Lenovo introduces new ThinkSystem server portfolio and reaffirms commitment to Malaysia

Lenovo Transform 2017 ThinkSystem ThinkAgile
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At its Transform and ISC High Performance (ISC2017) event in June, Lenovo unveiled its largest, most comprehensive portfolio of server, storage, networking, software and data centre services yet. The end-to-end data centre portfolio is built to help customers harness the power of the “intelligence revolution.” The new expansive ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile servers are now in Malaysia.

This year, Lenovo celebrates 25 years of Think excellence, having built a reputation of quality, performance and reliability. Lenovo continues to lead the pack in terms of customer satisfaction and server reliability for x86 servers. It is poised to ship its 20 millionth x86 server some time this quarter.

Lenovo says its new ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile data centre solutions represent the most reliable, most agile, and highest performing data centre solutions in the industry.

Lenovo Transform 2017 ThinkSystem ThinkAgile

The new redesigned ThinkSystem portfolio spanning servers, storage and networking systems are powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors, considered to be the gold-standard for the industry,

ThinkAgile is a completely new software-defined solutions portfolio built on the foundation of Lenovo ThinkSystem platforms. With today’s every-changing IT needs, ThinkAgile provides the flexibility, cost savings and reduced complexity compared to traditional IT. Software-defined solutions have potential to not only give businesses 12% quicker time to deployment, but 80% faster time to value.

Together, the ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile portfolios can help businesses create the foundation of a future-defined data centre by delivering simplicity, agility, flexibility and future-proofed performance.

ThinkSystem-powered supercomputer

One of the recent big success stories for ThinkSystem is the new Barcelona Supercomputing Center MareNostrum 4 supercomputer. Dedicated to science and engineering research, the BSC incorporates 48 racks of more than 3,400 nodes with next generation Intel Xeon Platinum processors. It’s one of the first deployments of Intel Xeon Platinum processors in the world.

The BSC setup has a central memory of 390 terabytes, and has peak power of over 11 petaflop/s.

The newly launched x86 ThinkSystem platform delivers 10x more processing power than the previous MareNostrum supercomputer. To put it in another perspective, it’s 11,000 times more powerful than a 2016 ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook.

Lenovo ThinkSystem BSC MareNostrum 4

Breaking records

If there was any doubt on performance, then the 42 world record-breaking benchmark results will put that to rest.

The new ThinkSystem servers blazed through the TPC-E benchmark—a database to model a brokerage firm with online transaction processing transactions related to trades, account inquiries, and market research. Its SR650 server also broke the world record on the TPC-H decision support benchmark.

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Financial market customers may be interested to know that the ThinkSystem SR950 and SR650 delivered 26 STAC-M3 world record benchmarks. STAC-M3 measures challenging workloads in time-series analytics.

Lenovo Transform 2017 ThinkSystem ThinkAgile

Additionally, the ThinkSystem SR650 also set world records in 15 of 17 mean response-time benchmarks when running the STAC-M3 Antuco benchmark suite.

It set a new single node 2-socket performance world record wit the SPECmpiM_base2007 metric from the MPI M2007 suite of the SPEC MPI 2007 benchmark.

Lenovo also set world records in SPECvirt_sc2013 in socket server, and SPECjbb2015 benchmarks on 1, 2, 4, and 8 socket servers.

Check out the full benchmark results here, here and here.

Lenovo Transform 2017 ThinkSystem ThinkAgile

Malaysia: Here to stay, here to play

Closer to home, Lenovo admits that it has been under the radar and hasn’t been visible in terms of its enterprise business.

I spoke to Han Chon, general manager, ASEAN, Data Center Group, Lenovo; and John Boey, country general manager, Singapore & Malaysia, Data Center Group, Lenovo at a media briefing, at the recently concluded Lenovo Transform Summit, in Kuala Lumpur.

Chon admitted that Malaysia has not been performing well in the past few years, where Lenovo’s data centre business is concerned. However, he believes that 2017 is an exciting year for ICT, and Lenovo is here to stay for the long run.

Lenovo Transform 2017 ThinkSystem ThinkAgile

He reiterated some quick facts from his Transform keynote:

  • Lenovo is a USD43B global Fortune 500 company and a leader in consumer, commercial and enterprise technology
  • Seven global R&D centres with the Lenovo Data Center Group (DCG) is headquartered in the US.
  • Five global data centre manufacturing facilities
  • 52,000 employees across 160 countries (includes 10,000 Lenovo data centre specialists across the globe)
  • #1 in customer satisfaction (sixth year running)
  • #1 x86 server reliability for fourth year running (ITIC reliability Survey)
  • 42 current world record benchmarks
  • Introduction of two new brands: ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile
  • Introduction of 26 new products

“We just haven’t been visible in the market. When was the last time you’ve seen Lenovo being active, and sharing our own experiences about our data centre solutions in particular?” Chon asked.

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He continued, “Over 70% of businesses in Malaysia are thinking about how to adopt cloud into their infrastructure. We want to be part of that. We want to make sure we create an environment where it becomes easier [for the customer] to do that because of the solutions we can provide.”

Lenovo Transform 2017 ThinkSystem ThinkAgile

“You’ve seen us as a vendor that makes ThinkPads. You seen us as a vendor that does really well in the PC segment. But you haven’t really seen us as a data centre solutions provider,” quipped Chon.

“We’re serious about doing this. We want to make sure that we’re here and present and invest in how we deliver that. Malaysia is a key market that we’d like to stay in and service,” said John Boey.

To reiterate the importance of Malaysia as a market, Boey pointed out that the Malaysian Meteorological Department is the first in the Asia Pacific region (outside of China) to deploy Lenovo’s ThinkSystem server solution with Water-Cooled Technology (WCT).

Lenovo is the only brand that has a direct water-cooling solution that goes beyond the CPU, covering network adapters, storage as well as memory. In essence, the entire node is water-cooled. The water-cooled system can help increase performance and throughput yet cut power consumption by up to 30-40%.

“We’ve gone through the transition stage from IBM to Lenovo, and we’re not ashamed to admit we’ve made blunders along the way. But, what’s important is what we’ve become. Today, we have a dedicated team to drive the data centre business, and that’s what really counts.”

As I talked about in a recent post, Lenovo is a unique company that provides end-to-end solutions–from mobile devices, all the way to the data centre. In line with its overall PC strategy, Lenovo acquired IBM’s x86 server business in 2014, a deal worth USD2.3 billion.

Since then, it has transformed from a product-centric business to a customer-focused company, creating an end-to-end dedicated team (Lenovo Data Center Group) to serve its markets both at worldwide- and country-level.

Lenovo aims to be a top 3 data centre player in the industry, and becoming the largest and fastest growing supercomputing company by 2020.

Pricing and availability

The new portfolio of Lenovo ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile solutions are available now.


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