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Lenovo ThinkServer RD340 Server Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jun 4, 2014 1:04 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Lenovo





The RD340 has a wide range of storage options and plenty of LAN ports for connectivity. Optional RAID adapters can greatly increase storage performance. The RD340 can also use an impressive 192GB of RAM.







This is the front of the Lenovo ThinkServer RD340. You can see the four hard drive bays with a DVD drive at the top right. The left hand side has the power button, two USB ports, and status lights. The two red buttons on each side are for locking the server into place after it has been installed.




Looking at the back of the server, we can see the I/O layout. The power supply on the left can slide out by unlocking the red lever and pulling.


To the right of the power supply, we see the green serial port and the LAN/Remote Management port. Next is another LAN port and the VGA output, followed by four USB ports and the last LAN port.


Above these ports are two cutouts that allow for expansion cards.




Each of the hard drives can be removed by pressing the button on the right side of each drive; this releases the locking arm, and then you simply pull out the drive. We had no issues installing or removing drives; they are very sturdy and well grounded.




In order to remove the top of the server, there is a simple latch that pops open and allows you to slide the server lid right off. We like this method of accessing the insides of the server over other methods, such as having to remove screws on the sides. When the server is installed in a rack, this is very easy to access the inside.




With the lid off, we get our first look at the insides of the server. The layout of the server is nice and clean. To remove the air shroud, simply pull up on the two blue holes, and it pops out for access to the CPU and RAM.




They layout of the CPU and RAM in this server provides good airflow, which is a requirement for 1U servers. Heatsinks for chipsets are also located in good positions for proper airflow. Cables are laid out on the left side of the case, so they do not block air from reach parts that run at high temperature.




Looking at the back of the server, we can see where the expansion cards would fit. There are two expansion bays in this server, and each one can also receive good airflow to help keep them cool.




Looking from the back of the server, on the right side, we see the TPM module; behind the first USB port is where the Lenovo management controller premium is located.




The Lenovo management controller premium is an optional accessory that appears to be a simple dongle type of device. This unlocks KVM abilities through IPMI remote management. If you do not use this module, you will still have IPMI, but you will not be able to remote in by KVM.




The server that we have uses only one power supply. It simply unlocks and slides out for replacement if it is ever needed.


If needed, an optional redundant power supply can be ordered.




The fans on the cooling bar are simple to replace. Simply pull up on the tab and lift the fan out.


With the 1U servers that we have run in the past, we found them to be very loud, much like F-16s. The fans in the RD340 did not make a lot of noise; we could sit right next to the server while under full load, and the noise level was not that bad. These little fans do move a lot of air and keep the server very cool.







Lenovo rails are a little different to install than others we have used. Once we figured out how these snap into place, we found them to be easy to work with.


Position the back of the rail into the slots where you want the server to go. There is a locking lever and blue release button at the bottom.




On the front end, push down on the rail lock lever and insert it into the rack. Then you lift the lever to lock it in place.




Each rail has three groves that line up with guides on the sides of the server. Lift the server in place so that the guides line up with all three groves and lower it into place.




The very front of the rail has a lock that snaps into place when installing the server. To remove the server, slide the lock to the front. You can now lift the server up and out of the rails.




Here we see the server installed in our test rack getting ready to be tested. The two red buttons on each side of the server allow it to be locked into place or released to slide it out.


The complete racking process took us a little bit to figure out, but overall, the whole process was rather simple.




One of the drawbacks we found was our test cabinet was not deep enough, so we could not close the back door. The extra extension to the rails that we show here is for an optional cable management bar, which can be useful for large deployments.

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