Lenovo’s New/Updated Server Portfolio Defines Edge-to-Cloud Innovation

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  April 21, 2021

Creating a full portfolio of enterprise-ready servers does not happen overnight. Even when a substantial acquisition of products and intellectual property (IP) is involved, as occurred when Lenovo bought IBM’s System x (x86-based) solutions in 2014, it takes considerable time to successfully absorb, optimize and promote those offerings. Plus, businesses and business computing are constantly on the move, creating further challenges for solution development.

For those reasons and others, the new and updated servers recently announced by Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) are particularly impressive. The announcements underscore that Lenovo ISG is more than the legacy System x assets and they are now providing Edge to Cloud solutions for all sizes of Lenovo customers. Let’s take a look at those offerings, where they stand in marketplace terms and what the company has accomplished.

Lenovo new data center solutions

Lenovo ISG has made three major announcements over the past month:

  1. On March 16, the company introduced new servers and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) offerings based on AMD’s new EPYC 7003 Series processors. These included ThinkSystem 1-socket (SR635 and SR655) and 2-socket (SR645 and SR665) rack servers designed for edge-to-cloud infrastructure deployments. The new ThinkAgile HCI solutions include four (VX3575-G, VX5575, VX7575 and VX7576) optimized for VMware VSAN and two (HX3375 and HX3376) optimized for Nutanix technologies.
  2. On April 6, Lenovo announced new ThinkSystem servers based on Intel’s latest 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors. Those included four solutions (SR650 V2, SR630 V2, ST650 V2 and SN550 V2) designed to support enterprises’ flexibility, scalability and compute requirements. The company also launched four performance-optimized ThinkSystem solutions (SD650 V2, SD650-N V2, SD630 V2 and SR670 V2) designed to support Lenovo’s “From Exascale to Everyscale” promise. These offerings include system innovations, including Lenovo Neptune Thermal Transfer Modules (TTMs) and direct water cooling for NVIDIA GPUs, enabling significant improvements in system density and compute-intensive performance.
  3. On April 15, Lenovo announced five new ready to deploy artificial intelligence offerings developed in collaboration with strategic partners. They include a solution (with Addfor) to track COVID-19 safety protocols, retail visual AI solutions (with Everseen), a scalable machine learning operations solution with cnvrg.io, an analytics solution for Lenovo Edge AI (with SAS) and an edge-to-core data management solution with NetApp. The company also noted that it is collaborating with Intel (via programs at Lenovo’s global AI Innovation Centers) to help universities and students develop new AI solutions.

Lenovo ISG and the enterprise IT marketplace

What do these new solutions mean for Lenovo in terms of the market? Overall, they reflect both how the company has successfully leveraged the products and IP derived from the System x acquisition and is delivering new innovations designed to benefit customers. In addition, the new offerings reflect Lenovo ISG’s continuing, successful collaborations with strategic partners.

In the first case, while the new solutions build on the established ThinkSystem brand, they also reflect key shifts that have occurred in enterprise data center requirements during the past half decade. Those include tapping into substantial increases in compute performance enabled by new generation CPUs and GPUs, as well as gaining advantage from muscular improvements in memory, networking and interconnect technologies.

In addition, enterprises of every size and kind are rapidly adopting and adapting to working with a variety of cloud technologies and public cloud service providers, with hybrid environments leading the way. These same customers are also seeking to enhance the performance of vital business applications and workloads, scenarios that HCI appliances are designed to address, as well as specially optimized solutions for workloads, such as the SAP HANA in-memory database.

Finally, organizations are increasingly examining how artificial intelligence (AI) and related machine learning technologies can benefit their businesses. Some large-scale enterprises are exploring these areas broadly, partnering with vendors with significant research efforts. However, far more companies are looking for practical solutions that can deliver measurable benefits quickly, effectively and dependably. That point goes to the heart of Lenovo’s longstanding strategic efforts with innovative software, hardware and silicon partners.

Final analysis

Lenovo ISG’s latest servers, HCI solutions and appliances touch all these areas. They illustrate the company’s continual efforts to improve its server and system portfolios. At the same time, the new ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile offerings reflect Lenovo’s successful collaborations with strategic partners, including Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, VMware, Nutanix, NetApp and SAS

In essence, these new solutions offer the company’s myriad global enterprise clients practical support for their immediate business requirements, from Edge to Cloud, from traditional servers to hyperconverged offerings – optimizing for needed applications. Just as importantly, they demonstrate Lenovo ISG’s dedication to evolving and adapting to meet its customers’ future needs.

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