Markham, Ontario, Canada - May 21, 2018: Sign of Lenovo at Lenovo Canada head office near Toronto in Markham. Lenovo is a Chinese technology company with headquarters in Beijing, China.
Image: JHVEPhoto/Adobe Stock

Lenovo presented the broadest infrastructure portfolio in its history, with more than 50 new and enhanced products, solutions and services for a new era of intelligent transformation. On September 21, during the Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Launch event, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of its ThinkSystem Servers with innovation, adding new enterprise offerings to its legacy.

The new products and solutions focus on digital acceleration, edge computing, cloud and hybrid cloud solutions, servers and supercomputers. Edge computing — combined with the cloud and innovation tools like machine learning, AI, 5G, blockchain and IoT — is driving a new trend in all sectors. The International Data Corporation predicts that by 2023 more than 50% of new IT infrastructure will be deployed on the edge, while Gartner adds that 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside traditional centralized data centers or the cloud.

SEE: Hiring Kit: Cloud Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

To support the transformation and meet the demands, Lenovo renewed and expanded its edge and edge-to-cloud portfolio with a strong emphasis on performance, sustainability, agility, AI, and intelligent management and analytics.

“We’re in a world where data creation is expected to double yet again by 2025, and in the next three years, it will create more data on this planet than the entire history of the world,” Kirk Skaugen, EVP & President of Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, said during the event.  “At each location, and more and more at the edge, data is being created, processed and immediately mined for insight using ever-increasing levels of AI.”

Infrastructure Solutions V3, XClarity One and Neptune

During the event, Skaugen presented the next generation of ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile, and ThinkEdge services and storage. These are powered by the next-gen AMD and Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and all feature Lenovo ThinkShield Security and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software.

Additionally, Lenovo introduced the new XClarity One, a one-source of truth dashboard that unifies data management and architectures and supports both cloud and edge operations with an industry-first integration of TruScale Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Management-as-a-Service and Smarter Support analytics for orchestration, automation and metering from edge to cloud.

“Lenovo XClarity is our most advanced, cloud-based unified software management platform and integrates true scale metering, remote deployment, automated orchestration software and smarter support analytics covering all our products from edge to cloud,” Skaugen said.

Lenovo also presented the next generation of Neptune water cooling and CO2 Offset Services to support companies in their zero-carbon efforts, reduction of energy and better performance while driving sustainability.

Neptune — now in its fifth generation — promises a 40% reduction in energy consumption and costs, and zero noise. 98% of the heat generated is absorbed with water cooling technology. The reduction in heat and energy use increases performance.

Lenovo also presented the new CO2 Offset Services, which helps companies offset emissions by supporting United Nations climate action projects. The new Lenovo TruScale Sustainability services offer pay-as-you-go utilization. This prevents over-provisioning and supports reduced energy consumption.

Kamran Amini, Vice President & General Manager of Server, Storage & Software Defined Infrastructure at Lenovo ISG, presented the technical details of the new portfolio. The company introduced 15 new ThinkSystem servers based on the latest AMD and Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

“All these platforms are built AI-ready for any scale,” Amini said.

Amini explained that the new platforms leverage the latest technology with DDR5 memory, PCI Gen5 IO, drive faster interface and feature new storage solutions that can deliver the next generation of all-flash NVMe SSD. The new tech is designed to accelerate the AI era.

“With the new portfolio we’re delivering across our rack servers, towers, dense optimized and mission-critical scale-up system,” Amini said.

Lenovo promises a 70% faster financial analytic performance and faster AI model development by 2X with the ThinkSystem Servers V3. They are built to scale, and designed for large telcos and enterprises as well as for small and medium businesses.

Responding to the demand for edge computing, AI, big data analytics, and efforts to bring data closer to the edge while driving performance and management, Lenovo presented the renewed DE Series and the new DE6400 and DE6600 — both in all-flash and hybrid. The DE Series Storage systems increase insights by 2X raising price performance by 50%.

SEE: Don’t curb your enthusiasm: Trends and challenges in edge computing (TechRepublic)

With the new DE series of products, Lenovo delivers the first entry-level NVMe all-flash storage solution that can scale up to 1.8 petabytes of all-flash. In a hybrid landscape, the DE increases storage capacity by up to eight petabytes.

Finally, the company is refreshing 32 ThinkAgile solutions — Lenovo’s hyper-converged turnkey cloud solution to simplify any type of cloud environment and edge clouds. The ThinkAgile MX and SMX — powered by Microsoft Azure — ThinkAgile HX, powered by Nutanix and ThinkAgile VX powered by VMware are built to deliver edge-core-cloud deployment. Lenovo assures that their engineered solutions deliver 85% faster deployment than current competitors and increase by 47% total cost of ownership TCO regarding operational efficiency.

Lenovo’s edge advice for small and medium enterprises

During the event, TechRepublic asked Lenovo what advice they had for small and medium businesses that are starting their edge computing journey. Amini explained that companies should first look at their usage case, given the breadth of capabilities and choice offerings the market provides.

In smart retail, for example, the sector is looking for better intelligence and AI to understand customer behavior and shopping experiences.

“You’ll see AI playing with our edge devices for those use cases,” Amini said.

Amini highlighted that Lenovo’s new portfolio strives to provide different product sets for the edge and deliver diverse choices and price points. Amini added that most small and medium businesses do not have large IT staff, so simplifying unified data management for the edge and edge-to-cloud allows automation, orchestration, rapid deployment and value delivery.

“That’s where we continue to drive innovation to really simplify the experience when it comes to infrastructure management, deployment and lifecycle,” Amini said. Lenovo’s XClarity One is also designed to support data governance framework and practices.

Skaugen told TechRepublic that small and medium companies should pay close attention to AI and Lenovo’s AI innovator program. Accenture’s Art of AI Maturity report reveals that more than 60% of companies using AI are only scratching the surface. Only 12% of companies using AI have achieved maturity and reap the benefits, increasing revenue by up to 30%.

SEE: Artificial Intelligence Ethics Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Creating AI production applications is an expensive and time-consuming challenge. Lenovo’s AI innovator program streamlines this process by providing AI solutions to its customers.

“We committed to invest significantly — well over a billion dollars — into AI to build AI innovation labs,” Skaugen explained. “In those labs, we bring those ISPs tested solutions, and then we get something completely certified to someone who can come into the market and not have basic deployment issues.”

AI applications on edge enhance security, build smart cities, drive biometrics, reduce financial fraud, improve customer experience, boost sales and manage IoT architectures. Building AI apps to solve real-world business problems used to take years to develop, but now vendors and companies that offer AI shortcuts and built-in solutions can deploy AI applications in weeks or months that are already being used successfully in different sectors.

“The Lenovo AI innovative program really gives those companies the opportunity to find the right partners and know that when they select them, they are already optimized to work with Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions deeply,” Skaugen said.

With its new diverse and extensive portfolio Lenovo is moving deep into the future of cloud and edge computing and investing heavily in new technologies. Their robust offering is a symbol of the new trends, and a world hungry for smart management, acceleration and innovation.

Subscribe to the Innovation Insider Newsletter

Catch up on the latest tech innovations that are changing the world, including IoT, 5G, the latest about phones, security, smart cities, AI, robotics, and more. Delivered Tuesdays and Fridays

Subscribe to the Innovation Insider Newsletter

Catch up on the latest tech innovations that are changing the world, including IoT, 5G, the latest about phones, security, smart cities, AI, robotics, and more. Delivered Tuesdays and Fridays