Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 Power Consumption and Noise
Power consumption was higher than we expected with the SE350. Even with the server off, we were seeing relatively high numbers. With the server on, we saw closer to what we would expect.
- Power off: 20W
- Idle: 119W
- STH 70% CPU Load: 182W
- 100% Load: 201W
- Maximum Recorded: 238W
Note these results were taken using a 208V Schneider Electric / APC PDU at 17.5C and 71% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance.
This seemed very high so we double-checked both on our 120V Extech TrueRMS power meters as well as through the XClarity web UI. Here is an example just before “Power On” was selected while taking screen grabs of the XClarity UI where the power output is listed as 20W.
Here is an example we had at OS idle. XClarity was showing a slightly higher number here than what we got, but relatively close. The upper end of the spectrum seemed to match expectations.
For some context, we have seen several Xeon D-2100 series systems use less than 10W with power off. These are not huge numbers but at the same time it does appear as though the XClarity Controller solution is using more power than some of the lower-featured industry-standard controllers. That makes sense given that it is providing more functionality, but it is something to keep in mind when evaluating solutions.
As for noise, even at idle we would hit fan ramps in the system. Before the fan speeds increased, the noise was >40dba and louder than we would want in an office. Once the fan speeds increased, even at idle, the noise was more appropriate for a factory floor or a data center than a populated environment. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that we have a massive configuration. On the other hand, it seems like an opportunity for a Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350Q for “Quiet” that uses taller 2U or 3U chassis sheet metal with larger fans. Until that happens, the server needs to be in a different room than people, except in areas with high ambient noise ceilings.
STH Server Spider: Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350
In the second half of 2018, we introduced the STH Server Spider as a quick reference to where a server system’s aptitude lies. Our goal is to start giving a quick visual depiction of the types of parameters that a server is targeted at.
If you want to pack 3.5″ hard drives at the edge, the Lenovo SE350 is not the solution. On the other hand, Lenovo packed an impressive amount of compute, memory, networking, NVMe storage, and acceleration into a small edge appliance.
Overall, the Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 is an awesome machine. It presents an opinionated view of management, security, form factor, mounting, and capabilities that Lenovo has tested and validated as an edge platform for its customers. Lenovo is going beyond this raw server and providing solutions based on this building block such as the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX1021 Microsoft Azure Stack edge cluster solution. We think this direction will resonate with customers who trust that Lenovo can leverage organizational learning across its customer base to provide an excellent solution at scale.