Strategic partnerships are vitally important for a wide variety of enterprise IT vendors. While conventional wisdom once held that enterprises were best served by integrated, single-vendor solutions, those offerings tended to increase companies’ reliance on a handful of large suppliers and reduce their access to innovative new technologies.
In contrast, hardware vendors that develop products with ISVs, cloud services providers and other expert strategic partners can quickly develop and deliver new solutions that serve the current and evolving needs of enterprises. The new offerings for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and OEMs announced recently by Lenovo’s Data Center Group (DCG) are excellent examples of this process and the benefits it provides the company’s customers.
Lenovo’s new solutions
I’ve written previously about how Lenovo gains maximum value from working with strategic partners, including AMD and Cellnex. Lenovo notes that these new and updated offerings reflect its "open platform" approach to HCI development. In essence, integrating its own ThinkAgile HCI systems and XClarity management platform with technologies from expert silicon, ISV and hybrid cloud partners results in solutions that customers can quickly deploy, easily scale and simply update to address new business requirements and opportunities. The new solutions include:
- Lenovo ThinkAgile HX, a two-socket system developed in collaboration with AMD and Nutanix that features AMD EPYC processors and Nutanix virtualization software. The ThinkAgile HX supports a wide range of core counts (up to 2.3X more than comparable Intel-based offerings) allowing systems to be configured to match application needs. Systems also include two GPUs per one unit and 45% more memory bandwidth than Intel-based solutions. In combination with the factory-installed Nutanix software, the ThinkAgile HX offers excellent performance for virtualization, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) consolidation and multi cloud deployments. Availability is planned for late November in appliance and certified node configurations.
- Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Azure Stack HCI was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and is designed to support easy deployment, management and scalability of Microsoft Azure services from edge-to-core-to-cloud. Lenovo plans to offer consumption-based (pay-as-you-go) pricing of Azure Stack HCI and Azure Stack Hub. Additionally, ThinkAgile MX features a single, simplified console for lifecycle management so customers can easily modernize and scale on-premises infrastructures from edge-based solutions to the cloud.
- Lenovo ThinkAgile VX HCI was developed in collaboration with VMware and is designed to enhance the agility and reliability for SAP HANA database deployments. ThinkAgile VX HCI solutions are 4S certified nodes designed to power high-end database solutions and SAP HANA. It offers double the SAP HANA database memory and direct connect NVMe, thus accelerating response times, speeding business insights and improving TCO. The integration of Lenovo XClarity Management software and new vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) tools improves the agility and simplifies the lifecycle management of vSAN environments. Availability is planned for later this month.
- Lenovo also announced OEM ON DEMAND, a new program which is designed to enable strategic ISV partners to offer turnkey, integrated infrastructure solutions to market through their respective brands. As an example, Lenovo noted its collaboration with Diamanti and announced the new Diamanti SR630, a solution leveraging Lenovo ThinkSystem servers that is designed to enable customers to quickly deploy Diamanti’s Spektra Kubernetes platform and run containerized applications across hybrid cloud environments. The Diamanti SR630 is currently available.
Lenovo says it is focusing on enabling "new, smarter normal" business environments where customers can easily modernize IT infrastructures without being impinged by longstanding digital barriers or outmoded traditions. The company is achieving this vision by combining its own technological innovations and insights with those of ISV and multi-cloud partners, including AMD, Nutanix, Microsoft and VMware, and OEMs like Diamanti.
The primary results of these strategic collaborations are the new solutions based on Lenovo’s ThinkAgile and ThinkSystem server platforms. But these are also evidence of Lenovo’s longstanding focus on maximally leveraging innovations developed by its strategic partners. As a result of these efforts, the company’s enterprise customers should see significant technical and business benefits from seamlessly deploying, managing and maintaining leading-edge HCI and multi-cloud solutions.
Lenovo’s focus on enabling a "new, smarter normal" is the clear goal here and is one the company and its partners and customers are likely to achieve.
Charles King is a principal analyst at PUND-IT and a regular contributor to eWEEK. © 2019 Pund-IT, Inc. All rights reserved.