IBM Announces New Blade Servers

Today IBM announced two new blade servers using Intel Xeon E5-2400 (Sandy Bridge-EN) processors.

BladeCenter HS23E

The BladeCenter HS23E is a two-socket server blade for the BladeCenter chassis.  It has 12 DIMM slots, two mezzanine ports, two hot-swap drive bays, and an integrated dual-port 1 Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

IBM BladeCenter HS23E

Like the HS23 announced in March, the HS23E has two mezzanine slots: one standard-speed CIOv slot, and one high-speed CFFh slot.  The CIOv slot has 8 lanes of PCIe Generation 3; the CFFs slot is connected with 16 lanes.

In addition to supporting the Xeon E5-2400 family of processors up to the E5-2470, 8-core, 2.3GHz chip, the HS23E also supports one-processor configurations using Intel Xeon E5-1400 or Intel Pentium 1400 processors.

The HS23E blade is supported in existing BladeCenter chassis, including the BladeCenter-H, -HT, -S, and –E.   When using 80- or 95-watt processors, there are some limits on using the HS23E in a BladeCenter-E chassis that uses 2000W power supplies.

 IBM BladeCenter HS23E (internal)

Software RAID-0 and RAID-1 is supported using the integrated ServeRAID C105 controller.  An optional the ServeRAID H1135 controller, which occupies the CIOv slot, provides a 6Gbps hardware-based RAID option.

Two Expansion Blades are supported with the HS23E, which attach to the blade and occupy a second slot in the blade enclosure.  The Expansion Blade offers two PCI Express 2.0 slots.  The GPU Expansion Blade, which can be stacked, offer support for up to four NVidia GPU adapters.

IBM has posted a virtual tour of the HS23E IBM.

IBM Flex System x220 Compute Node

The Flex System x220 fits into IBM’s new Flex System family of components.  The blade-like Flex System components are used as building blocks for IBM’s pre-integrated PureFlex bundles, and are also available for build-your-own assemblages using the 14-bay, 10U Flex System Enterprise Chassis.

Like the HS23E, the Flex System x220 Compute Node is a two-socket server that uses Xeon E5-2400 processors up to 95 watts.  It has 12 DIMM slots supporting up to 192GB of memory.  There are two hot-swap, small form factor (SFF) drive bays for SAS, SATA or SSD drives.

IBM Flex System x220 Compute Node

The x220 has an integrated Broadcom BCM5718 dual-port Gigabit Ethernet controller.  The I/O connectors support daughtercards including 1GbE,  10GbE, FCoE, 8 and 16Gb FC, and FDR Infiniband adapter options.

Software RAID-0 and RAID-1 for SATA drives is supported using the integrated ServeRAID C105 controller.  Hardware-based RAID for SATA and SAS is available using an optional ServeRAID H1135 daughter card.  (The H1135 daughter card goes on a dedicated connector, and does not consume one of the blade’s two I/O slots.) 

A ServeRAID M5115 controller can be plugged into I/O adapter slot #1; this controller allows support for up to eight internal 1.8” solid-state drives, or a combination of internal solid-state drives and SFF drives in the hot-swap bays.

More details on the x220 Compute Node can be found here:


Daniel Bowers is Vice President and Senior Analyst for Ideas International.  He possesses 19 years of IT industry experience in roles spanning server hardware and software engineering, product marketing, and server administration. His primary areas of expertise include blade servers, virtualization, and datacenter technologies.  This is Daniel’s first guest blog post for Blades Made Simple.  You can find out more about Daniel and Ideas International at




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