



80W 4-core Xeon 5600 models E5620 or E5630 running at 2.4 or 2.53GHz, respectively, with



reduced power draw and impressive performance/watt (20W per core; 5.86GTps QPI speed),



12MB of L3 processor cache, 1066MHz memory access, 2 threads per core, and Intel Turbo



Boost and Hyper Threading technology



80W 4-core Xeon 5500 models E5506 or E5507 running at 2.13 or 2.26GHz, respectively, with



reduced power draw and impressive performance/watt (20W per core; 4.8GTps QPI speed),



4MB of L3 processor cache, and 800MHz memory access



Also available, via configure-to-order (CTO):



60W 6-core Xeon 5600 low-voltage model L5640 running at 2.26GHz with low power draw



and impressive performance/watt (only 10W per core; 5.86GTps QPI speed), and 12MB of



shared L3 cache, 1333MHz memory access, 2 threads per core, and Intel Turbo Boost and



Hyper Threading technology (CTO only)



40W 4-core Xeon 5600 low-voltage model L5630 running at 2.13GHz, with extremely low



power draw and amazing performance/watt (only 10W per core; 5.86GTps QPI speed), 12MB



of L3 processor cache, 1066MHz memory access, 2 threads per core, and Intel Turbo Boost






With the Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series processors, Intel has diverged from its traditional Symmetric



Multiprocessing (SMP) architecture to a Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) architecture. The



processors are connected through serial coherency links called QuickPath Interconnect (QPI).



QPI is capable of 6.4, 5.6 or 4.8 GTps (gigatransfers per second), depending on the processor






4-core Xeon processors contain four complete processor cores. Each 5600 Series processor



contains one 12MB L3 cache shared by all the cores. The shared cache is dynamically allocated



among the cores as needed. The multiple cores appear to software as multiple physical



processors. Fourand six-core processors offer considerably higher performance than a same-



speed Xeon processor with 2 cores.



Turbo Boost Technology increases performance by translating the temperature, power and



current head room into higher frequency. It will dynamically increase by 133MHz for short and



regular intervals until the upper limit is met or the maximum possible upside for the number of



active cores is reached. The maximum frequency is dependent on the number of active cores.



The amount of time the processor spends in the Turbo Boost Technology state depends on the



workload and operating environment, providing the performance you need, when and where you



need it. For example, a 2.66GHz 6-core X5650 processor with 3-6 cores active can run the cores



at 2.93GHz. With only one or two cores active, the same processor can run those cores at



3.06GHz. Similarly, a 2.4GHz 4-core E5620 processor can run at 2.53GHz or even 2.66GHz.



When the inactive cores are needed again, they are dynamically turned back on and the



processor frequency is adjusted accordingly.



In processors implementing Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, each core has two threads



capable of running an independent process. Thus, a 6-core processor can run 12 threads











5For terms and conditions or copies of the IBM Statement of Limited Warranty, call 800-772-2227 in the U.S. In Canada call 800- 426-2255. Telephone support may be subject to additional charges. For warranties including onsite labor, a technician is sent after IBM attempts to resolve the problem remotely. International warranty service is available in any country in which this product is sold.


Please see the Legal Information section for important notices and information.

A cost-optimized storage-rich alternative to traditional enterprise 2U dual-socket servers


Intelligent Power Capability powers individual processor elements on and off as needed, to reduce power draw.

Execute Disable Bit functionality can help prevent certain classes of malicious buffer overflow attacks when combined with a supporting operating system.

Intel’s Virtualization Technology (VT) integrates hardware-level virtualization hooks that allow operating system vendors to better utilize the hardware for virtualization workloads.

DDR3 Memory with Chipkill ECC Protection

The x3620 M3 ships with registered double data rate III (DDR3) memory and provides Active Memory features, including advanced Chipkill memory protection (using x4 DIMMs), for up to 16X better error correction than standard ECC memory. In addition to offering better performance than DDR2 or fully-buffered memory, DDR3 memory also uses less energy. DDR2 memory already offered up to 37% lower energy use than fully buffered memory. Now, a generation later, DDR3 memory is even more efficient, using up to 15% less energy than DDR2 memory.

The x3620 M3 currently supports up to 96GB of 1.5V RDIMM (registered DIMM) memory in 12 DIMM slots. The x3620 M3 also supports either standard 1.5V DIMMs, or 1.35V DIMMs that consume 20% less energy. Redesign in the architecture of the Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series processors bring radical changes in the way memory works in these servers. For example, the Xeon 5500 and 5600 Series processors integrate the memory controller inside the processor, resulting in two memory controllers in a 2-socket system. Each memory controller has three memory channels. Depending on the type of memory, population of memory, and processor model, the memory may be clocked at 1333MHz, 1066MHz or 800MHz.

Xeon 5600 / 5500

Processor 1

Xeon 5600 / 5500

Processor 2





































Memory Controller




Memory Controller


























































































































































































































































Notes: Adding a second processor not only doubles the amount of memory available for use, but also doubles the number of memory controllers, thus doubling the system memory bandwidth. If you add a second processor, but no additional memory for the second processor, the second processor would have to access the memory from the first processor “remotely,” resulting in longer latencies and lower performance. The latency to access remote memory is almost 75% higher than local memory access. So, the goal should be to always populate both processors with memory.

The L5640 and X56xx processor models support up to 1333MHz memory clock speed. With new single-rank and dual-rank RDIMMs, L5640 and Xi56xx processors support 2 DIMMs per channel (2DPC) at 1333MHz using 1.5V DIMMs. The E562x-and-up and L56xx models support a maximum of 1066MHz clock speed (and thus memory access rate), and the E550x models support 800MHz clock speed.

Running memory at 1333MHz (where supported) versus 1066MHz offers up to 9% better performance, while memory running at 1066MHz produces up to 28% better performance than memory running at 800MHz. Xeon 5500/5600 Series processors access memory with almost 50% lower latency than the earlier 5400 Series processors. That can result in faster processing of latency-sensitive workloads.

Regardless of memory speed, the Xeon 5500/5600 platform represents a significant improvement in memory bandwidth over the previous Xeon 5400 platform. At 1333MHz, the improvement is almost 500% over the previous generation. This huge improvement is mainly due to the dual integrated memory controllers and faster DDR3 1333MHz memory. Throughput at 800MHz is 25 gigabytes per second (GBps); at 1066MHz it’s 32GBps; and at 1333MHz it’s 35GBps. This improvement translates into improved application performance and scalability.

Memory interleaving refers to how physical memory is interleaved across the physical DIMMs. A balanced system provides the best interleaving. A Xeon 5500/5600 Series processor-based system is balanced when all memory channels on a socket have the same amount of memory.


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A cost-optimized storage-rich alternative to traditional enterprise 2U dual-socket servers

The 5500 and 5600 Series processors support single-, dual-, and quad-rank memory. A memory rank is simply a segment of memory that is addressed by a specific address bit.

A typical memory DIMM description is 4GB 2Rx4 DIMM

The 2R designator is the rank count for this particular DIMM (2R = dual-rank)

The x4 designator is the data width of the rank

It is important to ensure that DIMMs with the appropriate number of ranks are populated in each channel for optimal performance. Whenever possible, use dual-rank DIMMs in the system. Dualrank DIMMs offer better interleaving and hence better performance than single-rank DIMMs. For instance, a system populated with six 2GB dual-rank DIMMs outperforms a system populated with six 2GB single-rank DIMMs by 7% for SPECjbb2005. Dual-rank DIMMs are also better than quad-rank DIMMs because quad-rank DIMMs will cause the memory speed to be downclocked.

Another important guideline is to populate equivalent ranks per channel. For instance, mixing one single-rank DIMM and one dual-rank DIMM in a channel should be avoided.

Notes: It is important to populate all three memory channels in each processor. The relative memory bandwidth decreases as the number of channels populated decreases. This is because the bandwidth of all the memory channels is utilized to support the capability of the processor. So, as the channels are decreased, the burden to support the requisite bandwidth is increased on the remaining channels, causing them to become a bottleneck. If 1.5V and 1.35V DIMMs are mixed, all DIMMs will run at 1.5V.

In addition to Chipkill error correction, the x3620 M3 offers an additional level of IBM Active

Memory protection: memory mirroring.

Memory mirroring works much like disk mirroring. The total memory is divided into three channels: a primary channel, a backup channel, and an unused channel. Data is written concurrently to both the primary and backup channels. If a DIMM fails in one of the DIMMs in the primary channel, it is instantly disabled and the mirrored memory in the backup channel becomes active (primary) until the failing DIMM is replaced. One-third of total memory is available for use at any one time with mirroring enabled. (Note: Due to the double writes to memory, performance is affected.) Because the third channel is disabled with mirroring active, there is no point in populating it with memory.

Mirroring is handled at the hardware level; no operating system support is required.

DDR3 memory is currently available in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB RDIMMs. DIMMs can be installed individually (not in pairs). However, for performance reasons, in a 2-processor system, it’s best to install a DIMM per processor.

Maximum memory capacity and speed in 2-processor configurations include:




DIMMs per

Max. Memory

5600 Series

5500 Series


























X5650, L5640





(6 DIMMs)

and above





















X5650, L5640





(12 DIMMs)

and above





















E5620, L5630





(12 DIMMs)

and above






















E5506, E5507




(12 DIMMs)




























(8 DIMMs)
























Integrated Virtualization

All models of the x3620 M3 support a USB 2.0 Flash Key installed preloaded with VMware ESXi 4.0 ESXi is an embedded version of VMware ESX 4.0, fully contained on the flash drive and requiring no disk space—not an “ESX Lite.” Rather than management through a Service Console based on a Linux operating system, ESXi relies on aggregate management tools, including VirtualCenter, the Remote Command Line interface and the introduction of CIM for standards-based and agentless hardware monitoring.

6 2 DIMMs per channel at 1333MHz is supported only with 1.5V RDIMMs.


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