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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 fifth-generation Lenovo ThinkServer systems coming soon.

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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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