Taking advantage of an evolving server market

By Tikiri Wanduragala, EMEA x86 Server Systems Snr. Consultant

We live in a fast-changing world, and the server market is no exception. Driven by the spread of virtualisation from the biggest to even the smallest of institutions, server environments are evolving and the demand for hardware is significantly reduced. This is creating a challenge for the biggest server vendors and opening the door for innovative new players.

The great news for customers is that innovation and competition are delivering higher levels of computing power at a lower cost. This is exactly what universities are looking for in a world of Cloud, Big Data and IoT. The expectations of education IT have never been greater. Users carry powerful devices in their pockets and expect constant connectivity to access the information required to teach and learn. Universities are even chosen based on the quality of their technology. This is particularly true for science, maths and engineering students who are looking for serious computing power to perform advanced academic investigations. This shift is inspiring universities across the country to rethink their infrastructure – taking advantage of favorable pricing in order to meet the increasing demands of students and staff.

The right infrastructure will enable a lower hardware footprint and boost efficiency. Through this, universities can enjoy the cost saving that comes with reducing energy usage. This is one of the key areas where servers are evolving. Software control, more efficient forms of cooling and the ability to operate at higher temperatures mean that the latest servers are dramatically cheaper to run than older counterparts. One organisation upped the running temperature of their server environment from 18 degrees to 21 degrees. From this alone they were able to achieve a 40% saving on their energy bill. 

This is fantastic, but advances like this reward us with more than just financial benefits. By reducing the power required to run servers as much as this, organisations can also play their part in protecting the environment. Since data centers can easily sap the power of a small town, the green opportunity here is vital.

This changing landscape in the server market created the perfect opportunity for Lenovo  to come in and do things differently. This led to the purchase of IBM’s x86 server business in 2014. Building on the existing Lenovo ThinkServer family, the purchase of System x products brought with it the full staff, systems and product roadmap going forward – ensuring continuity for existing customers. As part of this, service contracts remain with IBM, just as they did following the purchase of ThinkPad in 2005. 

As time goes on, Lenovo will build even stronger partner relationships to facilitate areas such as storage and software, creating the most powerful solutions for customers, while retaining the agility needed to respond quickly to the changing needs of the market.

Following this acquisition, Lenovo now offers end-to-end infrastructure. This covers everything from mobile devices, laptops and all-in-one machines, right up to the world’s fastest supercomputers for complex data crunching. This makes Lenovo the perfect one-stop shop for education computing hardware.

Whichever way you look at it, it’s worth investigating exactly what a re-think of the infrastructure could achieve for your university.

Tikiri Wanduragala has worked in a number of roles in PC and Server systems covering Product Development, Product Management and Brand Management.  His current role consists of advising customers in the EMEA region on server and data centre optimisation projects.

For further information please visit: www.lenovo.com

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