“Okay, here we go. Focus. Speed. I am speed,” Lightning McQueen chanted to himself from the movie Cars. A lot of behind-the-scenes work happens to make race cars zip through the track. Having the fastest car is a big help but it isn’t enough to win one race, let alone every race. Mistakes during pit stops, for example, while unavoidable need to be minimized so the car can quickly, reliably — and repeatedly — zip through the tracks.

In the data center, admins are like race car pit crews. While out of the limelight, they have a significant impact on business success. Admins typically leverage tools to help introduce new technologies into the environment faster and more reliably than can be done manually. By automating installation and configuration of new hardware, installation of hypervisors and operating systems to bare-metal servers, assisting with firmware updates and monitoring of event, system logs and audit trails, systems management tools help admins effectively manage more systems while freeing up time.

Based on direct input from admins, we designed Lenovo XClarity to make these types of tasks easier.

To see how well XClarity simplifies and speeds deployment of new systems, we funded a study by Principled Technologies (PT), an independent, fact-based marketing firm. We wanted to know the time and number of steps it would take their admins to deploy a new Flex System from Lenovo using XClarity compared to performing the same tasks manually. While PT employs experienced admins, XClarity was new to them. We simply provided the software to them, pointed them to documentation in case they needed it and left them on their own.

PT documented the duration and number of steps required to configure the system, update the system and deploy ESXi onto bare-metal compute nodes. PT found that using XClarity required 95 percent less total time and 75 percent fewer overall steps across all three of these use cases than performing the same tasks manually. That translates to 20X faster deployment and much lower potential for errors with XClarity compared to an un-managed system. You can see PT’s full report here. Be sure to check out the appendix where they show the actual system tested and provide step-by-step details of each use case.

We also funded PT to compare deploying a Flex System with XClarity to deploying a Cisco UCS solution with Cisco UCS Manager. For this comparison, PT documented the duration and number of steps to setup the management solution and discover the chassis, configure the system, update the system and install ESXi onto the bare-metal compute nodes. PT found that using Lenovo XClarity to complete all use cases required 75 percent less total time and 72 percent fewer steps than with Cisco UCS Manager. This translates to 4X faster deployment using XClarity, and about the same reduction in potential errors as deploying the Flex System manually. Their full report is here. Again, be sure to check out the appendix for all the system and step-by-step details.

Results are in. Lenovo XClarity on Lenovo systems helps admins zip through foundational management tasks faster, more reliably and repeatedly than other alternatives — just like Lightning McQueen in the movie Cars. To see how easy Lenovo XClarity is to use, watch these short demos.