Big Things Come in Small Packages

When I hear that idiom, “Big things come from small packages”, I always think of athletes like Spud Webb, who at 5’ 6” won the NBA Slam Dunk competition; or Naim Süleymanoğlu, the Olympic featherweight weightlifter.  Nicknamed “Pocket Hercules”, Süleymanoğlu won gold medals at three Olympic Games, and is the only lifter to ever hoist three times his body weight + 10 kilos in the clean and jerk.   The list is long, but the message is the same: Don’t underestimate performance based on size.

On June 6th, Lenovo announced the new ultra-dense ThinkServer sd350 and n400 enclosure.  It too, is a small package at just 2U, with four independent two-processor compute nodes and up to 24 hot-swap drives.  And it too, should not be underestimated based on its compact stature. 

The n400 enclosure holds up to four sd350 nodes, each with up to two Intel E5-2600 V4 processors with up to 20 cores each, and up to 512 GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 memory.  The 24 2.5” hot-swap SAS/SATA drive bays can accommodate both HDDs and SSDs, up to 2TB.  So for you stats guys out there, that means that a rack full of these ultra-dense 2U4N systems can house over 3,300 cores, and a Petabyte (PB) of storage.  Big numbers.  Small system.

The 2U4N form-factor has gained traction recently as a hyperconverged platform, as a remote server in the distributed enterprise environment, and as a replacement for smaller blade or rack system installs.  For customers looking at hyperconverged, the large storage capacity of the n400 provides a great platform on which to build a SAN-less infrastructure.  Customers with a distributed environment will benefit from XClarity, Lenovo’s management software, with features such as call home, to simplify remote management and monitoring.  And for those looking to replace and consolidate older gear, we’ve got you covered too.  A single n400 enclosure with four sd350’s can replace a dozen 1U rack systems based on E5-2600 V2 processors, reducing footprint, energy and management costs, and maintenance. 

The ThinkServer sd350 and the n400: Ultra-dense, simple and efficient.   The folks in the lab are working on getting the system to dunk and do the clean and jerk.