It's not all that surprising to hear Lenovo is launching a range of servers targeted at small to medium businesses considering the SMB x86 server market is worth several billions of dollars a year. Of course, the Think branding alone adds a degree of credibility to Lenovo's line-up but for those that doesn't quite cut it with Lenovo has a few other tricks up its sleeve.
Obviously the most important is the offering of a decent range of configurations, to which effect Lenovo has 1U and 2U tower and rack-mount offerings, with both Windows and SUSE Linux operating systems available.
Lenovo also offers what a ThinkServer management tool package consisting of the following:
- ThinkServer EasyStartup – a basic hardware configuration tool that helps customers with limited technical knowledge set up a server environment.
- ThinkServer EasyUpdate – an update utility that allows users to easily identify, download and install hardware and firmware updates.
- ThinkServer EasyManage – a full featured tool developed together with LANDesk that allows users to oversee the performance of one or more servers from a single console
Saying that, Microsoft does now have a significantly better Server 2008 option for SMBs - under the name of WESS. While this is still being the full version of Server 2008 under the surface, is presented to the user initially with a much simplified interface. There're also more SMB-friendly licensing options, for those that's a concern to.
Lenovo will also offer a 90 day free trial of its priority support, offering next-day on-site servicing and direct access to tier two support staff (as opposed to lowly tier one staff). Lenovo reckon most problems with their servers are likely to spring up within this time and, more importantly for them, that customers will be so enamored with the service they'll want to pay for it after the free period is up, anyway.
System pricing is obviously dependant on configuration and will be left up to Lenovo's channel partners to decide. Common sense would dictate Lenovo will have to be reasonably competitive with the likes of Dell, though. Systems will be available as from the end of this month.