Lenovo presented the broadest infrastructure portfolio in its history with more than 50 new and enhanced products, solutions and services for a new era of intelligent transformation. On September 21, during the Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions launch event, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of its ThinkSystem servers by innovating and adding new enterprise offerings to its legacy.
The new products and solutions focus on digital acceleration, edge computing, cloud and hybrid cloud solutions, servers and supercomputers. Edge computing – combined with the cloud and innovation tools such as machine learning, AI, 5G, blockchain and IoT – is driving a new trend across sectors. International Data Corporation predicts that by 2023 more than 50% of new IT infrastructure will be deployed at the edge, while Gartner adds that 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of traditional centralized data centers or the cloud.
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To support the transformation and meet the needs, Lenovo renewed and expanded its edge and edge-to-cloud portfolio with a strong focus on performance, sustainability, agility, AI, and intelligent management and analytics.
“We are in a world where data creation is projected to double again by 2025, and over the next three years this will create more data on this planet than all of the world’s history,” Kirk Skaugen, EVP & President of Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group said during the event. “In every location, and increasingly at the edge, data is being created, processed, and instantly mined with ever-increasing levels of AI for insights.”
Infrastructure solutions V3, XClarity One and Neptune
During the event, Skaugen presented the next generation of ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile and ThinkEdge services and storage. These are powered by next-generation AMD and Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and all feature Lenovo ThinkShield Security and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software.
Lenovo also introduced the new XClarity One, a one-source-of-truth dashboard that unifies data management and architectures, and both cloud and edge operations with an industry-first integration of TruScale Infrastructure-as-a-Service , Management-as-a-Service and Smarter-Support analytics for orchestration, automation and measurement from the edge to the cloud.
“Lenovo XClarity is our most advanced cloud-based unified software management platform, integrating true-scale metering, remote provisioning, automated orchestration software and smarter support analytics, covering all our products from edge to cloud,” said Skaugen.
Lenovo also showcased the next generation of Neptune water cooling and carbon offset services to help companies in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, save energy and improve performance while driving sustainability.
Neptune – now in its fifth generation – promises a 40% reduction in energy consumption and costs, and zero noise. 98% of the generated heat is absorbed with water cooling technology. Reducing heat and energy consumption increases performance.
Lenovo also presented the new CO2 Offset Services, which help companies to offset emissions by supporting climate protection projects of the United Nations. The new Lenovo TruScale Sustainability Services offer pay-as-you-go usage. This prevents oversupply and supports reduced energy consumption.
Kamran Amini, Vice President & General Manager of Server, Storage & Software Defined Infrastructure at Lenovo ISG, presented the technical details of the new portfolio. The company introduced 15 new ThinkSystem servers based on the latest AMD and Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
“All of these platforms are AI-enabled at any scale,” Amini said.
Amini explained that the new platforms leverage the latest technology with DDR5 memory, PCI Gen5 IO, faster interfaces and new storage solutions that can deliver the next generation of all-flash NVMe SSDs. The new technology aims to accelerate the AI age.
“With the new portfolio, we deliver our rack servers, tower, dense, optimized and mission-critical scale-up systems,” said Amini.
Lenovo promises 70% faster financial analysis performance and 2x faster development of AI models with ThinkSystem Servers V3. They are drawn to scale and designed for large telcos and enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.
Responding to demand for edge computing, AI, big data analytics and efforts to bring data closer to the edge while improving performance and management, Lenovo introduced the renewed DE series and the new DE6400 and DE6600 – both as all flash and hybrid. DE Series storage systems increase insights by 2x and increase price/performance by 50%.
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With the new DE lineup, Lenovo delivers the first entry-level NVMe all-flash storage solution that scales up to 1.8 petabytes of all-flash. In a hybrid landscape, the DE increases storage capacity by up to eight petabytes.
Finally, the company is updating 32 ThinkAgile solutions – Lenovo’s hyper-converged turnkey cloud solution designed to simplify all types of cloud environments and edge clouds. ThinkAgile MX and SMX – powered by Microsoft Azure – ThinkAgile HX, powered by Nutanix and ThinkAgile VX, powered by VMware are designed to enable edge-core cloud deployment. Lenovo asserts that its technical solutions enable 85% faster deployment than current competitors and increase the total cost of ownership (TCO) in terms of operational efficiency by 47%.
Lenovo’s Edge Advisory for Small and Medium Businesses
During the event, TechRepublic asked Lenovo what advice they offer to small and medium-sized businesses starting their edge computing journey. Amini explained that given the breadth of possibilities and choices available in the market, companies should first consider their use case.
In smart retail, for example, the industry is looking for better intelligence and AI to understand customer behavior and shopping experiences.
“You will see how AI plays with our edge devices for these use cases,” said Amini.
Amini emphasized that Lenovo’s new portfolio aims to provide different product sets for the Edge and offer diverse choices and price points. Amini added that most small and medium-sized businesses don’t have large IT staffs, so simplifying unified data management for the edge and edge-to-cloud allows for automation, orchestration, rapid deployment, and time-to-value.
“This is where we continue to innovate to truly simplify the infrastructure management, deployment and lifecycle experience,” said Amini. Lenovo’s XClarity One is also designed to support data governance frameworks and practices.
Skaugen told TechRepublic that small and medium-sized businesses should pay close attention to AI and Lenovo’s AI innovator program. Accenture’s Art of AI Maturity report shows that more than 60% of companies adopting AI are only scratching the surface. Only 12% of companies using AI have matured and are reaping the benefits, increasing revenue by up to 30%.
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Building AI production applications is an expensive and time-consuming challenge. Lenovo’s AI innovator program streamlines this process by providing AI solutions to its customers.
“We are committed to investing significantly – well over $1 billion – in AI to build AI innovation labs,” said Skaugen. “To these labs we bring the tested solutions from these ISPs and then we get something fully certified for someone who can go to market and doesn’t have any underlying deployment issues.”
AI applications at the edge improve security, build smart cities, drive biometrics, reduce financial fraud, enhance customer experiences, increase revenue, and manage IoT architectures. Developing AI apps to solve real-world business problems used to take years, but now vendors and companies offering AI shortcuts and integrated solutions can deploy AI applications in weeks or months that are already being used successfully in various industries.
“Lenovo’s innovative AI program truly gives these companies the opportunity to find the right partners and know that when they select them, they are already optimized to work extensively with Lenovo infrastructure solutions,” said Skaugen.
With its new diverse and extensive portfolio, Lenovo is moving deep into the future of cloud and edge computing and investing heavily in new technologies. Their robust offering is a symbol of the new trends and a world hungry for smart management, acceleration and innovation.