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AWS allows a Lenovo server to play in its on-prem AI video cloud

Nvidia-powered ThinkEdge SE70 gets a view of the Panorama CCTV booster

Amazon Web Services has allowed a third-party hardware offering into its universe, with a Lenovo server dedicated to video analytics scoring the gig.

To understand why AWS has endorsed third-party hardware we need to revisit the 2020 re:invent conference, at which it introduced the Panorama Appliance – a sealed box that stores video from CCTV rigs that lack native analytics capabilities. The Panorama Appliance ingests video and then applies machine vision models, so that users of old-school CCTV can enjoy an upgrade without having to replace their entire video systems.

AWS strongly suggests its SageMaker AI/ML platform as a very fine source of models to run on the Panorama Appliance.

So far, so AWS – the company's other on-prem offerings also offer hooks into its cloud.

But AWS also allows supports models built with PyTorch, Apache MXNet, and TensorFlow on the appliances.

And now the cloud colossus has also allowed a third-party server maker to offer a box with Panorama pre-installed.

That box is Lenovo's ThinkEdge SE70 server, announced in September 2021 and teased as one day offering a version with the Panorama SDK pre-installed.

That day has come. AWS on Thursday announced the server is now Panorama-ready.

Here's how the SE70 and Panorama Appliance compare.

  Lenovo ThinkEdge SE70 Device AWS Panorama Appliance
List price $2399 $4000
Storage 256GB 32GB
GPU Nvidia Jetson NX Xavier Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier
Performance 21 TeraOPS (TOPS) 32 TeraOPS (TOPS)
Ethernet 2GbE 2GbE
IP rating IP51 IP62

The tale of the tape above omits mention of Lenovo's world-spanning resale and support services – a core part of the Chinese giant's business and not really the sort of thing that AWS does for hardware.

Which may make up for the SE70's weaker GPU, smaller memory and slightly less rugged chassis.

But those qualities may be mere quibbles compared to the news that AWS has integrated with third-party hardware in this way. Doing so is definitely a novelty for Jeff Bezos's rent-a-server service. ®

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