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Lenovo ThinkServer RD640 Server Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 1:10 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.







The front of the RD640 is dominated by eight storage bays that can give up to 32TB of storage. These bays can be configured as either hot-swap SAS, SATA hard drives, or even solid state drives.


The right of the server has one slim optical drive. On the left side of the server there are two USB ports, a com port, status LEDs, and power button.




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


To the right of the power supply we see the green serial port, and the LAN/Remote management port. Next, there is another LAN port, and the VGA output, followed by four USB ports and the last LAN port. Above these ports are two knockouts that can be removed to allow for expansion cards. Expansion slots allow for up to five additional PCIe expansion cards to be mounted inside the server.




The RD640 we received had four 1TB drives installed. Each of the drives can be removed by pressing the button on the right side of the drive. Pressing the button releases the locking arm, and once the arm releases, the drives pull out easily.




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 prefer this method of accessing the insides of the server over other methods like having to remove screws on the sides to take the lid off. When the server is installed in a rack, it is very easy to access the inside.




After taking the lid of the server off, we get our first look at the air shroud that directs airflow from the fan banks and across the CPU heat sinks.


The square holes allow for some air to pass through and provide cooling for expansion cards. To remove the air shroud, simply lift up on the support ribs and set aside. It will lock in place when reinstalled later.




After removing the air shroud, we see the CPU heat sinks and RAM slots. It is rather simple to add more RAM if needed; nothing is in the way of the RAM slots, so simply pull back the white locking retainers, and insert the RAM sticks.




At the back of the server, we find expansion bays for PCIe cards. These come with PCIe riser cards, and mounting frames to install expansion cards. There are five expansion bays available in the RD640; two are on the left bay, two are in the middle bay, and one is on the far right side, above the PSU.




Looking from the back of the server on the left side, we see the TPM module to the right, and behind the first USB port is where the Lenovo Management Controller Premium is located.




The Lenovo Management Controller Premium is an optional accessory, which 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. The power supply simply unlocks and slides out for replacement, if 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.


These fans are designed to move large amounts of air, and do not make a lot of noise. Even when running at 100% speed, the RD640 is not loud, and can be run in an office enviroment.







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




On the front end, push down on the rail lock lever and insert it into the rack, then lift the lever to lock it in place. At the top of each rail, there is a mounting screw hole. After you get the front and back of the rail locked in place, screw in a retaining screw to finish installing the rails.




Each rail has three grooves that line up with guides on the sides of the server. Lift the server in place so the guides line up with all three grooves, 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 off the rails. The RD640 weighs in at ~35.3 pounds, which is not a lot, but we do advise using two people to assist installing the server, or removing one.


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

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