Making Microsoft Windows Server software defined solutions easy
With the explosion of data storage needs, Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) and Software Defined Storage (SDS) have seen tremendous growth. Microsoft provides Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), a feature of Windows Server - Data Center Edition, to provide both HCI and SDS capabilities through Windows Server Software Defined (WSSD) solutions.
Microsoft WSSD solutions provide a certification path for Storage Spaces Direct solutions. Further streamlining this process are Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Certified Nodes — easily orderable and modular building block to allow you to quickly and easily implement WSSD solutions.
In traditional IT, a solution is designed, tested, implemented, and maintained requiring significant time and energy. With HCI, this burden has been transferred to the solution provider. Microsoft created S2D to solve the storage challenge and WSSD solutions to ensure robust and viable platforms.
Lenovo has designed, tested and validated ThinkAgile MX Series to quickly and easily provide the solutions you need, with the confidence required, to exceed the stringent requirements of today’s IT. The result is that you can quickly deploy a robust, high-performance storage solution and rapidly solve your IT challenges.
Hyperconverged storage achieves phenomenal performance by using multiple tiers of storage. Specifically a “cache” tier is used, created with high-speed flash devices like solid state drives (SSDs) and NVMe for accelerated storage access.
With Microsoft WSSD solutions, further acceleration is achieved by using RDMA or Remote Direct Memory Access. This capability nearly doubles the I/O capabilities of the environment, providing incredible performance.
The cache tier sits on top of a capacity tier, typically composed of inexpensive hard disk drives (HDDs). These inexpensive storage devices, combined with the acceleration of the cache tier, provide a flexible solution with the storage capacity and extreme performance to meet today’s demanding workloads.
The SR650 2U server node is the perfect hardware platform for this solution. Equipped with two powerful Intel® Xeon® Scalable family processors, it provides extreme reliability, huge internal storage and memory capacity, and a large number of I/O slots, making it an ideal foundation for this solution.
The SR650 configurations used in this solution are storage-dense, with a high-performance 4-SSD/NVMe cache tier and a 10-HDD capacity tier, along with two mirrored boot drives. You can start with as few as two nodes, and grow to 16 nodes.
Consistently scoring #1 for reliability and #1 for customer satisfaction in independent customer surveys, the SR650 provides the performance, availability, capacity, and quality your data center demands for a cloud environment.
To handle your high-speed communications demands, each node is configured with either a dual-port 10 / 25GbE Mellanox ConnectX-4 Adapter, or a dual-port 10 / 25GbE Cavium FastLinQ adapter. These adapters are designed to address your virtualized infrastructure challenges.
They utilize native hardware support for RDMA over either RoCE or iWARP, Ethernet stateless offload engines, overlay networks, and GPUDirect Technology to maximize performance. Lenovo recommends 25GbE, particularly for larger hard drives, provided by the cloud-optimized ThinkSystem NE2572 RackSwitch. This enterprise-class Layer 2 and Layer 3 full-featured switch delivers line-rate, high-bandwidth switching, filtering, and traffic queuing without delaying data.
Large data center-grade buffers help keep traffic moving, while the hot-swap redundant power supplies and fans (along with numerous high-availability features) help provide resiliency for business-sensitive traffic. External connectivity is provided by six ports at up to 100GbE.
The Lenovo Cloud Network Operating System (CNOS) for the NE2572 RackSwitch has been updated with RadiusAccounting/MSCHAPv2 and public key infrastructure (PKI) support with enhancements to user transaction logging and IP ACL over L3 VLAN interfaces for Microsoft Azure Stack integration.
In those countries where it is supported, ThinkAgile MX includes a comprehensive portfolio of software and services that supports the full lifecycle of your infrastructure. At every stage — from planning to deploying, supporting, optimizing, and end-of-life — Lenovo provides the expertise and services you need to get the most from your technology investment.
Lenovo will help you perform a presale total cost of ownership (TCO) study to decide which configuration is right for you, and then will ship it as a single unit, factory installed in a rack and ready to deploy. Configuration Services will discover your hosts and storage resources.
Lenovo also will provide knowledge-transfer training to your IT personnel. After deployment, Predictive Analytics software will identify on a continuing basis, and usually resolve, storage-related (and many infrastructure-related) issues, often before administrators are even aware of them.
Lenovo provides single-point-of-contact support for all the hardware and software used in the solution, including Microsoft’s WSSD Solutions, Storage Spaces Direct and the Mellanox or Cavium adapters. Periodic health checks enable you to maintain an optimized solution.
At end of life, Lenovo offers data recovery services. And these are just a few of the many benefits Lenovo’s software, services, and support provide with your solution. The ThinkAgile MX Certified Node allows you to budget more accurately for IT expenses, better deliver on service-level agreement commitments, and ultimately generate greater end-user satisfaction.
With co-located engineering organizations and a history of technical collaboration, Microsoft and Lenovo consistently deliver innovative joint solutions for the data center. Lenovo’s leadership in reliability, customer satisfaction, and performance, combined with Microsoft’s leadership in software and cloud services, continues to deliver innovative data center solutions and lower TCO for our joint customers.
ThinkAgile MX Certified Node – SR650
Hyperconverged Infrastructure – Microsoft WSSD solutions for Storage Spaces Direct
2x Intel® Xeon® Scalable family processors, 8-28 cores
Up to 1.5TB in 24x slots
Mellanox (RoCE) or Cavium (iWARP) 10/25GbE adapters, 25GbE recommended
|Storage Options – Capacity Tier|
4-10x HDDs: 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB
2-4x SSDs or hot-pluggable NVMe: 800GB or 1.6TB SSDs, 1.6TB or 3.2TB NVMe
Optional hardware management via Lenovo XClarity and resource management through Microsoft Windows Admin Center
Included in Microsoft Windows Server 2016 and 2019 – Datacenter version
Lenovo ThinkAgile Advantage, where available. Standard hardware support elsewhere.
Specifications may vary depending upon region