Lenovo ThinkServer TD350 review

Lenovo’s ThinkServer TD350 tower server delivers a radical redesign and a big hardware package for the price

Deployment and AnyRAID

OS deployment is now much easier as Lenovo's embedded ThinkServer Deployment Manager (TDM) does away with the need to boot the server with a setup disk. It provides tools for BIOS setup, platform updates plus direct access for storage configuration and its wizard helped us load Windows Server 2012 R2 in less than 30 minutes.

There's a lot more as the TD350 shows off a major hardware refresh. It's much more solidly built than Lenovo's previous towers and storage capacity gets a massive boost as it supports a maximum of 15 LFF or 32 SFF drives.

You can start with the embedded RAID 110i controller which supports mirrored and striped 6Gbps SATA drives and accepts a RAID5 upgrade key. Lenovo's AnyRAID feature is quite unique as it extends the TD350's PCI-Express bus to a mid-plane card fitted directly behind the drive bays.

The AnyRAID adapters snap in to the mid-plane card and Lenovo offers three options starting with the 510i. This supports eight 6Gbps SAS drives, mirrors and stripes and can also be upgraded to RAID5 and 50 arrays.

We had the high-end RAID 720ix adapter which supports 12Gbps SAS drives, RAID6 and 60 plus 1GB of read-only cache. Add the optional 4GB flash module and you can play with LSI's CacheVault, CacheCade and FastPath features for improved storage performance.

Lenovo's new TSM provides plenty of information about server operations

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