Beth O'Shea

The fast pace of IT

The fast pace of IT

GUEST BLOG BY LAURA FROMBACH AND KEN LANCASTER… Remember Lucy and Ethel? OK, maybe we're dating ourselves, but there’s a classic Lucy and Ethel skit that reflects the pace of IT today. They’ve just been hired to work in the chocolate factory and if a single piece of candy gets by them, they’re fired. All is well…for about 10 seconds. Then the chocolate comes out faster, faster and faster! There is no way they can keep up, so they improvise all sorts of ways to hide what they can’t wrap. The boss tells them that they are doing splendid and then yells, “Speed it up!” Business is extremely demanding of IT today, echoing Lucy and Ethel’s boss’ sentiment on speeding things up. No matter how fast we deliver servers, applications and services, it just doesn’t seem fast enough. On the other hand, IT still needs to manage the environment, ensuring maximum uptime and no disruption. In today’s competitive environment, users need their IT services when they need them and just can’t wait. IT needs to keep the existing infrastructure running without interruption. Virtualization and private clouds enable IT to step back from the “chocolate conveyer belt”, yet still keep pace with business needs. So what does cloud ready mean? A simple definition is the ability to flexibly add services and applications to virtualized servers and storage — when YOU want them. Virtualization...

Continue reading “The Chocolate Factory Becomes Cloud Ready”

The data explosion

The data explosion

For the last several years, the Big Data momentum has steadily increased as large firms see the value of investing in data analytics. According to Wikibon, the US Big Data market reached $18.8B in 2013, with computer hardware encompassing 38 percent of IT sell-through. For large enterprises, the upfront capital investment of compute and networking clusters provide quick financial returns, as these companies are able to leverage their IT investment to reduce operating expenses or monetize professional services. Financial firms use data analytics to create an environment for fraud modeling in order to detect fraud in real time across millions of transactions and disparate systems. Healthcare providers enter patient history and symptomology — and while the patient is still in the office — can sift through millions of archived patient records for relevant outcomes. Many large firms go one step further by coupling Big Data with HPC clusters to create a foundation for High-Performance Data Analytics (HPDA). In fact, IDC predicts that by 2015, 7.3 percent of all HPC installations will be focused on HPDA. Insurance companies use this hybrid approach to provide faster means of providing calling/online quotes down to 100ms, while oil and gas firms use similar clusters for analytics and visualizing of field data for internal and external use. But what about the small- to...

Continue reading “Big Data Solutions For Small & Medium Businesses”

ThinkServer SA120 DAS Array

ThinkServer SA120 DAS Array

GUEST BLOG BY TAY FOSTER ... You heard about our recent ThinkServer SA120 direct-attached storage (DAS) announcement, right? Right? It’s amazing and unique in that it’s the only DAS array that has 3.5-inch drive bays in the front and 2.5-inch drive bays in the back. Single enclosure configurations are available with up to 48TB of NL-SAS HDDs combined with up to 3.2TB of high-performance Intel SSDs. This innovative “Think” design provides an optimal tiered storage solution in one compact 15.5-inch deep 2U chassis. Are you looking for the easy button for performance acceleration of your random I/O database? Then look no further than the SA120 combined with the ThinkServer RAID LSI 9286CV-8e adapter and your choice of ThinkServer systems (RD640, RD540, RD440, RD340, TD340 or TS440). The key component of this solution is the ThinkServer RAID LSI adapter and its optional CacheCade software. In the past, database administrators had to manually and selectively place more frequently accessed hot data on SSDs and leave the remaining data on HDDs. While this can be effective for increasing performance, it’s very time consuming and requires more work when the application or data changes. CacheCade intelligently and dynamically handles the data placement without the need to monitor and configure applications. When reading data, it automatically copies the...

Continue reading “SA120 DAS & CacheCade for Automated Data Acceleration”

Core ThinkServer Services Portfolio

Core ThinkServer Services Portfolio

GUEST BLOG BY TRACY NEYENHUIS … As a smart small business owner, you’re careful with your investment decisions. It’s simple. When you buy new assets, they need to create real value. It’s easy to understand the return on an investment in capital equipment — a new forklift, digital signage, warehouse space, stunning store fixtures and your new Lenovo ThinkServer.  But what about investments you can’t see? They are often powerful protection against unexpected events that can’t be anticipated, but can be planned for. As a small business owner, you would never let your property or premises go uninsured. Business insurance, although rarely used, protects against events that might otherwise wipe out years of hard work in a moment. But don’t mistake the great warranty coverage on your new Lenovo ThinkServer for total investment protection. You need to cover it with an invisible but essential cloak of protection — ThinkServer Services upgrades, optional coverages and extensions.  Priced to be affordable for every business, ThinkServer Services let you extend your warranty coverage or upgrade it to ensure that our certified field technicians respond to your call the same day you need us — around the clock — 365 days a year. You just made a major investment in a reliable ThinkServer. Now it’s time to protect it for its long and useful life. Think that for less than 10 cents a day (less...

Continue reading “The Invisible Investment for the Invincible Small Business”

Sample Tool Output

Sample Tool Output

GUEST BLOG BY TAY FOSTER… You know better than anyone that it’s a tough sell to persuade decision makers to refresh when the servers are still plugging along. I’m sure you’ve heard these comebacks: We have servers? We’ll think about new servers when these break. There’s no budget…It’s too expensive to refresh. Get back in your closet! Wouldn’t it be great if you could show your company’s decision makers that they could actually SAVE money by buying new servers? Now you can with the ThinkServer TCO/ROI Analysis Tool. This calculator allows you to enter detailed data about your existing server environment. It then quickly shows you the hard-dollar savings available from refreshing with the latest-generation ThinkServer systems. Below is a list of some of the factors evaluated in the tool: Older servers use much more power and cooling than the latest generation With recent performance improvements, smaller and fewer servers are required, taking less floor space in the data center Supplemental maintenance and support costs on out-of-warranty servers versus support included with new servers Further server consolidation through virtualization OS and hypervisor licensing cost reduction What is ROI, you ask? It’s simply the total return from the project (measured over time) divided by the initial cost of...

Continue reading “How to Convince your Boss that it’s Time to Refresh your Servers”