Lenovo expands AMD portfolio around 3rd  Gen EPYC with new server, HCI solutions

While most of the models announced are refreshes of product introduced with the 2nd generation chips, Lenovo is announcing a new VX HCI series around VMware. 

The new Lenovo ThinkAgile VX series

Today, Lenovo Data Center Group [DCG] followed up on the AMD launch of its third generation of EPYC server processors, ‘Milan,’ by announcing their forthcoming portfolio around the new chips. They include both ThinkSystem servers and ThinkAgile hyperconverged solutions. As part of the announcement, Lenovo also announced new ThinkShield security capabilities which will impact both sets of systems.

Lenovo passed on the initial EPYC processors, codenamed Milan. This wasn’t a shockingly controversial decision at the time, given the dominance Intel had established in the data centre over the previous generation of AMD server chips. But Lenovo built out an AMD portfolio with the introduction of the second generation product, Rome, which had massive performance gains, and have expanded the portfolio further around Milan.

“We have four products today across the 1-socket and 2-socket rack servers, and we are refreshing all of these with the 3rd generation processors,” said Kamran Amini,” Vice President & General Manager – Server, Storage & Software Defined Infrastructure at Lenovo DCG.

“You have to listen to your customers, and what they are looking for,” Amini said. “These solutions are all customer-centric, and translate to business outcomes. They show our commitment to the roadmap on the AMD portfolio. We’ve been growing very fast in this space, at 7x the overall AMD market according to IDC.”

The refreshed servers are the 2-socket Lenovo ThinkSystem SR645 and SR665 and Lenovo ThinkSystem 1-socket SR635 and SR655 servers. They take advantage of the AMD EPYC 7003 series processors’ 25% more generational performance in its 16 core category. Organizations running their systems with accelerators and GPUs, can expect to see up to 25% improvement in system performance, compared to the previous generation. Lenovo says compute-intensive workloads such as HPC and AI can achieve up to 15% faster computational results, compared to the previous generation. Similarly, they also say customers running scientific research or engineering applications can expect to see up to 15% better performance using 48 to 64 core AMD EPYC 7003 series processors.

The new 2-socket ThinkSystem SR645 and SR665 servers will be available this month; the 1-socket ThinkSystem SR635 and SR655 servers will be available in June

Lenovo is also announcing a refresh of their ThinkAgile hyperconverged portfolio around the new chips. Their Nutanix HX series, which was introduced with Rome, sees new third generation processors in the  ThinkAgile HX3375 and ThinkAgile HX3376  offerings. These will be available in the third quarter of 2021.

“Customers will see massive improvements here with the new processors,” Amini said.

“We are also adding a new ThinkAgile portfolio, the VX series, which is VMware vSAN based,” Amini added. “This can drive a massive amount of memory footprint and storage to hep customers accelerate their VMware landscape.

There are four VX models. The ThinkAgile VX3575-G is designed for compute-heavy applications like VDI and AI workloads with the ability to support up to eight NVIDIA GPUs. The ThinkAgile VX5575 is a storage-dense 2U solution for fast, high-capacity storage applications including email management, data, and analytics. The ThinkAgile VX7575 and ThinkAgile VX7576 are optimized 2U for high-performance workloads such as analytics and databases. All of these will be available in the second quarter of 2021.

While not directly tied to the AMD announcement, Lenovo also announced enhancements to their ThinkShield security portfolio that will impact the new AMD products, and others.

“We are announcing a Lenovo Platform Root of Trust hardware to measure firmware and updates for authenticity, to ensure hey are signed by Lenovo, and not let them update otherwise,” Amini said. “It will ensure recovery of a corrupted image to a known safe place, and provide proactive monitoring of the  system to ensure firmware is not maliciously written.”

Discrete security processor testing validated by leading third-party security firms is also now available for customer review, providing a  higher level of transparency and assurance.

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