IBM Announces New Blade Server – HS23

IBM officially announced their new blade, the HS23 blade server, and it comes with some improvement.

The HS23 blade server is a dual CPU socket blade running Intel´s new Xeon® processor, the E5-2600,  and is the first IBM BladeCenter server that offers four integrated LAN ports: dual-port Gigabit Ethernet and dual-port 10Gb Ethernet with IBM Virtual Fabric capability.

It has the same 30mm single-wide form-factor of all other IBM blades to protect customers’ investment by providing compatibility with the IBM BladeCenter H, E, S, and HT chassis.

The HS23 blade server  scales up to 14 virtual NICs (vNICs) per single-wide blade server for a total of 18 I/O ports with the choice of Ethernet, Fibre Channel, SAS, iSCSI, and FCoE connectivity.  One thing to note – this new high-speed adapter n the IBM HS23 blade server will work only in BladeCenter H chassis.  The blade server can provide up to four 10GbE (same as HS22 and HS22V), but the difference is that HS23 comes standard with  two 10GbE Virtual Fabric ports. Another CFFh virtual Fabric can be added to provide connectivity with the other two high-speed switches.

For those that are familiar with the I/O paths in Chassis H, here is how it works when using the Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapters:
 two 10 Gb Ethernet ports on the adapter itself are routed to the chassis I/O bays 8 and 10 (unlike other CFFh cards), and two 10 Gb Ethernet ports integrated on a blade itself are routed to the chassis I/O bays 7 and 9.

But if you do not want to use this technology (Virtual Fabric) you have to remove the 10Gb LOM Interposer in order to be able to add another CFFh expansion card like a QLogic Ethernet and 8Gb Fibre Channel Expansion Card, which enables connectivity between the blade and two Ethernet switches and two SAN switches.   Again, BladeCenter H only.

Other features of the HS23 blade server:


Up to two Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family CPUs with eight-core (up to 2.7 GHz) ; six-core (up to 2.9 GHz) ; quad-core (up to 2.4 GHz) or dual-core (up to 3.0 GHz). Two QPI links up to 8.0 GT/s each. Up to 1600 MHz memory speed. Up to 20 MB L3 cache.

Up to 16 DDR3 DIMM sockets (8 DIMMs per processor) using Very Low Profile (VLP) DIMMs. Support for up to 1600 MHz memory speed depending on the processor. Four memory channels per processor (2 DIMMs per channel). Up to 256 GB with 16x 16 GB RDIMMs and two processors.
Mixing 1.5 V and 1.35 V DIMMs in the same server is supported. In such a case all DIMMs operate at 1.5 V.
Disk Bays

Two 2.5″ hot-swap SAS/SATA drive bays supporting SAS, SATA, and SSD drives.

HS23 comes to replace both HS22 and HS22V on IBM portfolio. Positioned just below HX5, HS23 is designed to meet the needs of small/ midsized businesses and is ideal for a variety of workloads including virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions.


About the Author

Thales Osterne is a contributor and author for  He has over seven years in the IT field with five years of experience in IBM BladeCenter and System X.  When he is not blogging, Thales works as a product manager for IBM System X & Bladecenter at Lanlink Informatica, a major business partner in Brazil.

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