Business computing hardware launches are usually pretty straightforward. After considering markets, talking with customers and partners, and analyzing component characteristics, vendors develop and launch new products with features they believe will address specific business opportunities.
However, you can observe this process from another viewpoint: where new solutions reflect how a vendor perceives or understands its commercial customers.
That is an issue worth considering in terms of the new ThinkSystem V2 solutions Lenovo recently announced for midsize companies.
Opportunities and Challenges for Midsize Businesses
Like most system vendors, Lenovo has a strong interest in and focus on enterprise computing. After all, large organizations’ sizable and complex IT requirements typically translate into significant orders and long-term sales and service relationships. But as a group, midsize companies represent a substantial opportunity in nearly every global market.
As Lenovo noted in its announcement, midsize businesses make up the majority of the world economy and workforce. Plus, those companies tend to grow more quickly and dynamically than large enterprises, often with the assistance of robust compute solutions and services. As a result, IDC’s prediction that 70 percent of midsize businesses will increase their IT spend by 2026 should come as no surprise.
Why so? Because technology-led transformation can help companies enhance or accelerate key business tasks and processes, adapt to market shifts and meet vital challenges, like the continuing growth in cybercrime, security breaches and ransomware attacks. However, midsize organizations also face significant barriers in achieving those benefits, particularly in terms of finding, hiring and retaining IT staff and managers with the skills needed for technology-led business transformation.
Also see: What is Edge Computing
Lenovo’s New ThinkSystem and TruScale solutions
What is Lenovo doing to help midsize customers address these issues? The company is rolling out a trio of new single-socket ThinkSystem V2 servers, along with storage and service offerings. The new solutions include:
- ThinkSystem ST50 V2: A compact, performance-optimized tower solution designed for growing businesses, remote/branch offices, and small/home offices. The ST50 V2 includes Intel Xeon E-2300 processor with up to 8 cores at 95W, up to 64GB TruDDR4 memory at 3200MHz (planned support for up to 128GB), 2x 3.5-inch SSD/HDD bays, 1x 2.5” SDD bay, 1x NVMe M.2 SSD Module, 1x optical drive bay. Support for the NVIDIA Quadro RTX T1000 GPU is also available.
- ThinkSystem SR250 V2: A single-socket 1U rack server for growing businesses that require power, reliability and flexibility for space constrained installations. The SR250 V2 includes Intel Xeon E-2300 processor up to 8 cores at 95W and up to 128GB TruDDR4 memory at 3200MHz. Flexible storage options include either 10x 2.5-inch hot-swap drive bays, or 4x 3.5-inch hot-swap or simple-swap drive bays, and simple-swap drive configuration supports an NVMe drive for tiered storage. Data protection provided by hardware RAID adapters. Support for the NVIDIA Quadro RTX T1000 GPU is also available.
- ThinkSystem ST250 V2: Designed for growing businesses looking for enterprise-level power in an easily-managed tower form factor. The ST250 V2 includes Intel Xeon E-2300 processor, up to 8 cores at 95W and up to 128GB TruDDR4 memory at 3200MHz. Enterprise storage options support up to 16x 2.5-inch hot-swap or 8x 3.5-inch hot-swap and simple-swap drive bays. Simple-swap drive configuration includes support for an NVMe drive for tiered storage, and support is available for an optical drive and an RDX backup unit in media bays. Data center data protection provided by hardware RAID adapters. Support for the NVIDIA A2000 or Quadro RTX T1000 GPUs is also available.
Both the SR250 V2 and ST250 V2 include integrated systems management with Lenovo XClarity while the ST50 V2 offers optional Lenovo XClarity Provisioning Manager Lite (USB version). Lenovo noted that the ThinkSystem DM5100F storage system, an all-flash SAN solution, can help companies start small and grow, adapting to new workloads over time and allowing them to manage data from the network edge to the cloud. The company also offers DM storage systems with built-in ransomware protection, as well as ThinkShield Security solutions for the new ThinkSystem V2 servers.
The new solutions are available as Lenovo’s TruScale Infrastructure Services offerings. Plus, the company hopes that midsize companies facing the challenges of enabling and supporting remote workers, including those at remote and branch offices (ROBOs), will consider the Lenovo TruScale for Hosted Desktops solution. Finally, Lenovo noted that midsize companies could benefit from its Professional Services Tokens, which can be purchased in hourly increments and used for IT services consulting and support.
Returning to my first point, what do the new ThinkSystem V2 servers and associated solutions say about how Lenovo perceives or understands midsize customers and prospects? First and foremost, the company understands the remarkable size, scope and variety of midsize businesses. There are nothing like “one size fits all” IT solutions for these organizations.
Instead, their computing requirements vary wildly according to the industries, markets and regions where they do business. So, while the new ThinkSystem V2 servers single socket design may seem modest, their highly scalable features make Lenovo’s solutions both appropriate for a wide range of commercial applications and industry use cases.
Just as important are Lenovo’s included and optional services and functions, including its XClarity systems management offerings and ThinkShield security features. While cyberthreats may be top of mind in the daily news, actual dangers vary widely for individual businesses, including midsize companies.
Flexibility is also apparent in Lenovo’s TruScale Services, which can be implemented according to customers’ needs and designed to address existing or potential IT staffing issues.
Overall, the adaptability and scalability of the new ThinkSystem V2 servers and associated solutions reflects Lenovo’s clear understanding of and appreciation for the midsize companies that will employ them.