Products ThinkServer

Guest blog by Ken Timmons . . . Are your server applications running slowly? Are your end users waiting for database queries to finish? The ability of your server’s storage system to process I/O requests may be at fault. While capacity and cost per gigabyte of server hard-disk drives (HDDs) has improved at a rapid pace, I/O performance has not. Unfortunately, techniques to increase the performance usually involve adding more HDDs or more servers, which can add unwanted complexity and higher management costs. The good news is that there are alternative, cost-effective solutions. Working with partners Intel and LSI, Lenovo simulated a server online transaction database workload to evaluate performance improvements that could be obtained through solid-state drive (SSD) use. Several configurations were tested, including an all-SSD array using Intel Data Center Family SSDs, and an SSD array accelerated with LSI FastPath acceleration software. In a final scenario, we used LSI CacheCade 2.0 software to create a hybrid array, where SSDs were used as read/write cache with the existing HDD array. As expected, the tests showed that using an all-SSD...

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Commercial use cases for Lustre

Commercial use cases for Lustre

GUEST BLOG BY EDGAR HAREN…Lustre is a type of parallel distributed file system, generally used for large-scale cluster computing. Lustre has found its home within the high-performance computing (HPC) market segment, and has been commonly used for government-sponsored research in national labs, or by universities focused on data-intensive simulations, such as weather forecasting and climate modeling. Lustre is also used in the private sector by information-intense industries, such as defense, aeronautics and oil and gas. Because Lustre file systems have high-performance capabilities and open licensing, they have been implemented with more than 60 percent of the world’s super computers. However, with the explosion of mobile devices creating and consuming data, even commercial enterprises are looking to Lustre as a solution to help them analyze and extract value from their respective data flows. According to IDC, data creation will grow to 40ZB (40 billion TB) by 2020 versus the 2.8ZB created in 2010. This aligns with IDC’s prediction of a doubling in smart connected devices up to 2B units by 2016. As a result of this data explosion, the growing demand for big data solutions presents an opportunity for Lustre to migrate into the commercial market and serve as a catalyst. OpenSFS, the consortium that promotes the Lustre open-source file system user community, states, “The opportunity still exists...

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The fast pace of IT

The fast pace of IT

GUEST BLOG BY LAURA FROMBACH AND KEN LANCASTER… Remember Lucy and Ethel? OK, maybe we're dating ourselves, but there’s a classic Lucy and Ethel skit that reflects the pace of IT today. They’ve just been hired to work in the chocolate factory and if a single piece of candy gets by them, they’re fired. All is well…for about 10 seconds. Then the chocolate comes out faster, faster and faster! There is no way they can keep up, so they improvise all sorts of ways to hide what they can’t wrap. The boss tells them that they are doing splendid and then yells, “Speed it up!” Business is extremely demanding of IT today, echoing Lucy and Ethel’s boss’ sentiment on speeding things up. No matter how fast we deliver servers, applications and services, it just doesn’t seem fast enough. On the other hand, IT still needs to manage the environment, ensuring maximum uptime and no disruption. In today’s competitive environment, users need their IT services when they need them and just can’t wait. IT needs to keep the existing infrastructure running without interruption. Virtualization and private clouds enable IT to step back from the “chocolate conveyer belt”, yet still keep pace with business needs. So what does cloud ready mean? A simple definition is the ability to flexibly add services and applications to virtualized servers and storage — when YOU want them. Virtualization...

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The data explosion

The data explosion

For the last several years, the Big Data momentum has steadily increased as large firms see the value of investing in data analytics. According to Wikibon, the US Big Data market reached $18.8B in 2013, with computer hardware encompassing 38 percent of IT sell-through. For large enterprises, the upfront capital investment of compute and networking clusters provide quick financial returns, as these companies are able to leverage their IT investment to reduce operating expenses or monetize professional services. Financial firms use data analytics to create an environment for fraud modeling in order to detect fraud in real time across millions of transactions and disparate systems. Healthcare providers enter patient history and symptomology — and while the patient is still in the office — can sift through millions of archived patient records for relevant outcomes. Many large firms go one step further by coupling Big Data with HPC clusters to create a foundation for High-Performance Data Analytics (HPDA). In fact, IDC predicts that by 2015, 7.3 percent of all HPC installations will be focused on HPDA. Insurance companies use this hybrid approach to provide faster means of providing calling/online quotes down to 100ms, while oil and gas firms use similar clusters for analytics and visualizing of field data for internal and external use. But what about the small- to...

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ThinkServer SA120 DAS Array

ThinkServer SA120 DAS Array

GUEST BLOG BY TAY FOSTER ... You heard about our recent ThinkServer SA120 direct-attached storage (DAS) announcement, right? Right? It’s amazing and unique in that it’s the only DAS array that has 3.5-inch drive bays in the front and 2.5-inch drive bays in the back. Single enclosure configurations are available with up to 48TB of NL-SAS HDDs combined with up to 3.2TB of high-performance Intel SSDs. This innovative “Think” design provides an optimal tiered storage solution in one compact 15.5-inch deep 2U chassis. Are you looking for the easy button for performance acceleration of your random I/O database? Then look no further than the SA120 combined with the ThinkServer RAID LSI 9286CV-8e adapter and your choice of ThinkServer systems (RD640, RD540, RD440, RD340, TD340 or TS440). The key component of this solution is the ThinkServer RAID LSI adapter and its optional CacheCade software. In the past, database administrators had to manually and selectively place more frequently accessed hot data on SSDs and leave the remaining data on HDDs. While this can be effective for increasing performance, it’s very time consuming and requires more work when the application or data changes. CacheCade intelligently and dynamically handles the data placement without the need to monitor and configure applications. When reading data, it automatically copies the...

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