March Madness has taken hold with its usual feverish pitch of friendly office pools, viewing parties and riled up basketball fans. Around the United States, college basketball teams from Duke to Kentucky to Texas A&M vie for the top spot in the men’s NCAA basketball championship. Sports commentators and fans have analyzed the statistics and placed bets on which team is most likely to emerge victorious. Now that we're down to the Final Four, the competition has heated up a notch, and passionate fans crowd around big screens at the edge of their seats.
All hoopla (pun intended) aside and despite a touch of luck, the winner will have the right combination of players, plus a coach who understands how to unlock the team’s potential by leveraging their individual strengths. In much the same way, a data center that has the right combination of carefully chosen infrastructure—from servers, storage, software and solutions—can empower a business to speed ahead of its competition.
Okay, so what’s standing in the way of a win for the typical IT manager?
- Businesses want to gain better control of their infrastructure. They face pressure to roll out new services and infrastructure more quickly to meet the growing demand. At the same time, they need to manage them effectively. This is especially challenging when they have diverse products from a number of different vendors—each with its own separate tools and management software—plus a lean IT staff and a cash-strapped budget.
- IT organizations need their infrastructure to be reliable and stay up and running 24/7. Most can only tolerate an average of 8.5 seconds or less of downtime per day. At the same time, the hourly cost of downtime continues to mount—more than $100K per hour for large businesses.
- Migration to the cloud continues to grow as companies outsource some or all of their infrastructure and IT operations so they can reduce their CAPEX and upfront infrastructure investments, and spend more time on their core businesses. They don’t want IT to get in their way. They want it to complement their business strategy.
- Data is exploding. By 2020, 30 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, producing an estimated 44 zettabytes of data. That’s a one with 21 zeros after it, or a billion terabytes. Companies are overwhelmed with the struggle to process this data, store it, secure it and ultimately mine it to gain faster business insights and a competitive edge. Over two-thirds of companies view big data as critical to their success.
- With flat-to-declining budgets, enterprise customers continue to seek ways to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO). Spending less time and money on their infrastructure is a big part of controlling their TCO.
Like a successful coach, a company’s IT manager must determine which infrastructure to deploy in the data center to unlock its potential, resulting in streamlined operations, maximized uptime, accelerated business insights and decisions, rapid services roll-out and reduced maintenance time and costs.
Lenovo has announced a new team of servers, solutions and software offerings to help you acquire faster insights, accelerate resource deployment, maximize uptime and reduce costs—in other words, to help you realize your data center’s potential.
First, we have upgraded most of the portfolio with the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 product family. This includes our rack, tower, blade and dense systems, which gained up to 44 percent performance application improvement over the previous generation, enabling you to make rapid, real-time business decisions with all that incoming data. Lenovo has achieved six performance world records with our updated System x3650 M5 rack server, delivering faster performance than any competitive two-socket 2U system across virtualization, database, high performance computing, and high frequency trading workloads.
We also added a new server, the single-socket 1U System x3250 M6 targeted at SMB and retail point-of-sale environments. Ranked #1 in reliability for the third year in a row, and #1 in customer satisfaction overall in 2014 and 2015, Lenovo servers maximize uptime to keep your data center up and running. Find out how built-in, high-availability Lenovo technologies like Light Path Diagnostics, Predictive Failure Analysis and Trusted Platform Assurance can help you minimize downtime. Visit our Lenovo systems page to get more details about each server.
We’ve also announced new functionality for Lenovo XClarity management software, including a new option for mobile management, which enables anytime, anywhere access from mobile devices. XClarity is now available on all Lenovo 2P servers, including ThinkServer systems, as well as our X6 4P-8P mission-critical platforms. XClarity delivers simplified, repeatable infrastructure deployment and management to help you deploy resources faster. Learn about how XClarity deploys servers in one tenth the time of competitive systems management products.
Finally, now that we're approaching the buzzer, we've announced two updated cloud solution offerings: Lenovo Cloud Reference Architecture for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and Lenovo Cloud Reference Architecture for VMware Software Defined Datacenter. Both accelerate your migration to cloud. Lenovo continues to partner with key industry ISV players to bring you best-in-class, pre-validated solutions for cloud, big data/analytics and high-performance computing (HPC). Learn more about these solutions.
Our broad portfolio is optimized to meet the needs of enterprise customers from SMB to large enterprise with workloads spanning the full gamut: infrastructure basics (email, file and print) to big data/analytics, virtual desktop and database management.
Lenovo is committed to delivering purpose-driven innovation, choice and flexibility, and leading management and industry solutions while providing a phenomenal customer experience. Ultimately, we want to enable you to unlock the potential of your data center and zip ahead with our best-in-class team of servers, software and solutions. For a slam dunk, view our webcast and visit our announcements page to learn more.
Meanwhile, let the March Madness rage on. Whether it’s UNC Chapel Hill, Villanova, Syracuse or Oklahoma who emerges as the champion, it will be a fun ride. We’re not placing any bets, but UNC is showing a renewed toughness on defense and looks good. Just saying.