The 3rd Platform Imperative: Powerful, Reliable and Scalable Servers

GUEST BLOG BY Jed Scaramella, Research Director, Servers and Data Centers, IDC.

The era of the 3rd Platform has arrived. The 3rd Platform is IDC's term for the foundational technologies of cloud, mobile, social and big data. These technologies are combining to transform business and the economy. The 3rd Platform is the next evolution of IT, surpassing the 2nd Platform of the Internet and client-server computing and the 1st Platform of mainframe computing.

The rise of 3rd Platform technologies is challenging CIOs to create an organization whose business processes are entirely digital. Social, mobile, and cloud technologies, as well as the increased growth of the “Internet of things,” are driving the need to collect, store, process and analyze huge amounts of data. Many data centers are not equipped with the capacity to manage all this information, and will need to expand internal resources or add external ones.

Moreover, virtually all business and technical innovation is occurring on 3rd Platform technologies. Consider the meteoric rise of the Uber car service company, a business model that would be impossible without the 3rd Platform technologies of cloud, mobile and social. In this world of modular IT, speed and agility are key.

As you might expect, 3rd Platform initiatives will constitute a growing majority of IT investments. That means investments in purely traditional workloads and infrastructure will shift towards the 3rd Platform, as organizations evolve from traditional, siloed decision-making in the datacenter to a dynamic sourcing model that leverages both on- and off-premises technologies, increasingly software-defined.

Essential to the success of this 3rd Platform transition is reliable, predictable, and high-performing server and software infrastructure. Lenovo, a $46-billion technology company with executive offices in Morrisville, NC, and Beijing, China, has made this type of server and software infrastructure a strategic priority. 

The company has dramatically increased its enterprise infrastructure offerings through its acquisition of IBM’s System x business in 2014, which follows the acquisition of IBM's PC business. The System x business comes with a deep heritage of IBM innovation and engineering that has transferred into the next generation of Lenovo products and solutions.

Lenovo's systems have been optimized for different workloads, which is fundamental to supporting customers as they embrace the journey to the 3rd Platform. Lenovo’s new and enhanced solution portfolio, based on the latest high-performing Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors, includes:

  • Ultra-dense systems for the more demanding software-defined workloads
  • Optimized systems for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), remote offices and distributed environments
  • Completely refreshed servers and software to manage workloads for large enterprises and small businesses, including highly reliable and scalable servers that support workload-optimized configurations, from virtualization to big data to high-IOPS analytics

These solutions are designed to help customers maximize uptime and security, as well as gain better control of their IT. For example, Lenovo systems reduce server provisioning and deployment steps from hours to a few minutes.

More than ever, CIOs and senior business executives are asking hard questions about the role of cloud and other technologies in their long-term IT infrastructure plans. These questions often probe the efficiencies of their own data centers and IT organizations, as companies rely more and more on cloud-based infrastructure delivered via hosted private and public cloud platforms. IDC recommends IT infrastructure and software that enables high availability, flexibility, ease-of-deployment, right-sizing, expandability and, importantly, security and management.

In fact, this infrastructure is critical to a company’s success in transitioning to the 3rd Platform.

For more information on the market trends driving migration to the 3rd Platform, and how Lenovo solutions can help companies succeed in this transition, I invite you to read the IDC paper, "Next-Gen Servers: Helping Enterprises Embrace the 3rd Platform of Computing," sponsored by Lenovo or view a summary of the information on SlideShare.