Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 2U Server Review A Great Mainstream Option

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Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 XClarity Management Overview

Perhaps the most refreshing update in the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 is the new XClarity management. For those that used the previous generation Lenovo IMM as we saw in our Lenovo System x3650 M5 Workhorse 2U Server Review, XClarity is an enormous upgrade.

Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 XClarity Logink
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 XClarity Login

Whereas IMM had started to seem old and quite outdated, XClarity has a modern UI for the on-server management interface that we are going to cover in this review. As a bonus, it is much more responsive.

Lenovo ThinkServer SR650 Dashboard
Lenovo ThinkServer SR650 Dashboard

You can see some of the really nice telemetry data that one gets with XClarity. For example, on the dashboard, one can even see that the memory is using 7W of the total system power. This shows just how much effort Lenovo puts into getting useful data. Here is another example with some of the utilization figures from XClarity where one can see even the individual fan speeds:

Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Utilization
Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Utilization

Like HPE iLO 5 and Dell EMC iDRAC 9, Lenovo offers remote console as a paid license upgrade to get the remote console for OS installation and remote troubleshooting. This is a feature that many of the white box vendors include in their management offerings.

Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Remote Console
Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Remote Console

We purchased a dual 1GbE LOM for the server so we could use it with our provisioning network. You can see the LOM here including which ports are connected. The Mellanox adapters, including the Lenovo firmware Mellanox ConnectX-3 Pro was not on this screen.

Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 LOM Information
Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 LOM Information

System inventories are a necessary task for many IT organizations. Generally, one would use a higher-level server management tool. The server management tools usually pull from on-server management engines, so this is something that is a useful tool. Lenovo has a lot of detail here.

Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Inventory
Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Inventory

As one would expect, the Lenovo XClarity system does a great job of event logging and has a relatively solid set of detailed events with filters and organization that help one diagnose problems with a system.

Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Event Logs
Lenovo XClarity ThinkSystem SR650 Event Logs

The Lenovo XClarity solution is vastly improved over previous Lenovo solutions. It is much more user-friendly than IMM and has some excellent features. There is still a gap between Lenovo XClarity and Dell iDRAC / HPE iLO regarding look and feel. On the other hand, Lenovo XClarity is a notable upgrade over white box solutions. Lenovo is certainly headed in the right direction with this.

Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 XClarity Tag
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 XClarity Tag

Next, we are going to look at the performance of the server before moving to power consumption and our final thoughts.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.1
Performance
9.3
Feature Set
9.3
Value
9.2
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I’m looking for a cheap software-defined-storage server that would run Red Hat Ceph, anyone would recommend this or something similar for a Private OpenStack cloud?

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