Lenovo announced today that they have satisfied the conditions needed to complete the acquisition of IBM's x86 server business, and the parties expect to finalize the deal and close effective October 1, 2014. This move also basically marks IBM's exit from the x86 market, after having previously sold off their PC laptop and desktop division to Lenovo back in 2005. The details of the acquisition were first announced in January 2014, with the purchase price being approximately $2.1 billion ($1.8 billion in cash and another $280 million in Lenovo stock).

Getting into the details, as part of this acquisition Lenovo will get the System x, BladeCenter, and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and software, and additional blade networking and maintenance operations. IBM for their part will maintain their System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, and PureApplication and PureData appliances. IBM will continue to provide service and maintenance for an extended period of time, to help ensure a seamless transition for customers.

Interestingly, the announcement bears an uncanny resemblance to the news from nearly a decade ago, as this will make Lenovo the third-largest player in the global x86 server market. When Lenovo bought IBM's PC division, they became the third-largest player in the PC laptop and desktop space. Of note is that last year, Lenovo was the largest PC vendor by unit sales, so clearly they're hoping for a repeat of that success, only this time in the more lucrative server space.

Gerry Smith, Lenovo Group VP of and president of Enterprise Business Group and America's Group states, "The acquisition is a clear demonstration of the confidence we have earned based on our consistent track record as a responsible global investor and as a secure and reliable technology provider. Lenovo has big plans for the enterprise market. Over time, we will compete vigorously across every sector, using our manufacturing scale and operational excellence to repeat the success we have had with PCs."

Source: Lenovo

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  • Kevin G - Monday, September 29, 2014 - link

    The one thing that enables IBM high prices for services and software is hardware vendor lock-in. While several IBM products are multi-platform, IBM is keen to keep some exclusive to their hardware platforms.

    The other side is that POWER is still competitive with the best Intel has to offer and thus IBM's price premium can be justified in both higher hardware prices and higher software licensing prices.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I guess that's a good point. Hardware to sell the software, even if the hardware isn't a huge profit.
  • Noëlius - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I have to give you partial points here! However, there is absolutely no means of comparing the service offering from Intel vs pSeries! That's like comparing a 1984 K-Car (Intel) with a 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia (pSeries)... however this 458 weighs 20 times more than it should because it is meant to survive IED blasts, Lapua 8mm rounds to the winshield, and have a gas tank the size of swimming pool to drive East to West Coast of Canada!
  • Vardhan - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Is x86 synonymous with 32-bit in this context?
  • tipoo - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    No, includes x86-64
  • tipoo - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Usually does these days.
  • TiGr1982 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    No, because, looking at x86 these days, only some smartphone Atoms are still 32-bit, and all the rest is 64-bit (x86-64).
  • AppleCrappleHater2 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    DO NOT buy y510p SLI or similar! They are all defective or potentially defective!

    Okay, the title is not entirely true, and considering speed, this laptop is a BEAST,
    it is really cheap compared to other laptops with similar processing power, however there
    is 1 huge problem that Lenovo forgots to warn users about.

    The chassis of this laptop was designed for 2x 650M VGA and because of this the 2x 750M are
    having heat issues due to the higher voltage and clock speeds. The built in main 750M/755M is okay for most models (however many are factory defective and does not have thermal paste applied properly), however the Ultrabay VGA may be a deal breaker for many people.

    The 650M in the Ultrabay can operate on relative acceptable temps (max 176F-185F/80-85C),
    however the higher clocked 750M (and also the 755M) with higher core voltage will reach 208F/98C in a matter of minutes and starts to throttle with GPU intensive games, like Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Witcher 2, etc.

    The reason for this is that the Ultrabay in this model was designed for 650M, which means:
    a) The fan is too small
    b) Technically there is almost no point where the fan could take in air, there is only a small hole at the bottom of the laptop
    c) There is an aluminium casing inside, surrounding the Ultrabay slot which will eventually overheat and retain the heat

    I have to note that even though the Ultrabay VGA reaches throttle temperature, the ultrabay
    fan will not start to work on maximum RPM, currently the only way to use the fans on maximum RPM is to use the dust removal service in the Lenovo software. Running the fans on maximum would help the ultrabay vga, but Lenovo does not allow it, probably because the laptop would be too loud and people would complain because of that.

    Repasting the ultrabay vga will not do anything. A notebook cooler can help to lower the cpu and built in VGA temp, but it will not help the Ultrabay VGA, it only makes it reach throttle temp slower.

    In short: A beast of a laptop regarding speed, however the Ultrabay slot is not designed to hold a 750M/755M and the VGA inside it will overheat with any game that utilize 99% of the VGA.

    It is okay with games like Skyrim and X-Com EU, but Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Witcher 2, etc will fry the Ultrabay.

    There are 2 things that Lenovo could do to lower Ultrabay temp and do not loose performance
    and also these fixes are only changes in the software and anybody could apply them at home. What are these?

    1) Increase the Ultrabay fan RPM to maximum, why is the fan only running on max when the dust
    removal is operating? Why does it let that poor VGA burn? -> Simple BIOS update for the system

    2) Lower Ultrabay, 2nd 750M/755M VGA voltage, this could mean -50-60 F (10-15C) and the vga would perform the same in games and benchmarks. This fix only needs a new vBIOS for the 2nd VGA

    Both fixes could be made by Lenovo in a matter of hours (counting the time Lenovo would need to test the lowest stable voltage for the 750/755M), so why aren't they released yet ? Is is better
    for Lenovo to let the Ultrabay videocards burn and give a complete new ultrabay vga for their customers?
    Wouldn't making a new BIOS/vBIOS be cheaper ?

    (BIOS and vBIOS are locked so users can not modify fan speed or change voltage)

    Please keep the above mentioned in mind when you purchase an SLI y510p or similar system from Lenovo.

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