IBM System x3650 M4 review

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

Our system included the IMM2 Advanced upgrade which activates the dedicated Gigabit port at the back. The browser interface sees a substantial redesign over the older IMM and provides a lot more information about critical components. However, it comes up short of Dell's iDRAC7 for features and is beaten soundly by HP's new iLO4 controller.

System x3650 M4 - 1

System x3650 M4 - 1

The new IMM2 management interface includes KVM-over-IP remote control with the Advanced upgrade

IBM System Director

IBM's System Director utility is much easier to use than Dell's Management Console or HP's Insight Control software. Designed to manage all network devices, it provides discovery, software deployment, inventory, file transfer and VNC based remote control tools. The Active Energy Manager plug-in talks to the IMM2 and provides power capping plus trend graphs of power consumption and system temperatures.

IBM is lagging behind in the deployment stakes as you still have to boot its servers with the ServerGuide DVD to get an OS on it. Dell did away with the need for this task three years ago and HP's Gen8 servers have the new Intelligent Provisioning feature.

IBM System x3650 M4 - 2

IBM System x3650 M4 - 2

IBM's System Director is easy to deploy and the Active Energy Manager plugin provides power monitoring graphs and trending

The server is virtualisation ready as its internal USB port uses a key to boot into VMware ESXi or vSphere 5. However, HP's DL380p Gen8 provides internal USB and SD card slots but Dell goes one step beyond as its PowerEdge R720 has dual internal SD card slots for hypervisor redundancy.

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.