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Lenovo targets SME market

China-based PC manufacturer Lenovo, which acquired IBM's personal computing division in 2005, has announced its virgin server line, aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The company defines SMEs as companies ranging in size from one to 500 employees.

The product line, dubbed ThinkServer, consists of five servers–three tower and two rack. The servers are based on the x86 architecture and run Intel processors. Lenovo offers either Microsoft Windows Server or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell as choice of operating system for the ThinkServer line.

The entry level ThinkServer TS100 tower and RS110 rack servers come with Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel Xeon 3000 or 3200 processors, and are targeted at small offices for use as a Web server or for running simple applications such as email and file storage.

The higher end TD100 tower, TD100x tower and RD120 rack servers are equipped with Intel Xeon 3000 or 5000 processors and are aimed at medium-sized businesses that require more resource-consuming applications, such as virtualisation.

Lenovo claims the software which comes with the ThinkServer line is designed to simplify activities such as installation and patch management, in order to cater to SMEs who may face IT manpower constraints.

“SMEs typically have limited bandwidth, when it comes to IT manpower, and products that can help reduce labour-intensive IT work would be welcome in this sector,” said Rajnish Arora, director, enterprise research, IDC Asia Pacific, citing an IDC survey of 1,993 companies in the region which had five to 499 employees. According to the survey, 55 per cent of respondents named the increasing cost of IT management as a significant challenge.

“The SME server market holds huge, untapped potential, and Lenovo's entry into this market will benefit customers by giving them more choice,” said Arora.

According to Ronnie Lee, country general manager, Lenovo Singapore, the ThinkServer line is expected to come with at least a 90-day trial of Lenovo's 'priority support services'. This service support package includes a next business day warranty service, 24/7 hardware and software phone support, as well as 'priority' call routing to senior level technicians. Optional services such as four-hour onsite response and hard disk drive retention can also be purchased.

ThinkServer products are expected to be available from this week.

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