Lenovo Goes All In with Server, Workstation Offerings

Charlene O'Hanlon

May 14, 2012

2 Min Read
Lenovo Goes All In with Server, Workstation Offerings

Lenovo kicked off its Accelerate 2012 Partner Conference in Las Vegas with an entry-level workstation and two servers representing the company’s new focus on the server space.

“We are announcing our intent to go all in on this product line,” said Kevin Nelson, executive director of the recently formed Lenovo Enterprise Systems Group (ESG). “Last year we didn’t have a focus but it’s something our customers wanted and our partners were helpful in us realizing there is a market. We expect to go big in this space.”

Lenovo is starting small, however, announcing the ThinkServer RD530 and RD630 1U and 2U rack servers, designed to fit into existing infrastructures. Both feature Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors with up to eight cores per processor, offering an increase in CPU performance of up to 30 percent two times the memory bandwidth compared to the current Lenovo server offerings, according to the company. Both also feature up to 320GB of RAM deployable in 20 DIMM slots, hardware and advanced RAID controller options and full redundancy with up to eight or 16 hot-swappable hard drives, depending on the model.

“We are the new kids in town [in this space],” Nelson said. “That’s not lost on us and we’ve spent lot of time working with our partners and getting feedback on what works and what we can do better.”

The new ThinkStation E31, meanwhile, is an entry-level workstation offered in either a mini-tower or small form factor design. The E31 uses the Intel Xeon Processor E3 or Intel Core i7 processor, and features up to 6 TB or 9TB of storage, depending on the model, and Windows 7 Professional.

Both the servers and the workstations come under the purview of ESG, which Lenovo created as a formal structure to support the technologies. ESG includes at least 15 field sales and 15 channel sales reps, as well as inside technical support and a separate ISV support group. As director of the group, Nelson reports to David Schmook, senior vice president and general manager of Lenovo North America.

So what’s different from Lenovo’s former server efforts? Much, Nelson said. For one, Lenovo’s first server offering in 2008 was an IBM-licensed machine. The RD530 and RD630, however, are all Lenovo-designed and developed. And the fact that a new group has been created to support servers and workstations shows Lenovo is dedicated to the market, he said.

“We think we can be successful because we’ve proven that when focus our energy on an area, we are successful,” Nelson said. “We are very focused on moving into No. 1 [in the server space] and then staying there for a long time. Part of that is expanding our relationship and depth with [our customers] and that includes focusing on the server and workstation business.”

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