Chapter 3. IBM System x3850 X5 and x3950 X5 93
3.9.3 IBM eXFlash and 1.8-inch SSD support
Database-optimized models of the x3950 X5 include one IBM eXFlash SSD backplane,
supporting eight 1.8-inch solid-state drives, as listed in Table 3-3 on page 65. Other models
also support the addition of an eXFlash backplane, controllers, and SSDs.
You can add a second eXFlash backplane to increase the supported number of SSDs to 16
(using part number 59Y6213, as listed in Table 3-24). See 3.9.3, “IBM eXFlash and 1.8-inch
SSD support” on page 93 for more information.
Table 3-24 IBM eXFlash 8x 1.8-inch HS SAS SSD Backplane
The IBM eXFlash 8x 1.8-inch HS SAS SSD Backplane, part number 59Y6213, supports eight
1.8-inch SSDs. The eight drive bays require the same physical space as four SAS hard disk
bays. A single eXFlash backplane requires two SAS x4 input cables and a
power/configuration cable, which are both shipped standard. Up to two SSD backplanes and
16 SSDs are supported in the x3850 X5 chassis.
For more information regarding eXFlash and SSD information, including a brief overview of
the benefits of using eXFlash, see 2.8, “IBM eXFlash” on page 47.
Figure 3-23 shows an x3850 X5 with one of two eXFlash units installed.
Figure 3-23 IBM eXFlash with eight SSDs
Table 3-25 on page 94 lists the supported controllers.
Part number Feature code Description
59Y6213 4191 IBM eXFlash 8x 1.8-inch HS SAS SSD Backplane (two optional,
replacing the standard SAS backplane); includes a set of cables
Two-node configurations: Spanning an array on any disk type between two chassis is
not possible because the RAID controllers operate separately.
94 IBM eX5 Implementation Guide
Table 3-25 Controllers supported with the eXFlash SSD backplane option
When ordering M5000 series controllers (M5014, M5015, or M5025) for use only with SSD
drives, the cache battery must not be used for performance reasons. If using M5000 series
controllers in a mixed SSD and SAS environment cache, order the battery along with the
Performance Accelerator Key.
If the ServeRAID controller being used is already set up and you want to leave the battery
attached, you can still disable the write back cache by using the MegaRAID web BIOS, as
shown in Figure 3-24.
Part number Feature code Description
46M0914 3876 IBM 6Gb SSD Host Bus Adapter (No RAID support)
46M0831 0095 ServeRAID M1015 SAS/SATA Controller
46M0829 0093 ServeRAID M5015 SAS/SATA Controller
a. When using SSD drives, you must disable the write back cache to prevent latency and
bottlenecks by using the controller settings or by adding the ServeRAID M5000 Series
Performance Accelerator Key. See “ServeRAID M5000 Series Performance Accelerator Key”
on page 95 for more information.
46M0916 3877 ServeRAID M5014 SAS/SATA Controller
46M0969 3889 ServeRAID B5015 SSD
46M0930 5106 IBM ServeRAID M5000 Advance Feature Key: Adds RAID-6,
RAID-60, and self-encrypting drives (SED) Data Encryption Key
Management to the ServeRAID M5014, M5015, and M5025
81Y4426 A10C IBM ServeRAID M5000 Performance Accelerator Key: Adds Cut
Through I/O (CTIO) for SSD FastPath optimization on ServeRAID
M5014, M5015, and M5025 controllers
Chapter 3. IBM System x3850 X5 and x3950 X5 95
Figure 3-24 Disabling battery cache on controller in MegaRAID web BIOS
ServeRAID M5000 Series Performance Accelerator Key
ServeRAID M5000 Series Performance Accelerator Key for System x enables performance
enhancements that are needed by emerging SSD technologies that are being used in a
mixed SAS and SSD environment. You use a seamless field-upgradeable key. ServeRAID
M5000 Series Performance Accelerator Key for System x provides these benefits:
Performance optimization for SSDs: Improve SAS/SATA Controller performance to match
an array of SSDs.
Flash tiering enablement: A data-tiering enabler to support hybrid environments of SSDs
and HDDs, realizing higher levels of performance.
MegaRAID recovery: A data recovery feature that works both in pre-boot and OS
RAID 6, 60 enablement for added data protection.
SED support enablement for encryption-equipped devices.
Convenient upgrade with easy-to-use pluggable key.
We cover these controllers in detail in 3.9.4, “SAS and SSD controllers” on page 96.
1.8-inch hard drive options
Table 3-26 lists the supported 1.8-inch SSDs.
Table 3-26 IBM 1.8-inch SSD for use in the IBM eXFlash backplanes
Option number Feature code Description
43W7734 5314 IBM 50GB SATA 1.8-inch NHS SSD