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If you’ve never upgraded your ThinkPad to a solid-state drive (SSD), you don’t know what you’re missing. To this day, I remember the first time my ThinkPad booted up in seconds. Since then, I haven’t gone back to a traditional hard-disk drive. Flash is EVERYWHERE. It’s in everything from cell phones and tablets to USB keys and digital cameras. The proliferation of flash into all these devices has significantly reduced the overall cost so much, that it has gained popularity in servers as well. Obviously, companies with the big bucks, such as: banks, oil and gas and Google are the early flash adopters, buying expensive PCIe accelerators like the ones made by Fusion IO to get maximum performance. However, there are plenty of low-cost options and applications that could be more appropriate for your business. Take the boot drive for instance. Its application is basically the same as the SSD in my ThinkPad — and it’s a really good place to start. Typically laptop SSDs are fast and are robust enough for typical business use. (I would say 40 hours a week, but who does that anymore). Server SSDs are also fast, but are more robust and designed for continuous enterprise use. Typically, a boot drive can be read-optimized at about one-to-three drive writes per day, because only small amounts of data are written to it daily. It...

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In data storage, it’s all about the software. So it’s no surprise that the key differentiator of LenovoEMC products is the operating system software, which simplifies very technical and tedious administrative tasks. If you’ve ever tried to create an iSCSI LUN from a command line, you understand what I’m saying! For the gifted few, it might not be so challenging, but for us mere mortals, we’d be better off reciting ”pi” to 35 digits. Now, it’s time to bring our operating system’s look-and-feel into this decade. Advances in user interfaces, driven by tablets, phablets, touch — and even Windows 8 — set new expectations for improved look-and-feel as well as usability. Because we value our social media followers, we’re going to share the new OS features with you first! Ready…Wait for it….You’ll see changes in our user segmentation, UI controls and out-of-the-box experience. One of the biggest changes you’ll see is the separation of functionality between home and business users. Aside from the readers who actually know pi to 35 digits, not many home users are interested in creating iSCSI LUNs, dealing with system logs or creating different RAID configurations on the storage pools. Likewise, most IT managers want no part of social media apps, such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. While all the LenovoEMC products continue to run the same LifeLine operating system under the...

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Over the last year, we’ve been working with Oracle to strengthen our collaboration. We have a growing Oracle install base and want to make sure we provide the best level of support so our customers feel good about investing in a Lenovo-Oracle infrastructure. As a team, we’re really excited about the recent ThinkServer posting for Oracle VM 3.3 qualification on the Oracle Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), and more importantly, the official completion of a validated configuration on Oracle VM 3.3 for our ThinkServer RD540/RD640 family of rack servers. This is the FIRST validated configuration published right after the Oracle VM 3.3 announcement. What does this mean exactly? By completing the work necessary to appear on the Oracle Linux HCL, customers using Lenovo ThinkServer systems are assured that their Oracle VM deployments have been completely tested, and that Lenovo hardware is fully supported by Lenovo on Oracle VM and Oracle VM is fully supported by Oracle. We offer customers pre-tested, validated and supported Linux architectures on Oracle VM 3.3, including, software, hardware, storage, drivers and networking components. The validated configuration is great because it provides details on what and how to deploy,...

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Lenovo and EMC have a robust partnership, with each bringing the strength of their complimentary product lines and strong customer focus to the relationship. Specifically, Lenovo offers EMC VSPEX solutions, enabling customers and partners to deploy converged infrastructures with confidence. Laura Frombach, Lenovo Technical Marketing Engineer, recently interviewed Mark Wright, EMC SVP of Business Development and Operations, to gain his perspective on the partnership. Laura:  In your position at EMC, how do you interact with Lenovo? Mark:  Basically, I am the senior executive on the EMC side, dedicated to working day-to-day with all Lenovo and EMC levels to make the partnership successful. We have found that this level of executive engagement helps cut through the layers of management within each company to facilitate decision making, while addressing concerns and removing roadblocks as they occur — to keep everyone focused on growing the joint businesses. Laura:  How do customers benefit from the EMC/Lenovo partnership?  Mark:  Lenovo has a great reputation as a partner company and is very focused on their customers. EMC is ranked one of the best partner companies in the world by Microsoft and CRN, and has a strong partnership community as well. Together, we think we bring even more to our joint customers. Lenovo is building a world-class enterprise channel business to drive large volumes of their server products, which will be...

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High availability (HA) for data or applications is critical for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), regardless of industry. Building an HA solution based on a storage area network (SAN) is the common response; however, SANs are prohibitively costly and complex for many SMBs and remote or branch offices. Now, there’s a better way. Lenovo has partnered with LSI to provide an affordable, high-availability server cluster solution. It offers the failover and storage capabilities of a traditional SAN-based solution, at a direct-attached storage (DAS) price point — with easy deployment features that are perfect for small businesses. This HA solution couples LSI Syncro adapters with renowned LSI MegaRAID technology, the latest virtualization and failover clustering management capabilities from Microsoft Server 2012 R2, and is built on highly scalable ThinkServer systems and ThinkServer DAS. EASY DEPLOYMENT. SEAMLESS APPLICATION FAILOVER High-availability SAN solutions can be difficult to buy, install and manage. LSI Syncro with ThinkServer systems offers a compelling alternative that’s easy for a system administrator to deploy, using a cleverly designed ThinkServer DAS, easy-to-manage ThinkServer rack servers and familiar MegaRAID manageability. It’s a terrific, cost-effective HA solution for SMBs,...

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