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Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950: Rack Server Overview and Insight

By Drew Robb (Send Email)
Posted January 28, 2019


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Bottom Line:  

The SR950 is a top-of-the-line server for the most demanding workloads. But it comes at a premium price: $2 million fully loaded. It is aimed at enterprise users in ERP, and other demanding commerce applications that facilitate business transactions, as well as OLTP, data warehousing, data analysis, data mining, data visualization, and Web query tools.

Users of the SAP HANA in-memory data platform will gravitate to this server as it can be deployed as an on-premise appliance. But skip it for routine functions, as this high end premium model would be overkill.

Product Description:

Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 is designed for demanding, mission-critical workloads, such as in-memory databases, large transactional databases, batch and real-time analytics, ERP, CRM, and virtualized server workloads. It can grow from two to eight Intel Xeon Scalable Family processors, and with 96 DIMM sockets, and supports up to 12 TB of high-speed memory without having to replace the server enclosure or upgrade to a physically larger design. The modular design speeds upgrades and servicing with easy front or rear access to all major subsystems to maximize server availability.

The SR950 packs numerous fault-tolerant and high-availability features into a high-density design. It offers enterprise scalability and RAS features to support applications that require 24x7 operations. The new 4U rack optimized design reduces the space needed to support massive network computing operations and simplifies servicing. Built in NVMe support is a new feature that will attract those with a need for speed.

Features: 

Number of processors:

Up to 8 processors

Processors supported:

Intel Xeon Scalable Family processors

Cores per processor:

Up to 28 cores per processor

Maximum processor frequency/cache:

Up to 3.5Ghz

Up to 38.5MB of L3 cache

I/O expansion slots:

Up to 16 rear PCIe and 1 LOM

Maximum memory/# slots/speed:

128 GB DIMM 3DS RDIMM, up to 96 slots, 2666 MHz

Maximum Persistent Memory:

Persistent memory coming in early 2019 refresh

Storage controller:

Two front accessible storage controller with a choice of several ThinkSystem RAID or HBA controllers

Support:

  • Premier Support: Premier Support service offers single point of contact for end-to-end problem resolution and third-party software support with direct access to Lenovo’s most advanced technicians for faster troubleshooting.
  • Lenovo’s YourDrive YourData service is a multi-drive retention offering that ensures data is always under your control, regardless of the number of drives that are installed in your Lenovo server.
  • Enterprise Server Software Support: Lenovo Enterprise Server Software Support can help troubleshoot the entire server software stack. Choose support for server operating systems from Microsoft, Red Hat, SUSE, and VMware; Microsoft server applications; or both operating systems and applications.

“I would rate the technical support a 9/10,” said a Data Center Manager. 

Key Markets/Use Cases:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) includes the following transactional applications:
  • Enterprise wide line-of-business (LOB) applications (e.g., Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP)
  • Other business commerce applications that facilitate business transactions or other task automation over networks
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - automates the customer-facing business processes within an organization: sales, marketing, and customer service. (Collectively, these applications serve to manage the entire life cycle of a customer, helping an organization to build and maintain successful relationships.)
  • Online transaction processing (OLTP) - uses a database and is not ERP.

Price:

$2M List price, which includes max configuration:

  • 8 – 8180M – high memory processors
  • 96 – 128GB DIMM
  • 24 – 7.68GB SSDs
  • 14 – 8TB NVMe Flash Adapters

“Improvements came in as server scalability, better security and convergence between manageable equipment,” said the IT Manager at a managed service provider. ‘“As the costs got high, we had to use the virtualization feature to consolidate the server farm.

Server

Lenovo SR950

Max Processor Frequency

Up to 3.5Ghz

Max Persistent Memory

Refresh in 2019

Form Factor

4U

Max Processors

8 Intel Xeon Scalable

Max Memory

12.2 TB

Max Storage

296.32 TB

Price

$2 million

Key Differentiator

Incredible specs

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