The word Transform has been used too much lately, I find. Do you not think so? It is used so much that it might have lost its meaning. If you did read a few of our previous articles, you probably would have realised that one of them was purely talking about transformation of businesses and marketing. But in this day and age, business transformations are what should be discussed right now. It is, in essence a critical part of moving forward in any sort of organisation. But the summit the other day is not just about Transforming industries, it is plenty about Lenovo. It was about Lenovo’s return to the server market; the one that IBM (which is now Lenovo) had left behind.
Before we get started though it is important to note that IBM’s servers industry has been gobbled up by Lenovo at about 2014 (correct me if I’m wrong in the comments section). Before that deed was done though, IBM’s consumer arm was already part of Lenovo since 2005. It was one of the most shocking events at the time; especially unexpected of one of the largest and strongest server player in the market, IBM. It all sounded rosy at first as it looked as though IBM would be maintaining its dominance of the enterprise server market under the newfound funding from Lenovo, a star in its own right. It did not happen that way though.
In these few years after acquiring IBM’s data center and server industry, Lenovo has made some significant partnerships with several software providers. While taking a major leap forward towards becoming a total one-stop-shop enterprise solutions provider, certain markets like Malaysia have unfortunately become neglected in some ways. That slow down unfortunately have left a significant gap in the market.
At the Lenovo Transform Summit they look to rectify a few things. Firstly, they addressed the slow down in Malaysia for the past two years. At the same time they would like to address the Malaysian market; or in some sense pledge a re-commitment to the market. Secondly, they are looking to regain their market position as the leader in enterprise computing and server solution provider by introducing two new brands and various products to the enterprising market.
First things first, their lackluster performance and lack of presence entirely from the Malaysian market for the past two years. According to Han Chon, Lenovo’s ASEAN Data Center Group General Manager; Lenovo, since the IBM acquisition have been in a transition period. In a sense they were learning and figuring out how to best work and serve the data center market within that two years. They admitted as well that it was plenty of trial and error when they first acquired IBM.
Now though they are back in the enterprising market stronger than ever. The Lenovo Transform Summit is literal proof of their commitment to the Malaysian market. Instead of just being a hardware based data center and service provider Lenovo looks to become the world’s leading total computing solutions provider. What that means is that they provide more than just hardware support and maintenance. They will be working with their various partners to provide a total computing solutions; including total software support where necessary. At the Summit, they mentioned that they would like to transform themselves to be more than just a hardware company and work with their clients to deliver more.
Obvisously then they should be looking at some ways to try to regain their lost market share. That is where ThinkAgile and ThinkSystems come into play. These two are Lenovo’s new brand names that would serve the big data crowd. Before we begin you should know that we are going to be talking about the x86 processor based servers. What is an x86 server system. Basically all you need to know is that the x86 system is a 16-bit Intel based server that serves big data in a few ways. You can stack them to create a server rack and at the same time make your ‘supercomputer’ even more powerful.
Now that we got that out of the way let us get familiar with ThinkAgile. There were not plenty of information regarding ThinkAgile within the Summit. ThinkAgile is meant to be an integrated server system that combines servers, storage, and networking into a single system. This is also managed as a single unit which technically should cut down set up times and maximise usage effectiveness and efficiency. It is scalable as well so you can add more or reduce its size as your business grows. It is mostly a software-defined solution portfolio that sits on top of ThinkSystems.
Then there is ThinkSystems. The Lenovo ThinkSystems are the exact definition of a beast. As servers go these will be some of the most heavy-duty and reliable ones out there (at least according to Lenovo). With ThinkSystems as well they have managed to lead 42 Performance Benchmarks. Meaning they actually broke 42 world records in their pursuit of total performance with ThinkSystems. That also means that Lenovo’s ThinkSystems are one of the fastest server and data center systems in the market currently. But the question remains, what is it?
The Lenovo ThinkSystems is a Intel Xeon based scalable data center. These are purpose-built machines that would handle the main operations as per required by Lenovo’s customers. It is modular as well which means you can add more hardware to your rack in a heart beat. You can even switch out hardware on your existing server without having any down time. Everything can be added and reduced as per customers’ needs and requirements. Of course, if you have to ask what would require such a computer; cloud computing, artificial intelligence, analytics, decision support, security are a few of the things that the Lenovo ThinkSystems is built for.
Lenovo did mention that Malaysia is a unique market for them as well though. They noted that there are emerging markets in South East Asia that has shown much bigger progress compared to Malaysia in terms of digital transformations. Even in terms of the demand for an increasingly powerful server and data center systems there are markets within South east Asia as well that shows more promise. However Lenovo clarified that Malaysia is still a major player in the digital enterprising market and is a market that cannot be ignored. They noted that Malaysia is one of the important digital hubs in the ASEAN region and that is why Lenovo has chosen to recommit and press on with Malaysia. Malaysia also requires Lenovo to be consistently innovative with their products while maintaining their traditional offerings and methods due to cost requirements in the region. Of course the increasing demand of cloud adoption in Malaysia is also a factor for Lenovo’s commitment in Malaysia.
You are now wondering; “what does this have to do with us, regular consumers”. Directly, not much. But if you do think about it, we regular users are plenty affected by these things. As companies become more and more mobile with their increased agility the significance of reliable systems become more apparent. These systems have to be adapted, and updated regularly enough to keep up with increasing demands for speed. You and I use the smartphone, and smartphones these days are plenty cloud based. This is mostly where the high demands of power support systems come into play. As our smartphones get more powerful with each iteration, the sort of demand on local data centers becomes even more immense. Lenovo’s simplistic and modular approach towards servers and data centers allow companies to quickly switch and upscale functions where required, in an instant. What that does in turn is keeping us happy with the sort of services we get on our phones; apps work as they should, we get our Facebook data on demand, we can do Google searches within less than a millisecond. The more reliable it is as well the less dependence we are on offsite servers, which means we access information as quick as they are available. Those are barely scratching the surface on how we, regular users could potentially use these systems. They may not be ours, but they are built to ultimately serve us through the companies, and apps that we chose to deal with. Photos and press releases after the break.
Lenovo Announces 42 World Record Performance Benchmarks for New ThinkSystem Server Portfolio
Unmatched reliability, customer satisfaction and engineering innovation for x86 servers
MALAYSIA, 9 AUGUST 2017 – Lenovo (HKSE:992) today announced 42 new world record benchmarks for the ThinkSystem server portfolio, integrated with the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, according to industry leading benchmark organizationsA. The ThinkSystem portfolio of solutions is engineered to help customers reduce complexity and tackle their most challenging workloads.
The new ThinkSystem portfolio, brings the gold-standard for the industry under a single unified brand spanning servers, storage and networking systems. The ThinkSystem portfolio can adapt to changing IT needs while reducing complexity and cost. Lenovo’s latest server portfolio includes 14 highly configurable servers across rack and tower, mission critical, dense and blade platforms, as well as new hyperscale system designs, all of which streamline IT infrastructure and lead to increased service levels in the data center that tie directly to business growth. Additionally, customers can choose between different technologies and scale technology as workloads change. Lenovo engineered the ThinkSystem portfolio to work seamlessly with an organization’s previous investments, without the need to completely re-architect the data center.
Lenovo has added seven new solutions covering cloud, big data, analytics and database that are supported on the new ThinkSystem servers, as well as introducing two new Intel® solutions. These enterprise solutions are designed to deliver value to customers by utilizing Lenovo’s innovations in server performance and reliability as well as collaboration with industry-leading software partners.
Performance Unlocked: ThinkSystem Achieves 42 #1 Performance Benchmarks
In addition to reducing complexity and streamlining operations, today’s customers are increasingly looking for more from their investments and require confidence in their technology partner to deliver the type of performance and availability necessary to run demanding and evolving workloads like Microsoft SQL Server. Building on its longstanding recognition as the #1 x86 server vendor for reliability and customer satisfaction1, Lenovo’s new ThinkSystem servers have achieved 42 #1 performance world records.
The TPC-E benchmark uses a database to model a brokerage firm with customers who generate online transaction processing (OLTP) transactions related to trades, account inquiries, and market research. Lenovo is the first to break the $100 USD/transaction per second per E benchmark (tpsE) price barrier on TPC-E, with $93.48 USD/tpsE2, 16% lower than the previous low of $111.65 USD/tpsE3. In addition to Lenovo achieving the lowest $USD/tpsE, Lenovo also achieved the highest TPC-E performance for any 2-socket system with 6,598.36 tpsE2. This benchmark shows how customers can lower their overall costs, while still achieving the performance required to process their customer transactions. In addition to the TPC-E WR’s on the SR650, Lenovo also achieved a TPC-H world record on the SR950. The TPC Benchmark™H (TPC-H) is a decision support benchmark. This benchmark illustrates decision support systems that examine large volumes of data, execute queries with a high degree of complexity, and give answers to critical business questions. Lenovo has published the best performance result ever on the non-clustered TPC-H™ benchmark @10,000GB scale. The ThinkSystem SR950 server achieved the following score: 1,336,109.6 QphH™ @10,000GB (queries per hour H) at $0.92 USD / QphH @10,000GB8.
Lenovo has also demonstrated success to aid financial market customers, delivering 26 STAC-M3 world record benchmarks on the ThinkSystem SR950 and ThinkSystem SR650. The STAC-M3 benchmarks measure challenging workloads in time-series analytics. The ThinkSystem SR950 set world records in 9 of the 15 required, and two of the optional STAC-M3 ‘big-memory’ Shasta benchmarks. One of these results was over 2x higher than prior scores in the STAC-M3 Shasta benchmark4.
The ThinkSystem SR650 also set world records in 15 of 17 mean response-time benchmarks when running the STAC-M3 Antuco benchmark suite, compared to previous publicly reported results for single-node 2 socket servers running the Kx Systems kdb+ database7. The STAC-M3 benchmark reports for the SR950 and SR650 are publicly available. The Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 has set a new single node 2-socket performance world record with the SPECmpiM_base2007 metric from the MPI M2007 suite of the SPEC MPI 2007 Benchmark9.
In addition, Lenovo set world record world records in SPECvirt_sc20135 in 2 socket server, and SPECjbb20156 benchmarks on 1, 2, 4, and 8 socket servers. These new world record benchmark results demonstrate Lenovo’s commitment in delivering the performance our customers expect from their server investments, in addition to providing customers flexible systems that are highly reliable.
“Today’s announcement reconfirms Lenovo’s commitment to disrupting the legacy status quo and providing unprecedented investment protection for customers,” said Kirk Skaugen, President of Lenovo Data Center Group. “Lenovo’s 42 new world breaking benchmarks for our new ThinkSystem servers utilizes the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, combined with third parties rating Lenovo as the #1 x86 server system reliability and customer satisfaction, showcases Lenovo’s engineering strength and more importantly our global commitment to exceed customer expectations.”
Lenovo Collaborates with Intel to Delivery Intel® Select Solutions
Lenovo also announced today support for Intel Select Solutions, a new set of optimized solutions based on the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors targeting today’s complex data center workloads. These solutions offer customers an industry-standard solution while simplifying and accelerating the process of selecting, deploying, and optimizing data center infrastructure to run specific workloads. The Lenovo Validated Design for VMWare vSAN and Lenovo Database Validated Designs for High Performance Microsoft SQL Server OLTP will be available starting in October 2017.
Harness “Intelligence Revolution” with the Largest Data Center Portfolio in Lenovo’s History
Lenovo has recently introduced its largest, most comprehensive portfolio of server, storage, networking, software and data center services, as well as a new set of brands: ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile, aiming to bring unprecedented performance, reliability and quality to customers, and enable them to harness the power of the “intelligence revolution”. For more details about Lenovo’s latest data center portfolio, please visit: http://news.lenovo.com/news-releases/lenovo-helps-customers-harness-intelligence-revolution-with-launch-largest-data-center-portfolio-in-its-history.htm
“The Lenovo ThinkSystem server portfolio delivers 42 new world record benchmarks. Today’s results are an excellent testament to Lenovo’s ThinkSystem server innovation and technology design,” said Kim Stevenson, Senior Vice President, Data Center Infrastructure Business at Lenovo. “The sheer number and the diversity of these benchmarks demonstrate Lenovo’s commitment to innovation and drives business value for our customers, allowing them to run the most demanding workloads and applications.”
The Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC) is a company that coordinates a community called the STAC Benchmark Council. The STAC Benchmark Council consists of over 300 financial institutions and more than 50vendor organizations whose purpose is to explore technical challenges and solutions in financial services and to develop technology benchmark standards that are useful to financial organizations. User firms include the largest global banks, brokerage houses, exchanges, hedge funds, proprietary trading shops, and other market participants. Vendor firms include innovative manufacturers of processor, server, storage, and network hardware, as well as horizontal-market software providers and vertical specialists. STAC-M3 benchmarks are governed by user firms in the STAC Benchmark Council. The STAC-M3 benchmark report for the SR950 is publicly available.
TPC is a non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective, verifiable TPC performance data to the industry.
Lenovo Helps Customers Harness “Intelligence Revolution” With the Launch of Largest Data Center Portfolio in its History
Unprecedented performance, reliability and quality transform businesses today
NEW YORK and FRANKFURT, 20 JUNE 2017– Today, at TRANSFORM and ISC High Performance (ISC2017), Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) unveiled an end-to-end data center portfolio that enables customers to harness the power of the “intelligence revolution” and create a strong technology foundation that supports transformative capabilities such as data analytics, high-performance computing, hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Building on Lenovo’s number one position in customer satisfaction and server reliability for x86 servers, Lenovo introduced its largest, most comprehensive portfolio of server, storage, networking, software and data center services, as well as a new set of brands poised to take this leading position in customer satisfaction to even greater heights: ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile.
“Today’s announcements mark a significant day in the next phase of Lenovo’s commitment to advancing the data center customer experience,” said Kirk Skaugen, President of Lenovo Data Center Group. “Our leadership in x86 server customer satisfaction and x86 server reliability, along with these new ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile brands, and Lenovo’s new portfolio of data center solutions represent the most reliable, most agile, and highest performing data center solutions in the industry. We are confident we can empower our customers to solve their most challenging business problems and become digital disrupters in their own industries.”
Think Ahead: Lenovo Reimagines Future-Defined Data Centers
This year, Lenovo celebrates 25 years of proven Think quality, performance and reliability, and Lenovo ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile data center solutions provide organizations with fluid resources that can adapt to the evolving needs of a business. According to a recent IDC survey of CIOs and technology leaders, 72 percent of respondents cited supporting digital transformation and business growth as the leading rationale in IT infrastructure decisions. In the past three years, hybrid cloud significantly matured, while software defined architectures and hyperconverged infrastructure have disrupted the status quo for IT infrastructure in larger businesses. To respond to these changes, customers face challenges including evolving their infrastructure strategies and considering how to best enable them now and for the future.
The new completely redesigned ThinkSystem portfolio, based on Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, brings the gold-standard for the industry under a single unified brand spanning servers, storage and networking systems. ThinkAgile is a completely new software-defined solutions portfolio built on the foundation of Lenovo ThinkSystem platforms: it adapts to changing IT needs while reducing complexity and cost created by silos in traditional IT. Even better together, the ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile portfolios empower customers to create the foundation of a future-defined data center with:
- Simplicity: Often, customers find the price for technological advancement and advanced IT capabilities is complexity and confusion. The new ThinkSystem portfolio of servers, storage and networking solutions allows customers to address these concerns by giving them the ability to streamline IT infrastructure; this leads to increased service levels of data center operations that tie directly to business growth. At the same time, we believe customers shouldn’t have to choose between certain technologies for fear of vendor lock-in or the inability to scale technology as workloads change. We engineered the ThinkSystem portfolio to work seamlessly with an organization’s previous investments, without the need to completely re-architect the data center. Customers can start fresh, without starting over. ThinkSystem combines the best of the Systemx from IBM heritage with the Lenovo ThinkServer franchise into a single solution built on a history of more than 150 worldwide record x86 server benchmarks: number one in customer satisfaction and number one in reliability.
- Agility and Flexibility: In today’s competitive environment, customers must quickly use data-driven, actionable insights to refine applications and the customer experience will be paramount to today’s businesses as they strive to uncover new competitive advantages in an increasingly crowded market. With the Lenovo ThinkAgile portfolio, integrated solutions adapt to these changing IT and business needs by delivering the speed, simplified management and agility of cloud services while retaining the much-valued control and governance of on-premises IT. Its pre-integrated, pre-built and pre-tested offerings deliver robust new capabilities to customers’ data center, including automated lifecycle management, decreased TCO and reduced need for IT resources to maintain the platform. These solutions include the ThinkAgile SX series for Microsoft Azure Stack, as well as the ThinkAgile SX rack level solutions that integrate networking with hyperconverged offerings for a seamless customer experience. And because Lenovo is not encumbered by legacy network and storage solutions, customers have the confidence that they can move full-speed ahead on software-defined, while seamlessly integrating with their legacy investments.
- Future-Proofed Preparation: With the pace of technology innovation continuing to accelerate, customers will increasingly require the flexibility to adjust to changes and ensure the infrastructure they implement today stays relevant for their future needs. We designed the ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile solutions, such as the ThinkSystem SD530 high-performance computing offering to support workloads spanning large data analytics applications to high performance computing, artificial intelligence and the largest hyperscale environments.
Lenovo is committed to delivering transformational experiences for both its customers and the industry and is pleased to announce the delivery of one of the most powerful systems – among the first in the world based on Intel Xeon Platinum processor family – to Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). The BSC MareNostrum 4 supercomputer, tasked with jobs in science and engineering research, incorporates 48 racks with more than 3,400 nodes with next generation Intel Xeon processors and a central memory of 390 Terabytes. Its peak power will be over 11 Petaflop/s, allowing the center to test and analyze the performance of the most recent developments in the field of supercomputing.
“The newly launched x86 ThinkSystem platform provides us with ten times more processing power than the previous MareNostrum supercomputer, allowing BSC to continue the type of scientific research that enhances humanity’s efforts to seek new knowledge and drive progress. Our experience with Lenovo has been easy and tightly integrated to overcome our challenges and achieve success, and we look forward to future collaboration,” said Sergi Girona, Operations Director, BSC.
“We have a rich history of collaboration and transformative innovation with Lenovo,” said Lisa Spelman, Vice President and General Manager of Intel Xeon Products at Intel. “The introduction of Lenovo’s new ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile portfolios, designed for Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors, is a natural extension of our longstanding commitment to providing customers with reliable, industry-leading data center solutions that will support customers as they look to capitalize on next-generation workloads like artificial intelligence and deliver world class service capability on-premises and in the cloud.”
Source: Lenovo Malaysia