IBM's System x: History of the Iconic Server Line Lenovo Is Set to Buy

1 - IBM's System x: History of the Iconic Server Line Lenovo Is Set to Buy
2 - First-Gen Enterprise x Architecture (EXA)
3 - EXA2 Comes Along
4 - X3 and Hot-Swap Memory
5 - X4 Optimizes Price/Performance
6 - The Fifth-Generation eX5
7 - No 1 in Market Share
8 - Virtualization Is Key
9 - The X6 With eXFlash Memory Channel Storage
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IBM's System x: History of the Iconic Server Line Lenovo Is Set to Buy

by Darryl K. Taft

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First-Gen Enterprise x Architecture (EXA)

In 2001, IBM introduced the first generation of its Enterprise x architecture (EXA) designed for x86-based servers, the first to offer a scalable 16-processor design. EXA delivered faster response time, better availability to handle Internet data demands and was the first greater than eight-way scalable technology. IBM was VMWare's first joint-development partner, working to develop EXA-based systems. Shown here is the EXA - x440 system.

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EXA2 Comes Along

In 2003, IBM introduced the second generation of its Enterprise x architecture: EXA2. IBM x86 enterprise servers with EXA2 technology were the first to achieve 100 #1 benchmarks. Shown here is the EXA2 - x445 system.

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X3 and Hot-Swap Memory

IBM's third-generation X3 architecture was introduced in 2005, the first to support hot-swap memory. X3 servers featured more memory and better I/O performance to support virtualization. Shown here is the X3 - x460SRV2 system.

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X4 Optimizes Price/Performance

In 2007, an IBM x86 server based on the new X4 architecture was the first to break the 1 million tpmC benchmark. X4-based servers featured new industry price/performance leadership for transaction processing. Shown here is the X4 - X3850M2L system.

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The Fifth-Generation eX5

The fifth-generation eX5 architecture launched in 2009 delivered platforms with the most memory in the industry for large database and virtualization optimization. Supported by eX5, IBM's MAX5 system offered dense virtualization capabilities, the highest level of performance through eXFlash and 600 percent more memory than its predecessor. Shown here is the X5 - x3850 system.

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No 1 in Market Share

In 2011, IBM gained the No. 1 market-share position of the 4S+ segment of x86 servers—servers with four or more sockets, driven by eX5.

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Virtualization Is Key

According to 451 Research, 51 percent of x86 servers were virtualized by 2013. This industry milestone happened eight years after the first IBM System x server supported virtualization.

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The X6 With eXFlash Memory Channel Storage

In 2014, IBM announced the X6 architecture, with fast application performance, agile modular systems and resilient highly available solutions. X6 includes the industry's first integrated eXFlash memory channel storage by providing the lowest system latency available, essential for analytics apps. X6's modular, scalable design provides stability and continuous uptime, supporting multiple generations of CPUs and reducing acquisition costs. New resiliency features support cloud deployment of mission-critical applications like ERP, analytics and database. Shown here is the IBM System x3850 X6 server four-socket system.

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