Lenovo Unveils Low-End ThinkServer Systems

Lenovo officials say a combination of high performance and low price points for the three new ThinkServer systems-two rack servers and a tower-will help the company gain a larger foothold in the highly competitive x86 IT infrastructure market.

Lenovo, best known as a PC vendor, is continuing its push into the highly competitive x86 server market.

Lenovo on July 27 rolled out its first line of low-end servers aimed at the small and midsize business space, MSPs (managed service providers) and enterprises that need smaller systems for branch offices.

The company launched its first ThinkServer systems in 2008. Now Lenovo is looking to expand its lineup.

"Lenovo is entering a new server space," Tom Ribble, director of ThinkServer marketing, said in an interview with eWEEK.

For a look at the Lenovo ThinkServer RD210, click here.

With the rack mount ThinkServer RD230 and RD240, and the tower TD230, Lenovo is bringing out a series of dual-socket systems that come in at a low price-the TD230 has a starting price of $829-but offer a wide range of features, Ribble said.

"We've got a lot of features built in, and that creates great value for the price point," he said.

Such features include built-in advanced RAID in the RD230, Web-enabled management capabilities that will allow MSPs to manage and monitor their customers' IT systems remotely, hot-swappable hard drive storage, and a DVD writer.

The systems are powered by Intel's Xeon 5500 and 5600 series chips, which Lenovo said helps them run 60 percent faster than other, similar servers. The RD240, the larger of the two rack systems, offers up to eight hard drives, 8TB of storage and dual power supplies.

Ribble said the new ThinkServers will have wide-ranging appeal. For SMBs, the systems will offer solid performance at a competitive price, while MSPs will have new choices for their server farms. The ThinkServers also are able to run a wide range of workloads, from back-end tasks to cloud computing applications.

Enterprises that need smaller servers for remote offices also will see their options grow, he said.

"The opportunity is very strong with the SMB business," Ribble said.

However, Lenovo is entering a rapidly growing and highly competitive space dominated by the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and IBM. The x86 market in the first quarter generated $6.8 billion in revenues, shipping about 1.8 million servers.

Ribble said bringing dual-socket servers like the newest three ThinkServers to market will help Lenovo gain a larger foothold in the space despite the presence of such top-tier vendors.