Lenovo ThinkSystem Rack Servers Review

Provides the power and versatility needed to tackle demanding workloads

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for virtualization purposes. We are running a huge amount of different VM's on them.

How has it helped my organization?

The usage of the server itself, the hardware specs of the specific models is more than enough for the project or projects' needs. The controllers which were used, or the hardware (HDDs or solid drives from Lenovo, which are used in this hardware) are more than enough for our project needs. Overall, the general configuration of the server, the system, truly covers the project needs.

Most of our projects come with a pretty heavy workload. The server itself covers all of the bases — my clients are really happy with it.

For example, one of the projects is from a medical laboratory company that provides services for medical institutions. There are a lot of workload calculations and Rack Servers covers the mix.

What is most valuable?

HP and Dell servers have multi-house technology that is really easy to use. We don't experience any problems with logging or gathering hardware information. The rest of the technical and software stuff is absolutely the same no matter the manufacturer. So, from a technical perspective, it is the same.

The general purpose of this hardware is the same, the functionality is the same, it just goes by a different name. As I mentioned, the stability of the server itself is a benefit for me; it's more reliable now.

What needs improvement?

From my perspective, from my case usage, I wouldn't say that I have seen a lot of space for a general upgrade of the system. The technology is constantly developing. It's just a matter of the client or customer getting the most high-end service for a long period of time — for example, one or two years. In three years, this technology will be old and there will be new technology available. Presently, I wouldn't say that there is space for much improvement on the current servers.

Technology is developing continuously. We are getting new high-end drives and so on. Technology development does not simply stop in its tracks, waiting until you adopt that server right now — in three to five years, it will be obsolete. You will be still able to buy some hardware in order to upgrade it because the platform itself is universal, but it's up to you whether you buy something old or something new and upgrade it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say the stability of the system itself would be the biggest advantage. I have worked with other manufacturers — Firmware for example — and they are not so stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Your budget determines the scalability. It's absolutely scalable and you can upgrade the platform with the hardware you are planning to use.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used their support from time to time, in some cases when I was unable to find immediate information. I don't remember if I contacted them directly or just used their website to gather information. There are a lot of cases where you can just find everything you need on their website.

I would give their technical support a rating of nine.

How was the initial setup?

From an administrative perspective, the initial setup is absolutely straightforward. From a user's perspective, it not so straightforward if you want to add some features. The old servers don't have the stability needed to manage the storage from the remote management tool; it's not really comfortable, but still usable. It's absolutely fine when setting up the server.

The basic setup takes less than one hour. It depends on where the servers are deployed from and how ready the server is. I mostly work remotely, so I am not hands-on with the server. Deployment is just a matter of the network and how it was prepared previously. At minimum, deployment takes one hour.

What about the implementation team?

Whether we use a deployment plan depends on the customer and their needs.

The person who will be deploying the server should get the basic information on the needs of the project first, and compare it to the hardware specifications that this specific hardware or any specific hardware will provide. If there is a level for any upgrade, it's absolutely fine. The person should be looking for a solution that will cover the needs of the project with more than a difference of 100% for the future. The projects will increase the size of it, so the server should cover the current needs of the projects, plus 100%.

What was our ROI?

Our customers absolutely see a return on their investment with Lenovo Rack Servers.

The price in comparison, for example, to deploying a cloud solution on a cloud platform, is fully coverable in terms of deploying the same solution on personal hardware. So yes, it's coverable.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't really remember the prices for the servers but in comparison with the bigger players on the market, their prices are fine with me. They are not ideal because clients will always want a lower price. Regarding the licensing, I don't have any information on that because I wasn't facing any cases where we needed additional licensing on the servers.

What other advice do I have?

The general usage of the hardware itself is a level of education that you get during the process of the initial setup and further maintenance of the servers. That alone is very valuable. 

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of nine. I cannot give it a higher rating because the perfect solution does not exist.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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