Lenovo has two new ThinkSystem 4-socket rack servers. The ThinkSystem SR850 is a 2U, 4-socket system and the ThinkSystem SR950 is a 4U system capable of 4 or 8 sockets. Several factors need to be considered when choosing which system that best fits your 4-socket requirements.
Lenovo has two ThinkSystem 4-socket capable rack servers. Which one to choose for your 4-socket workloads might not be an obvious decision. This article helps explain the similarities and differences of the ThinkSystem SR850 and SR950 to help with this decision.
SR850 and SR950 overview
The Lenovo SR850 and SR950 are new 4-socket-capable rack servers with strong performance, memory and storage capabilities. Both servers support demanding workloads such as data analytics, large virtualization and enterprise databases
The Lenovo SR850 is a 2U Rack server capable of up to 4 processors and 48 DIMM. The SR850 features a CPU and Memory mezzanine board. Clients have flexibility to configure from 2 Socket 24 DIMM to 4S 48 DIMMs. The SR850 delivers exceptional price/ performance in a dense 2U rack server.
Figure 1. Lenovo ThinkSystem SR850
The Lenovo SR950 is a 4U Rack server capable of up to 8 processors and 96 DIMMs. The SR950 features a modular system with all components accessible via the front or rear of the server. Clients can configure multiple configurations from 2 sockets and 24 DIMM to 8 sockets and 96 DIMMs. The SR950 delivers the highest performance, greatest I/O capabilities and the most NVMe support.
Figure 2. Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950
Common features and capabilities
The SR850 and SR950 share many features and capabilities.
|Feature||Feature Description||Customer Benefit|
|XClarity||Single Management interface across portfolio||Easy to learn and manage - apply cross Lenovo portfolio.|
|Options||Shared HDD, SSD, PSU, RAID cards, PCIe, etc||Less option parts for clients and business partner to manage and stock|
|M.2||M.2 embedded OS||Allows for integrated boot media. M.2 provides lower cost, better performance and higher reliability than USB, SD card|
|NIC options||Modular LOM choices for customization (LOM, ML2, PCIe)||Lower cost I/O and greater choice. Only purchase what you need|
|Direct NVMe||Direct NVMe connector on the CPU board||Direct NVMe saves PCIe slots and lower cost of ownership compare to the NVMe switch card solution.|
|2S to 4S Upgrade||Simple 2S to 4S upgrade within the same system||Grow the system as your application needs increase. Only pay for what you need.|
|RAS||Intel Run Sure and Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA)||Provides outstanding system availability and uninterrupted application performance|
|Optional Front LCD||Front diagnostic LCD panel display||Used to quickly obtain system status, firmware levels, network information, and health information about the system.|
SR850 and SR950 Differences
If you need an 8 socket configuration or the ability to upgrade to the 8 socket configuration in the future, the SR950 is your only choice. If you only need a 4-socket server, you have a choice between the SR850 and SR950. Below are the major differences to help you select between the SR850 and SR950 in a 4-socket configuration.
|Feature/ Capability||SR850 (4S configuration)||SR950 (4S configuration)|
|Size||2U rack mount||4U rack mount|
|Sockets||2 to 4 sockets||2 to 4 sockets with ability to upgrade to 8 sockets in future|
|Storage Bays||Up to 16 2.5” bays||Up to 24 2.5” bays|
|Memory||Up to 48 DIMM slots and supporting 128GB DIMMs post launch||Up to 48 DIMM slots and supporting 128GB DIMM at launch|
|NVMe||Up to 8 NVMe drives||Up to 12 NVMe drives|
|Rear Networking slots||Up to 10 (PCIe, LOM and ML2)||Up to 15 (PCIe, LOM and ML2)|
|High Bandwidth Networking||Up to 3 (x16) adapter slots in 4S||Up to 7 (x16) adapter slots in 4S|
|Intel Processor Support||Strong selection of 51xx, 61xx and 81xx CPUs up to 165W||Every available 51xx, 61xx and 81xx CPU including 205W CPUs|
|Intel 61xx and 81xx CPU Performance||Less performance on average than SR950 (equal performance if using 51xx CPUs)||Maximum system performance|
|Power Supply||2 power supply bays including 750W PSU||4 power supply bays|
|SAP HANA||Certified for SAP HANA TDI||Certified SAP HANA Appliance|
|Cost||Lower base cost||Higher base cost|
For further reading, see these resources
This article is one in a series on the ThinkSystem SR950 and SR850 servers:
- Five Highlights of the ThinkSystem SR950
- Five Highlights of the ThinkSystem SR850
- Choosing between Lenovo ThinkSystem SR850 and SR950
- Workloads for 4-Socket and 8-Socket Servers
- Usability in the Design of the ThinkSystem SR950
- The Value of Refreshing Your 4-Socket Servers with the ThinkSystem SR950
- ThinkSystem SR950 Memory Decisions
- ThinkSystem SR950 Server Configurations
- The Value of Refreshing Your 8-Socket Servers with the ThinkSystem SR950
- Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 New Options and Features - December 2017
- ThinkSystem SR950 Performance Leadership
- Lenovo Servers for Mission Critical Workloads
- Microsoft and Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 – A Perfect Match
- Accelerate Your 4- and 8-Socket Server Refresh Cycle
- SAP Business Process Applications and Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 – A Perfect Match
- ThinkSystem SR950 New Options - March 2018
- SAP HANA and Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 – A Perfect Match
- ThinkSystem SR950 Performance Leadership Continues
- New Solution for SAP HANA - Lenovo ThinkAgile HX
- The Advantages of Keeping Mission Critical Workloads On-Premises vs Going to the Cloud
- SQL Server Migration and Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950
About the author
Randall Lundin is a Senior Product Manager in the Lenovo Infrastructure Solution Group. He is responsible for planning and managing ThinkSystem servers. Randall has also authored and contributed to numerous Lenovo Press publications on ThinkSystem products.
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