Add Memory, Improve Performance, and Lower Costs with IBM MAX5 TechnologyPositioning Information (withdrawn product)

18 Jul 2012
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20 pages, 270 KB


The need for computer memory is increasing at a tremendous rate as databases continue to grow. With the increased use of virtualization, applications become memory-constrained and performance bottlenecks occur. At the same time, x86 processors are evolving with more cores and more thread capability. Without adequate memory, these processors are underutilized. This lack of memory is occurring more frequently and with more intensity as applications, databases, and technologies grow and change.

A previous solution was to purchase additional computers, and then distribute applications among them to use the combined memory capacity. However, the hardware, data center space, power and cooling requirements, and licensing were costly, and still the computers were underutilized.
IBM® is solving this issue with a new server technology in its IBM System x® eX5 class of server: the MAX5 memory expansion unit. This unit is an IBM-only, System x technology that adds memory apart from the processor. With no added processors, MAX5 is designed to increase productivity and reduce costs in a way that other servers of this class cannot.

At the IBM Strategy and Technology Lab (STL), we wanted to test how MAX5 improved system performance on web-based and database workloads. We used a production-quality IBM System x3690 X5 server, and we tested with and without MAX5. The results presented in this IBM Redpaper™ publication are from actual measurements taken during our STL testing.

In this paper, we demonstrate how the additional memory afforded by MAX5 improved the performance and costs of database and web-facing applications in our tests. In particular, our results show the following benefits:

  • Response time for business intelligence reports was 1.5 - 2.8 times faster
  • Cost of business intelligence reports was decreased by 31% - 64%
  • Throughput of web-facing applications was 2.4 - 4.9 times greater
  • Read/write response time was decreased by 60% - 80%
  • It can cost 49% more for a web-facing application system without MAX5 to match the performance of a system with MAX5

This publication is directed to IT professionals and decision-makers, such as CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, information architects, business intelligence administrators, IBM DB2® database administrators, IBM clients, and IBM Business Partners. .

Table of Contents

Executive summary
How MAX5 technology works
About our products
About our tests

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