Lenovo: http://blog.lenovo.com//news2014-08-20T14:00:02+00:00http://blog.lenovo.com/products/server-disaggregationJeff Schneider2014-08-20T14:00:02+00:00
IT planners and product designers are looking at products and data centers in new ways. They are exploring ideas such as a rack containing separate chassis for CPU, memory and storage in hyper-scale computing, or choosing best-of-breed solutions for each tier of an enterprise network. The reasons for exploring these ideas revolve around increasing flexibility in the infrastructure and reducing costs. Generically, this is called disaggregation.
Does it make sense to disaggregate your mainstream server?
The rate of technology change continues to accelerate. This means adding new capabilities into IT Infrastructures to support new strategic directions. However, integrating these new capabilities into the existing infrastructure can present challenges or missed opportunities.
Many times existing servers cannot take full advantage of new technologies. Embedded NICs can’t utilize the maximum throughput speed of a new switch, for instance. Perhaps it’s as simple as the fast new drives aren’t compatible with the drive bays. When it is possible to upgrade using PCIe cards or a similar option, you may still give up manageability or strand the onboard components.
When choosing servers in today’s world, it makes sense to find servers that can evolve with your infrastructure, without wasting resources or requiring you to buy extra capacity that may never be utilized. Disaggregation of key components may offer a better solution.
For more information, see the Lenovo ThinkServer Viewpoint, Server Disaggregation, and look for the new next-generation Lenovo ThinkServer systems coming soon.
Laptops are our gateways to all things online. Your high-powered Lenovo or Think notebook will follow you from home to office to coffee shops and back, hour after hour…as long as you take a few steps to maximize the battery’s power.
The good news is that your advanced Lenovo battery is engineered to adapt charge thresholds and keep the “juices” flowing. So you don’t have to worry about adjusting settings—it’s all done automatically based on your day-to-day usage.
But what if you have a long flight? Or can’t find a free power source at the coffee shop? In these instances, the key is finding ways to squeeze as much time as possible out of a single charge. Here are some easy ways to do it on a Windows 8.1 laptop:
1. Turn down the brightness on your screen
Your screen backlight uses a lot of battery juice, so turn it down to the lowest level you can comfortably handle. If your system doesn’t have a button or dial, you’ll need to turn off the automatic adjustment feature before reducing brightness:
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen
Go to Settings, then Change PC settings
Tap or click PC and devices, then Display
If the “adjust my screen brightness automatically” slider is on, tap or click the slider to turn it off
Under Settings, click or...
Almost every organization is either considering a private cloud or has already begun implementation. The host server architecture is a key component of the private cloud virtual infrastructure. The cost-performance sweet spot for virtualization hosting is typically an x86 server featuring two-socket multi-core processors.
Historically, virtualization scalability has been constrained by processor and memory limitations. However, advances in processor technology yield impressive virtualization ratios. With the virtual-to-physical ratios enabled by multi-core processor advances and supporting memory, it doesn’t matter what the size of the company is, everyone can benefit from a private cloud. Before you dismiss this as cloud washing, consider: a two-socket/twelve-core physical server based on the current Intel Xeon processor platform can theoretically support up to 192 virtual machines in a private cloud environment. Depending on the rack configuration (including servers, storage, networking and backup power), that’s the equivalent of four or five racks of servers supporting single applications now consolidated on a single server. Factor in the cost of power, cooling and physical maintenance and we’re considering serious savings that no one can afford to overlook.
However, relying solely on server processing and memory capacity is no longer the sole criteria for server selection. Server consolidation of this magnitude also requires significant network bandwidth to satisfy the demand of so many applications and services. Supported applications can become resource-starved while awaiting network response.
The network architecture of a server is frequently an overlooked topic and many organizations simply rely...
Do you ever need to transfer files quickly from one device to the other? Do you hate having to park files in the cloud, log in on the other device and download them? What if you aren’t connected to a network.
Now that problem is solved! SHAREit is the world’s fastest way to share photos, docs, files, folders and more across devices…even if you’re not connected to a network! SHAREit eliminates the need for cables to wirelessly transfer information rapidly between devices – either with friends, or to take your personal content on the go.
How does SHAREit work?
SHAREit is a cool little app. It’s simple, fast and really easy to use. You’ll love it. I use it every day to quickly transfer files and sometimes whole folders from one PC to another PC. Our family uses it to share photos they just took from phone to phone. No need to use your data plans, no need to even have a mobile signal, it just goes from phone to phone. Phone to phone, phone to PC, PC to PC, tablet to all and vice versa, it’s just that easy.
What Can You Share?
I can share everything with anyone that has the SHAREit app – pictures, videos, music files, documents, contacts…and even complete folders! It even maintains...
Have you heard anyone say the amount of data they need to store is going down? No? Me neither. In fact, data available for business use is growing exponentially. To remain competitive, businesses must evaluate differentiated storage strategies to ensure collected data can be cost effectively stored and analyzed.
With traditional centralized storage systems, the architecture uses a single controller head in a frame that provides access to tens or hundreds of drives. When the single controller becomes a bottleneck, or the maximum number of drives in the frame has been reached, it’s both costly and disruptive to upgrade.
Using a software-defined storage architecture is another way to design a storage system. This trending model uses a software layer to aggregate distributed direct-attached storage (DAS), which is normally captive to the server. Examples of this at the OS layer are Microsoft Windows Server Storage Spaces and VMware vSphere with vSAN. Benefits of distributed DAS architectures include lower acquisition costs through purchase of standardized hardware and pay-as-you-grow scalability.
Server hardware is an important consideration in distributed data solutions. Key attributes of a server used in these solutions are storage density with varied performance choices, plus robust network capability.
For more information, see the Lenovo ThinkServer ViewPoint - Distributed DAS and look for new next-generation Lenovo ThinkServer systems coming soon.
In this edition of the Lenovo ThinkServer blog, we wanted to shed some light on how Lenovo servers and workstations are being deployed for the high-performance computing (HPC) industry. Joining me in this discussion is Vertical Marketing Manager, Chris McCoy, from the Lenovo ThinkStation team.
Edgar: Hi Chris, can you tell us a bit about your work experience and how you see Lenovo ThinkStation fitting into the key verticals you manage? Also, do you see synergies with Lenovo ThinkServer?
Chris: Hey Edgar, it’s a pleasure to be here with you. To answer the first part of your question, I joined the Lenovo ThinkStation product team about 18 months ago. Prior to coming to Lenovo, I spent more than 15 years working for global IT solution providers in both the private and public sectors.
Lenovo has made tremendous investments in ThinkStation product engineering and critical technology partner alliances to devise, test and implement various hardware and software technologies in an effort to improve workflow and system performance as well as platform efficiencies. We do this to ensure that we’re designing and building platforms that can be tuned and configured to support very specific workflows across a very wide spectrum of customers, in industries such as Banking, Finance, Manufacturing, Architecture, Medical and Life Sciences, Media and Entertainment and the Energy Sector.
To answer the second part of your question, in Lenovo, servers and workstations are built from the same Intel Xeon technology so there are many areas of overlap...
She was given a Microsoft MVP Award, has developed a slew of Windows 8 apps and even co-authored a book. And she loves extreme sports as well. Meet Iris Classon, one of our latest Lenovo forum users, who will be helping us out in our Windows 8 app developer boards.
Iris is a sought-after developer conference speaker, writer, blogger, Microsoft C# MVP and member of MEET (Microsoft Extended Experts Team) with a tremendous passion for programming. She has had a remarkable career path that proves that nothing is impossible- switching from being a licensed and registered clinical dietician to a software developer with a dozen certifications and a full time developer job with renowned companies.
She has been featured in several newspaper articles, online articles and podcasts such as Hanselminutes, Computer Sweden and Developer Magazine. As a frequently sought-after speaker at conferences such as TechDays, Scandinavian Developer Conference and various user groups, Iris is known for her unique, creative and uplifting presentation style. She is hosts the Get Up and Code! podcast, and in her spare time she does pro-bono work as a dietitian and is very engaged in the developer community. She also enjoys extreme sports such as barefoot running, mountain biking, weightlifting and scuba diving- and of course traveling.
Recently Iris sat down for an interview with Serene Siew, Lenovo Forums Advocate Program Manager, to talk about her background, goals, and her new role volunteering with the developer forums.
Serene: Tell us...
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 for modern data centers or even for less well-regulated, non-data-center environments, it makes sense to choose a server that can operate at greater temperatures for longer periods of time without impacting server reliability.
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.
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 doesn’t have to be very big as most operating...