Lenovo has two new servers for the latest 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors codenamed “Cooper Lake.” The Lenovo ThinkSystem SR850 V2 and ThinkSystem SR860 V2 are designed for 4-socket operation. Let us get into the details of the new servers.
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR850 V2
The 2U Lenovo ThinkSystem SR850 V2 can be configured either in dual-socket or quad-socket mode. For most of STH’s readers, the quad-socket offering is going to be the primary driver to look at the platform.
On the baseboard, the ThinkSystem SR850 V2 has two CPUs, 24 DIMM slots, the new Lewisburg Refresh PCH, and the PCIe riser system. One can add a second CPU and memory board connected via vertical UPI links to expand the solution to 4-socket. One can get a total of 48 DDR4 DIMMs or 24 DDR4 DIMMs and 24 Optane PMem 200 modules in the system for up to 18TB total. One big difference with the Cooper Lake platform is that one can only utilize App Direct mode not memory mode with PMem 200.
The solution can support up to 24x 2.5″ drives either NVMe, SATA, or SAS depending on the storage configuration. This system also has something a bit different than what we are seeing from most other vendors. Lenovo does not include M.2 slots in this server. Instead, the company has two 7mm bays for boot drives. That is a big departure from most of the other server platforms we are seeing.
On the expansion side, one can get up to seven PCIe Gen 3 slots. Another development is that the company is using OCP NIC 3.0 for networking modules. That is a big deal as only a few years ago all of the major vendors were designing their custom solutions. Going forward the OCP NIC 3.0 has won the NIC format battle which is great to drive volumes and quality.
Lenovo ThinkSystem SR860 V2
Scaling the solution up, one can see the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR860 V2. This server is a 4U unit that has a similar base of 2-socket and expands to 4-socket configurations with the full Cooper Lake memory footprint.
On the front of the chassis, one gets 48x 2.5″ bays of which 24x can be NVMe. Like the SR850 V2, one gets two 7mm NVMe drive bays. Unlike the SR850 V2, the SR860 V2 can support M.2 boot devices.
The system can support up to four double-width GPUs or eight single-width GPUs such as the NVIDIA T4. If using lower-power expansion, one can get up to 14x PCIe Gen3 slots in the 4U machine. The SR8650 V2 also utilizes OCP NIC 3.0 networking.
One of the more interesting aspects of this announcement is that Lenovo is not offering an 8-socket solution. On a pre-briefing call, Lenovo said that their customers would likely skip this generation of 8-socket platforms and wait for Sapphire Rapids with PCIe Gen5, CXL, and 8-socket support. Intel said that the new generation is on track for late 2021.
Another quick note is that Lenovo is offering both 2U and 4U platforms. That is similar to the Inspur NF8260M6 and NF8480M6 4P Intel Xeon Servers we covered. Since both are vendors based in China, have similar platforms, and China is a big 4-socket market, perhaps that is due to certain customer requirements there.