Ken Timmons

Studies have shown that data center cooling costs are equal to or greater than the cost of powering the IT equipment itself. One way to reduce these cooling costs is by operating the data center at higher temperatures. This allows innovative data-center cooling strategies to be employed. As examples, fresh-air and chiller-less cooling technologies can be used. In fact, many new data-center facilities are being built in areas where the local climate lends itself to these technologies. Existing facilities can also benefit from cold-isle containment strategies segregating high-temperature-capable equipment from less-capable equipment. But can servers take the heat? Even though most servers can operate at temperatures much higher than are found in the controlled environments of most data centers, some server vendors recommend staying within the current recommended operating temperature range at all times. Others will allow higher-temperature operation, but only for brief periods of time. Additionally, there are those who will be concerned that prolonged, higher ambient temperatures may affect server long-term reliability and induce failures, even though the components that make up the equipment are specified and tested to operate at well above nominal operating temperatures. It’s clear that the trends towards adoption of higher data-center operating temperatures will continue because of the pressure to reduce operating costs. When considering servers...

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The IT industry is continually evolving, but one constant is that IT administrators are being asked to do more with less — while still enabling business growth and maintaining service levels to their customers. Providing highly reliable infrastructures to host business-critical applications while responding quickly to business and market changes, is a challenge made more difficult when considering constrained budgets and fewer available resources. Automating portions of IT operations that are repetitive, manual and error prone can immediately reduce costs and increase service levels, and free up an administrator’s valuable time for more important IT projects. Unfortunately, automation that uses proprietary or vendor-specific tools may not be the best approach — and can impact your organization in several ways — from limiting the positive impact of a multi-vendor strategy to increasing money spent on IT staff. Instead, consider servers that can support automated IT environments by supporting systems management built on industry standards with interfaces and APIs that support and simplify automation tasks. For more information, see the Lenovo ThinkServer Management Automation Viewpoint and look for new next-generation Lenovo ThinkServer systems coming soon.

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Ken Timmons works in ThinkServer marketing at Lenovo, but 30 years ago, he was one of the engineers on the original IBM PC. Thirty years ago today that PC made its way onto the world computing stage. Since then, it's made a large impact on the industry and influenced modern computing. A once in a lifetime experience! That’s how I’d sum up the opportunity I had 30 years ago to join the team that created the first IBM Personal Computer – the 5150. I was a young engineer with IBM less than a year out of college, when I was offered the job. At this stage in most people’s life, your vision of the future is somewhat vague. Who could have foreseen an opportunity to participate in the birth of an industry! The early days of the personal computer were a heady time.  We felt there wasn’t anything we couldn’t accomplish.  I remember a camaraderie that was somewhat unique in my 30+ years of work experience, and I still count many of those colleagues as my closest friends.  My role on the team was to help design the functional test equipment that would be used to guarantee the computer worked before we shipped it to the customer. This test equipment was built with a lot of the same technology as the PC, and we were learning as we went just like the rest of the team. Sure, there were...

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