The last few Linux kernel updates have been slow to install suggesting there is a lot of code being compiled and linked. The X230 has a SSD so the performance of compilation should be fairly rapid but still the services were widely updated.
It is known that more developers are being sought to work on maintaining the kernel as the existing team is not large enough. Google has been handling the kernel development with some corporate support.
Server maintenance is not generally automatic. The reason for updating the server is to avoid security problems which affect Linux infrastructure.