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Microsoft Azure Stack HCI on Intel-Based Lenovo ThinkSystem V3 Servers

Solution Brief

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Published
7 Jun 2023
Form Number
LP1743
PDF size
6 pages, 57 KB

Abstract

Uncover the benefits of Microsoft Azure Stack HCI on new Lenovo ThinkAgile MX and ThinkSystem V3 servers based on 4th Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.

Accelerate Your Business

Deploying hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has become the de-facto standard for organizations looking to modernize their aging infrastructure. Large storage deployments are increasingly being replaced by HCI based solutions for most general-purpose workloads. HCI has proven to deliver better efficiency and price performance in the datacenter. Additionally, customers have been choosing a hybrid approach, migrating certain workloads to the cloud, while keeping other workloads on-premises.

Azure Stack HCI is Microsoft’s HCI solution for customers that wish to run workloads on-premises and extend easily to Azure for hybrid capabilities such as back-up, site recovery, storage, cloud-based monitoring and more.

Azure Stack HCI is a new HCI host operating system from Microsoft, delivered as an Azure service, providing the latest and up-to-date security, performance, and feature updates. Azure Stack HCI builds on the foundation of the Microsoft Windows Server Software Defined program and provides a certification path for Storage Spaces Direct solutions.

Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Series (Integrated Systems and Certified Nodes) combine the Storage Spaces Direct technology included in this new host OS, with industry leading Lenovo ThinkSystem servers to deliver HCI building blocks for your infrastructure solutions. Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Integrated Systems map to Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Integrated Systems and ThinkAgile MX Certified Nodes map to Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Validated Nodes.

ThinkAgile MX Series are built with certified hardware components, are easily orderable as appliances, and include deployment/update features built into Windows Admin Center. Benefits like these allow businesses to deploy solutions quickly and easily.

Key Benefits

  • Simplicity: Lenovo XClarity integrates with Windows Admin Center from Microsoft, providing a unified single-pane-of-glass simple management experience across infrastructure, virtual machines, software, and hardware.
  • Flexibility: ThinkAgile MX Nodes offer a wide range of processor, memory, and storage options to provide the maximum flexibility for customizing your infrastructure.
  • Faster time to value: In traditional IT, a solution is designed, tested, implemented, and maintained requires significant time and energy. With HCI, this burden has been transferred to the solution provider. Microsoft created S2D to solve the storage challenge and Azure Stack HCI solutions to ensure robust and viable platforms.

Lenovo has designed, tested, and validated ThinkAgile MX Series offerings to provide the solutions you need quickly and easily, with confidence, and exceeding the stringent requirements of today’s IT. The result is that you can quickly deploy a robust, high-performance HCI solution and rapidly solve your IT challenges.

Reliability: Powered by Lenovo Servers

ThinkAgile MX models based on the ThinkSystem SR650 V3 2U server node and ThinkSystemSR630 V3 1U server node are equipped with two powerful 4th generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, providing extreme reliability, huge internal storage and memory capacity, and a large number of I/O slots, making it an ideal foundation for this solution.

The SR650 V3 configurations used in this solution are storage dense, with a high-performance 4-SSD/NVMe cache tier and a 14-HDD capacity tier, along with two mirrored boot drives.

ThinkAgile MX also provides an All-Flash offering, with a high-performance 4-NVMe cache tier and 20-SSD capacity tier. You can start with as few as a single node and grow up to 16 nodes.

The SR630 V3 configurations provide an alternative in the smaller 1U form factor. Available with a high-performance 2-SSD/NVMe cache tier and a 10-HDD capacity tier, the SR630 V3 provides for greater flexibility of configurations.

ThinkAgile MX is also available in a smaller form factor platform based on the ThinkSystem SE350 as the ThinkAgile MX1000 Series (MX1021 Certified Node & MX1020 Integrated Systems). Its small footprint and power efficiency allow for reliable server-class performance at many Edge locations. With additional benefits of ruggedness and variety of mounting options, these servers are ideal for small locations.

This server can handle temperatures from 0° to 55°C, as well as tolerate locations with high-dust and vibration. The half-width, short-depth, 1U server can be installed almost anywhere: hung on a wall, stacked on a shelf, or mounted in a rack. This high-performance server, using the Intel Xeon-D processor, features 8 to 16 cores, and a variety of storage options.

Lenovo ThinkSystem servers consistently rank high in customer satisfaction and have been rated #1 in x86 server reliability for 9 years running1. They are also known for their high performance, with 463 current world record benchmarks (as of May 1, 2023).

Excellent Value

ThinkAgile MX Integrated Systems include Microsoft Azure Stack HCI, and optionally include Windows Server 2022 Datacenter in case you require unlimited guest OS virtual machine licenses. ThinkAgile MX Certified Nodes optionally include the Azure Stack HCI software or Windows Server 2022 Datacenter depending on your needs. The Azure Stack HCI OS license provides the following benefits:

  • Storage Spaces Direct (S2D): State of the art software-defined storage from Microsoft with multiple high-performance resiliency options, deduplication, compression and more.
  • Windows Admin Center (WAC): A web-based management portal is included with the software at no extra cost. Deployment and update features in WAC make deployment extremely simple and easy to perform. Additionally, Lenovo’s XClarity plugin allows you to deploy hardware as well as software from the same interface, enabling a single pane of management.
  • Hyper-V: Hypervisor is included in the license
  • Software-Defined Networking: Features such as virtual network encryption, firewall auditing, virtual network peering allows you to get the benefits of a more secure software defined network with Azure Stack HCI.
  • Azure Stack HCI is hybrid by design, and you can benefit from native integration with Azure ARC and Azure Monitor and connect to Azure for a variety of Azure hybrid services seamlessly. Fleet management for hosts and VMs allows you to monitor and manage clusters at scale.

As Much Help As You Need

Lenovo and Lenovo partners have a comprehensive portfolio of professional services that supports the full life cycle of your infrastructure. At every stage—from planning to deployment, optimization, support, and end of life—extra help is available to accelerate meeting your business objectives.

Intel 4th Generation Xeon SP processor-based ThinkAgile MX Model Specifications

Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Series are the flexible building blocks for your Microsoft Azure Stack HCI solutions.

Model ThinkAgile MX Series (Integrated Systems & Certified Node) – SR650 V3 ThinkAgile MX Series (Integrated Systems & Certified Node) – SR630 V3
Form Factor 2U 1U
Segment Hyperconverged Infrastructure - Microsoft Azure Stack HCI solutions
Processor 2x 4th generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, 8-120 cores
Memory Up to 8TB in 32x slots, using 16GB-256GB DIMMS
Network 10/25GbE adapters (RoCE or iWARP), 100GbE (RoCE) RDMA network adapters
Drive Bays 16x 3.5", 28x 2.5" 4x 3.5", 12x 2.5"
Storage Options –Capacity Tier Depending on configuration:
4-14x HDDs: 1TB to 14TB
4-30x SSDs: 480GB to 7.68TB
4-24x NVMe, 750GB to 7.68TB
Depending on configuration:
4-10x HDDs: 600GB to 14TB
4-12x SSDs: 480GB to 7.68TB
4-12x NVMe, 750GB to 7.68TB
4-16x E1.S NVMe, 4TB
Cache Tier Depending on configuration:
2-6x SSDs: 800GB to 6.4TB
2-8x hot-pluggable NVMe: 750 GB to 6.4TB
Depending on configuration:
2-4x SSDs:800GB to 6.4TB
2-4x hot-pluggable NVMe: 750 GB to 6.4TB
Systems Management Optional hardware management via Lenovo XClarity and resource management through Microsoft Windows Admin Center
License Options Azure Stack HCI Software (Included with Integrated Systems), Windows Server 2022 Datacenter (optional)
Warranty and Support Lenovo 3-year, 4-year, or 5-year hardware warranty; ThinkAgile Advantage Single Point of Support where available (included with Integrated Systems)

 

Performance Metrics

ThinkAgile MX650 V3 configuration
Processors: 2 x Intel(R) Xeon(R) Platinum 8444H @ 2.90 GHz (4.00 GHz turbo)
Memory: 1024GB SK Hynix DDR5 @ 4800 MHz (16 X 64GB
Capacity Drives: 4x 3.84TB SATA SSDs
Cache Drives: 2x 1.92TB NVMe drives
Network: Mellanox ConnectX-6 Lx 10/25GbE SFP28 2-port PCIe Ethernet Adapter

 

Performance
4K Random 90/10 R/W ratio: 1,646,251 IOPs

 

Lenovo and Microsoft

With co-located engineering organizations and a history of technical collaboration, Microsoft and Lenovo consistently deliver innovative joint solutions for the data center. Lenovo’s leadership in reliability, customer satisfaction, and performance, combined with Microsoft’s leadership in software and cloud services, continues to deliver innovative data center solutions and lower TCO for our joint customers.

Why Lenovo

 

Lenovo is a leading provider of x86 servers for the data center. Featuring rack, tower, blade, dense and converged systems, the Lenovo server portfolio provides excellent performance, reliability and security. Lenovo also offers a full range of storage, software, solutions, and comprehensive services supporting business needs throughout the IT lifecycle.

For More Information

To learn more about ThinkAgile MX Certified Nodes, contact your Lenovo representative or Business Partner, or visit lenovo.com/thinkagile. For detailed specifications, consult the ThinkAgile MX product guides.

 

 

1ITIC Global Reliability Study, lenovopress.lenovo.com/lp1117.

Trademarks

Lenovo and the Lenovo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lenovo in the United States, other countries, or both. A current list of Lenovo trademarks is available on the Web at https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/legal/copytrade/.

The following terms are trademarks of Lenovo in the United States, other countries, or both:
Lenovo®
ThinkAgile®
ThinkSystem®
XClarity®

The following terms are trademarks of other companies:

Intel® and Xeon® are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

Microsoft®, Azure®, Hyper-V®, Windows Server®, and Windows® are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.