IBM System x3650 M4 review

A 2U rack server, which comes with Intel Xeon processors and introduces IBM's pay-as-you-grow design.

Price
£3,339

The general purpose 2U rack server introduces IBM's pay-as-you-grow design. This allows businesses on a tight budget can start with a basic specification but its high expansion potential allows them to upgrade as required.

You can choose from a wide selection of storage and RAID options. Our review sample was fitted with an eight hot-swap SFF SAS/SATA drive cage and you can upgrade to sixteen bays when the time is right.

Usefully, the 8 Pac upgrade has a SAS expander card on its backplane. Unlike HP's latest ProLiant DL380p Gen8, you don't need a second RAID card and so won't lose a PCI-e slot.

Those with deep pockets and a need for speed can order the server with up to 32 of IBM's 1.8in SSDs. If capacity is more important, you can have six hot-swap LFF hard disk bays and then there's the CTO (configure to order) model which cuts costs further by using six cold-swap SATA bays.

IBM System x3650 M4 - 3

The x3650 M4 has a well designed interior which offers plenty of room to expand

RAID and remote management

IBM has improved its RAID options as the base ServeRAID M5110e controller is embedded on the motherboard. This supports 6Gb/sec SAS and SATA drives but if you want more than stripes and mirrors you need an upgrade to get RAID-5 and -50 plus another if you want RAID-6 and -60 arrays.

Cache starts at 512MB with a battery pack or you can go for 512MB or 1GB of flash backed cache. As RAID is based on LSI's SAS2208 chip, you have the option to activate its CacheCade feature which optimises read activity from an SSD based cache.

The x3650 M4 showcases IBM's new IMM2 embedded management controller. The basic version is of limited use as it doesn't support web browser management or KVM-over-IP remote control.

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

IBM pledges to reskill 30 million people globally by 2030
Careers & training

IBM pledges to reskill 30 million people globally by 2030

13 Oct 2021
Telefónica taps IBM to deploy its first-ever 5G core network
5G

Telefónica taps IBM to deploy its first-ever 5G core network

23 Sep 2021
IBM signs CaixaBank in cloud services deal
cloud computing

IBM signs CaixaBank in cloud services deal

15 Sep 2021
IBM adds new features to Watson Assistant
artificial intelligence (AI)

IBM adds new features to Watson Assistant

9 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Royal Mint to recover gold from smartphones and laptops in world first
Technology

Royal Mint to recover gold from smartphones and laptops in world first

21 Oct 2021