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Lenovo ThinkSystem DE Series – Product Brief

Published January 6th, 2020. A concise 5-page overview of the Lenovo ThinkSystem DE Series. Includes overview, usage, Evaluator Group comments and more. Download the free Product Brief now!


The Lenovo ThinkSystem DE line of storage systems provide entry level block storage in a variety of hybrid or all flash models. The ThinkSystem DE series replaces Lenovo’s V3700 entry level systems.

ThinkSystem DE systems feature an active-active dual controller design in a 2U or 4U chassis depending on the model. The DE system consists of the DE4000F and DE6000F all flash models, as well as the DE2000H, DE4000H, and DE6000H hybrid models.

The entry level Lenovo systems offer up to 2.94 PB of raw capacity in the all flash models and up 5.76 PB in the hybrid models. The systems can scale up with the addition of up to seven expansion shelves (3 for the DE200H).  The DE models support 16 and 32 Gb/s Fibre Channel and 10 and 25 GigE iSCSI host connectivity.

The ThinkSystem DE series offer a number of features that are desirable in a block storage system including snapshots, synchronous and asynchronous mirroring, and data at rest encryption. Lenovo also utilizes their Dynamic Drive Pools technology for data protection and simplification of RAID management. DE systems utilize Lenovo’s XClarity Administrator for resource management through a web-based interface.

For the top level all flash model, the DE6000F, Lenovo has claimed performance metrics of up to 1 million IOPS and 21 GB/s read throughput. For the DE4000H model, Lenovo has reported 300K IOPS and 10 GB/s read throughput.


The ThinkSystem DE series is targeted as an entry level general purpose, block storage system for use in environments where cost is a major issue.  The large capacity, advanced features, and the performance give the DE series capabilities much greater than expected for entry level systems.

  • Characteristics
    • Performance – Up to 1M vendor reported IOPS in DE6000F all flash system.
    • Availability – The DE series are dual controller systems. They are designed as high availability systems with the ability for failover between controllers.
    • Replication for BC/DR – Remote mirroring, both synchronous and asynchronous, is supported.
  • Applications
    • The DE series is targeted at any block storage application including databases. As a general-purpose storage system, the DE series fits a very wide range of applicability.
  • System Environments
    • The DE series has been integrated with VMware Site Recovery Manager and has support for VAAI.
    • With the ability to do non-disruptive migration of LUNs, the DE systems can be a consolidation solution.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • Lenovo XClarity Administrator provides web-based resource management.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale™: Lenovo ThinkSystem DE Series – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the Evaluation Guides.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Lenovo ThinkSystem DE Series

The Lenovo ThinkSystem DE Series provides entry level block storage through a number of different models. Both hybrid and all flash versions are available providing flexibility for organizations to select the technology that best fits their needs.

The ThinkSystem DE series provides number of features such as synchronous and asynchronous mirroring, as well as encryption with external key management that may not be found in other entry level SAN solutions. In addition, the systems have the ability to scale up to large capacities with the addition of additional capacity expansions. The vendor reported performance numbers are also promising for an entry level solution, with the DE6000F all flash model achieving up to 1 million IOPS.

Evaluator Group believes that the development of data reduction functionality would be a benefit to the systems by providing additional price savings, however as an entry level system the ThinkSystem DE series provides a complete set of functionality, performance, and capacity for most entry level needs.

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