Lenovo ThinkServer: Fast, versatile, energy-efficient

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Lenovo 2U server sports 12 CPU cores and tons of storage

We tested the Lenovo ThinkServer RD630 in our network operations center cabinet at nFrame in Carmel, Ind., and found that it fits the bill if you're looking for a powerful, versatile 1/2U server.

The biggest limitation, we found, is that the standard sample we were sent has just two or three (depending on configuration options chosen) Gigabit Ethernet ports, which may limit its usefulness in high-traffic environments unless optional Ethernet cards are installed.

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The basic kit includes the server, rack rails, power cord, and DVDs with software and guides. The rack rails looked a little flimsy, but surprisingly they installed in seconds, snap snap, repeat. The instructions said to use two people to attach the server, but one of us, the gutsy one, lifted the RD630 perilously onto the extended rails, went snap snap, repeat, and the 2U server unit was attached, and ready to slam back into the cabinet.

There were the usual dual power supply connections. Warnings also state to keep the temperature under 35C/95F, but the nFrame NOC can chill a quart of milk for months. There were three Ethernet jacks to connect, one of which can be used for the ThinkServer management components. We fired it up, and wondered if there should be a warning for excess noise. The ThinkServer, like HPs and the old Apple Xserver we use, would be at home at an international airport. Like the HP, however, you can turn down the fans if you're so disposed. The Apple sounds like it's been on the runway for several years now, waiting patiently to take off.

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