The Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550 tower server is designed to be a robust and flexible edge server for enterprise remote branch offices and even for SMB customers. Supporting dual Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs with up to 20 cores each, 768GB RAM, and up to 95.4TB of storage capacity, this is a significant step up from lower-end Intel Xeon E-2100 series servers. In our hands-on review, we are going to show why this server is flexible with a wide array of configuration options to meet site and use case needs.
Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550 Tower Server Hardware Overview
Here we can see the Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550 which is a sizeable 4U tower server. Levono packages the ST550 in a large, well-padded shipping box, it is heavy, and we suggest two people lift the server out of the shipping box. A fully configured ST550 can weigh in at 36 kg (79.36 lb) which is something to be considered when deploying these servers in offices.
With a size of 4U and length of 26.4 inches, the Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550 requires a large footprint to operate in the tower configuration. Overall, the dimensions are width 272 mm (10.7 in), depth: 670 mm (26.4 in), height: 438 mm (17.2 in). Rackmount kits are available for installations in server racks adding to the deployment flexibility of the ST550.
Here we have the Lenovo ThinkSystem TS550 the front door open. This door locks in place to prevent unintentional or unauthorized removal of hot swap drives. Our test configuration initially had 2.5″ SFF modules installed along with an optical drive. Empty bays have EM shield modules inserted to keep air-flow optimized.
The available drive bays offer an impressive number of options for how your storage needs are configured and provide ample opportunities to expand later on.
Available Drive Bay configurations include up to 16 SFF (including 4 NVMe) or 8 LFF bays; PLUS up to 4 SFF (in optical bay) & 2x internal M.2 boot. Here are some of the possibilities:
HBA/RAID support includes both software RAID (8x ports) as standard and optionally hardware RAID (up to 24x ports) and up to 16-port HBAs.
At the top of the Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550, we find the status LEDs and power button also a single USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.
At the back of the ST550, we find at the top, slots for dual redundant hot-swap power supplies, our test unit has only one PSU installed which is common in many edge deployments without A+B power. Unlike lower-end servers, like the HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10, the PSU here is hot swappable making field servicing much faster.
A total of six PCIe slots are available for a variety of expansion devices. A total of four USB 2.0 and a pair of USB 3.0 ports along with two Gigabit network ports, a management port, and a VGA video output port round out the standard IO.
Next, we are going to look inside the system to see what makes it unique.