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Lenovo ThinkServer RD640 Server Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 1:10 pm
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TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Lenovo

BIOS

 

The BIOS for this server is typical, so we will only show key BIOS screens.

 

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This is the main BIOS screen you see when you first enter the BIOS.

 

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This is the Boot Options menu. This allows you to set which devices you want to boot from, and the boot order priorities.

 

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Moving along to the Advanced menu, we can see the adjustable settings.

 

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This is the Advanced Processor Configuration tab. We set this server up so speed step and other power features are turned off; this will allow us to get maximum performance out of the server while we test.

 

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In the Advanced Power Management tab, we turn off all power saving features for our tests.

 

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Here we see adjustment in the memory configuration.

 

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Here we can enable or disable the High Precision Timer and VT-d.

 

 

Software

 

The Lenovo RD640 ThinkServer comes with two disks. One disk has drivers and setup programs to aid you in setting up this machine.

 

Simply insert this DVD into the DVD drive, and boot the machine. It will take you to the ThinkServer EasyStartup program.

 

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When booting from the software DVD, you will enter the ThinkServer EasyStartup program, which will guide you through the process of getting the machine up and running.

 

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After this boots, you go through two other screens, agree to terms and conditions, enter the date and time, and then you will come to this screen. Much of this process is self-explanatory, so there is no need to show every screen that you will encounter - many screens are just confirming settings and hitting the next button.

 

Continue to the main interface if you are setting up a new server for the first time. After you work through that, you can create a response file on a USB drive that you can use for other servers. This includes raid drivers, OS type, and everything else you would need. You would then use this USB drive for any other new servers.

 

If you have one of these already made, then pick the second option. If you need the same setup, but wish to use a different type of RAID, then use the last option.

 

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This is the home screen you will see after you select the first option from the step before this. On the left hand side you can see all the steps you will need to go through to complete this procedure.

 

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We skipped ahead a few steps to show you how the RAID is set up.

 

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The ThinkServer R6340 that we received had four Western Digital 1TB hard drives installed. Here you can see how they show up in EasyStartup. We selected all four drives for our RAID.

 

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Here you can select the OS you want to install; we will be using Windows Server 2012 R2. After this step, you can proceed to enter your OS Key, admin user name, password, and a few other pieces of information. Afterward, you will have the option to write all of this to a response file on a USB stick to use on future installations.

 

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This is the last step in the EasyStartup process. Once you click finish, the install procedure will take over and get everything set up for you.

 

There are other ways to set up the RD640 if you wish to do it manually. The supplied software disk should have all the drivers that you would need, and that process is very much like setting up any other server you would run across.

 

The EasyStartup program makes this an easy process for anyone just starting out setting these up.

 

 

Remote Management

 

There are several ways to do remote management and IPMI on the RD340. Just like any server with IPMI, its simply enter in the IP address that you find in the BIOS under server management/BMC network configuration into your web browser. In our case, that was 192.168.1.13. After that, you see the login screen.

 

On the back of the RD340, there is a dedicated LAN port for BMC, and we connected to that for our tests.

 

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The login information for the Lenovo ThinkServer RD640 is as follows:

 

Username: lenovo

Password: len0vO

 

Then hit ok. As a best practice, Administrative users should change factory default Username/Password logins before connecting any new server to their network.

 

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Here we are looking at the home screen for the ThinkServer management. The rest of the menus are typical for IPMI/BMC setups, so we will not show all of them.

 

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If you have the Management Controller Premium module installed, you will see the menu options for KVM. These will not show up if there is no module installed. Now hitting the launch java KVM client will allow you to remote right into the server.

 

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After entering the java KVM client, we can now control the machine from the BIOS level all the way to the desktop.

 

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The next method to control the server is with a software package called Easymanage. Installed EasyManage on your host machine and use this to control many servers in your network. After installing EasyManage and then running it, enter login information.

 

Login: server

Password: manager

 

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This is a typical screen for EasyManage. This program has many features that are useful in managing a number of different servers.

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