Lenovo's New ThinkSystem Data Center Portfolio Takes Aim At Dell EMC, HPE, Cisco

Lenovo on Tuesday unleashed its first full-fledged data center product portfolio under a new ThinkSystems brand, aimed squarely at displacing data center rivals Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Cisco.

The new comprehensive data center portfolio includes high performance servers for mission critical big data applicatons, all flash data center storage and SAN offerings and a complete of cloud ready line of networking switches.

The product blitz represents the the first major revamp of Lenovo's product lines since its $2.1 billion acquisition of IBM's x86 server business in late 2014.

[Related: A New Lenovo Sees Data Center Market As Its 'Growth Engine']

Lou Giovanetti, co-founder of CPU Sales, a Waltham, Mass.-based solution provider that has been a Lenovo partner for many years, said the new products appear to have the technology muscle for the company to gain traction versus long time infrastructure stalwarts.

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"They're shaking up the product line," said Giovanetti. "They've got to make this a big splash. It's got to be the famous comeback story. Everyone recognizes the name, the quality is there, the reliability, the pricing. They're very informative, they keep you up-to-date, their rebate programs are easy to work with. It all has to come together, because if you're going to replace [another vendor], it's a big job. If the customer is looking to try something different, you can't just take the same piece of hardware and just massage it and paint it a different color and say here it is."

The new portfolio includes:

The ThinkSystem SR950 is designed for mission-critical workloads like in-memory databases, large transactional databases, real-time analytics, ERP and CRM systems and virtualizes server workloads. It scales from two to eight processors in a 4U form factor.

The ThinkSystem SN550 and SN850 – dense, expandable blade servers designed to run a wide variety of workloads and expand according to customer demands. The units support Intel's new Xeon Scalable Family processor, as well as SAS/SATA and NVMe disk drives.

The ThinkSystem SD530 – an ultra-dense system for large, complex environments like high-performance computing and software-defined workloads. The system employs a two-unit, four-node form factor that stresses flexibility and density.

The ThinkSystem DS series is Lenovo's entry into mid-range all-flash and hybrid SAN storage solutions.

The ThinkSystem DS2200 is an enterprise-class SAN Array aimed at the small and midsized business market with either 12GB SAS, 8/16GB Fibre Channel or 1/10GB iSCSI to integrate with customers' existing networks. The DS2200 can hold up to 12 3.5-inch or 24 2.5-inch HDDs and SSDs internally and supports up to 96 drives in total using three expansion units. It supports mixing LFF and SFF enclosures.

The ThinkSystem DS4200 – a performance-optimized SAN array designed for primary storage, remote and branch offices, virtualization, and back-up. The DS4200 is equipped with a management interface GUI and a rapid deployment wizard that can reduce set-up time to 15 minutes. It supports up to 240 drives.

The ThinkSystem DS6200 – a SAN array designed for I/O intensive applications. Like the DS4200, it can be set up in 15 minutes, supports up to 240 drives. The unit achieves higher IOPs and latency at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions, Lenovo says, and boasts enterprise-class features like storage tiering, high availability and thin provisioning.

The ThinkSystem RackSwitch line – a family of cloud-scale switches designed to accelerate the deployment of hybrid cloud data centers.

The Think System NE1032T – a 24-port, 10G open networking switch. The ThinkSystem NE1072T is a 48-port, 10G data center cloud switch. Each uses whatever management software the customer prefers, avoiding vendor lock-in. The switch aims to reduce data center opex by connecting to the most-used data center management applications, like OpenStack, VMware Log Insight, and Nutanix Prism in hyper-converged systems.

The NE2572 is a high-performance, cloud-optimized 25GB/100GB top-of-rack switch that offers up to 72 ports and speeds up to 100 Gbps. Like the other switches in the new ThinkSystem line, the NE2572 allows customers to use their preferred software and avoid vendor lock-in. Its big brother is the NE10032 is a 100GB cloud-optimized Ethernet spine switch.

Lenovo is also offering pre-integrated turnkey solutions under a new ThinkAgile brand. That includes the ThinkAgile SX Series for Microsoft Azure Stack and the ThinkAgile hyperconverged rack level solution.