I was at the launch today in Singapore of Lenovo's first ThinkServer line of servers.
Positioned as an out-of-the-box solution for SMBs, the idea behind the ThinkServer is to provide robust performance with high levels of storage -- but without the need for dedicated IT staffers to set up and manage them.
The launch line-up consists of tower as well as rack units equipped with either Intel Core 2 Duo or Xeon processors. Available operating system options are Microsoft Windows Server or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Lenovo attempts to differentiate itself by providing a trio of management tools: ThinkServer EasyStartup, which is a hardware configuration tool; EasyUpdate, an update utility that caters to both hardware and firmware updates; and EasyManage, a full-featured monitoring tool developed with LANDesk. You can read the about the specifics at Lenovo's ThinkServer product page here.
What I want to talk about is the panel session I sat in with Lenovo's Director of its Enterprise System Group, Matt Codrington, and his fellow executives, as well as representatives from Intel, Microsoft, Novell and IDC.
After trimming off the marketing fluff and promises of SMB-centric hardware -- everyone is claiming that these days -- there are some startling nuggets of information about this new kid on the block. Let's be clear about that: Lenovo wants your business and is playing for keeps. The company is also not ignorant of the fact that it faces an uphill battle against entrenched market leaders such as HP, IBM and Dell. On this front, Codrington was quick to emphasize that "pricing will be competitive" in order to level the playing field.
While Lenovo might hold its future road map close to its chest; its focus on the SMB market is assured by virtue of its product line-up. If you looked carefully, you will notice that just about all of its new products feature has either one or two processors - which is perfect for most SMBs.
Despite the current state of the economy, the mood is upbeat at Lenovo. Lenovo Country General Manager Ronnie Lee summed it up perfectly when he said, "Whatever we sell is something that our competitors don't sell." Considering that Lenovo's server penetration is effectively zero at this point, this is an optimistic, though entirely correct evaluation of the market situation.
If you are looking to buy some new servers, you might want to check out if Lenovo hardware fits the bill.