China based IBM offshoot PC and Server maker Lenovo, is one of the first vendors to come out with entry-level tower servers aimed at small and medium businesses based on Intel’s “Sandy Bridge-DT” Xeon E3-1200 processors. The Xeon E3 chips are designed for single-socket servers and workstations. They were previewed by Intel back in March and started shipping in early April for both servers and for workstations with Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 GPUs embedded on certain models of the chips.
All of the chips have four cores except for the 20 watt E3-1220L, which has two cores. The remaining Xeon E3 models run at between 2.4GHz and 3.5GHz and have power draws of between 45 and 95 watts. The chips make use of the “Cougar Point” series of chipsets from Intel.
Lenovo was initially reselling selected models of IBM’s System x tower and rack servers in the wake of acquiring IBM’s PC business a few years back, but has been doing its own server design and manufacturing more recently. The company is also partnering with Intel to be an early adopter of the AppUp Small Business Service, which was announced in May and which brings cloud-style utility pricing for servers and applications to x64 servers installed at SMB shops.
Oddly enough, Lenovo is using an earlier ThinkServer TS200v tower server as the basis for its AppUp offering rather than the new TS130 and TS430 machines – marry that with the delays in deliveries of Sandy Bridge entry servers in the wake of the bug that was discovered in the Cougar Point chipsets back in January.
The TS130 tower server is based on the C206 version of the Cougar Point chipset, and like other Xeon E3 machines, only has four DDR3 memory slots on its system board. At this time, Lenovo only support 2GB or 4GB memory sticks in the box, for a maximum of 16GB of memory. Lenovo is putting ECC memory in the box for increased reliability, and is also using the RAID data protection cooked into the C206 chipset and SATA disk ports to provide mirroring for disks.