Lenovo Releases Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family Servers

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Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 Facing Right View 1
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 Facing Right View 1

Lenovo was out in full force at the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family launch this week. The company set no fewer than 42 world record benchmark results. With a slew of new systems that support the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family including something new compared to previous launches: an eight socket capable system launching on day 1.

Frankly, Lenovo needed a strong showing. The Q1 2017 IDC numbers for Lenovo looked gruesome. Lenovo delivered on that need in a big way.

Key at Lenovo’s Launch: 8-way on Day 1

Key to Lenovo’s launch efforts was one-upmanship. While Dell EMC, HPE, Supermicro, and others had 4-way systems ready for launch, Lenovo had and 8 socket machine.

Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 Facing Right View 1
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 Facing Right View 1

The ThinkSystem SR950 scales from two to eight sockets. Lenovo is making a major push into large, in-memory applications with high license costs. One example is SAP HANA which the company describes at launch.

Mainstream Rackmount Servers

Lenovo launched a number of standard dual socket server platforms at launch featuring the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family. Interestingly enough, Lenovo is segmenting the market based on CPU TDP. For example, the higher-end Lenovo ThinkSystem SD650 can take up to two Intel Xeon Platinum 205W TDP CPUs.

Lenovo ThinkSystem SD650 Front
Lenovo ThinkSystem SD650 Front

On the 1U side the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 can handle up to ten front hot swap drive bays and two 205W TDP CPUs.

Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 Front
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 Front

Conversely, an example of some of the lower-end offerings would be the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR550 that can only handle up to 125W TDP CPUs.

Lenovo ThinkSystem SR550 Front 125W Max CPUs
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR550 Front 125W Max CPUs

With the new CPU launch, server vendors need a way to segment the market since, in theory, all CPUs can be used in any dual socket platform. We expect these lower-TDP platforms to be popular with users looking at the Xeon Bronze and Xeon Silver CPU lines.

Final Words

Lenovo needed a strong showing at the launch of the new Xeon and it delivered. While server vendor benchmarks often depend on who has the team that knows how to optimize a given workload, Lenovo put up lots of great numbers. Beyond the numbers, Lenovo is also hitting the market hard with high-end eight-socket systems only about a year after the Intel Xeon E7-8800 V4 launch. As we have seen in our initial benchmarks, the new Xeon Platinum four socket platform is already showing significant benefits.

Check out our Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family (Skylake-SP) Launch Coverage Central for benchmarks, architecture information, and vendor launches for the newest Xeon generation. You can also see a few of our previous generation Lenovo server reviews from 1H 2017:

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