Lenovo Unveils Value Line of ThinkServer Systems for SMBs

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Lenovo earlier this week released three new servers that are targeted to small and mid-sized businesses. The lineup consists of two rackmount servers, the RD230 and RD240, as well as a tower-based TD230. All systems are powered by Intel's Xeon 5500 and Xeon 5600 series of processors and generally come equipped with features such as data protection and remote management - capabilities not necessarily found in similar low-end series of servers.


In addition, management tools built into the servers mean they can be integrated seamlessly as part of Level Platforms' architecture. Level Platforms makes remote monitoring and management products used by managed-services-provider vendors.


The RD230 is a 1U rack server that comes with hot-swappable SATA drives with RAID 5 data protection, a DVD writer and Web-based management capabilities. It is available with either one or two processors, and supports up to four SAS or SATA hard-disk drives with prices starting from $999.


A beefier unit, the 2U-based RD240 provides up to eight hard-disk drives and dual power supplies. With RAID 6 data protection, the list price for a four-way processor model starts at $1,399. RAID 6 provides much more robust data protection -- it can survive the simultaneous failure of up to two hard-disk drives without data loss.


Finally, the TD230 is a dual-socket tower server with similar specifications to the RD230, with the additional ability of being able to handle up to 32 GB of memory. Customers can go for a four-bay hot-swap option, or a five-bay direct-connect hard-drive configuration. Lenovo says prices start at $829.


In a market long dominated by server vendors such as IBM, HP and Dell, it is clear that Lenovo is eager to rock the boat and distinguish itself in the server market by bringing more advanced features into its value range of servers.


Tom Ribble, director of ThinkServer Product Marketing for Lenovo says as much:

This is a new play for us in this market, at price points we haven't seen before, and with more built-in features than the competition.

In my opinion, the sub-$1,000 starting prices for some of the basic configurations look pretty compelling in terms of value to branch offices or SMBs. Moreover, the built-in management features will also lend well to remote management, or signing on external managed-services providers for support.


Ultimately, increased competition from the likes of Lenovo should also hasten the migration of more advanced functionality to lower-end products from other server vendors.