Lenovo, Nutanix Bring Hyperconverged Systems to SMBs

Lenovo in July will roll out its Converged HX 2000 systems that will be integrated with Nutanix's new Xpress management software.

data centers

Lenovo and Nutanix are looking to bring the benefits of hyperconverged infrastructures to smaller businesses.

The companies are expanding on a partnership started last year to unveil products that offer the efficiencies and ease of use and acquisition of the tightly integrated infrastructures while also addressing the particular needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) around pricing, simplicity and off-premises disaster recovery capabilities.

Lenovo in July will launch the Converged HX 2000 Series systems, the latest offering in the company's Converged HX Series lineup of next-generation hyperconverged infrastructures. The system will integrate Lenovo's x86-based servers with Nutanix's Xpress software that is designed to offer its enterprise cloud platform at a price point for SMBs.

Nutanix, one of the larger hyperconverged software vendors in the space, also launched Nutanix Xpress May 24, with officials saying that it can be installed by a single IT professional and manage a company's entire IT infrastructure.

"There's a recognition that much of the industry is moving toward next-generation IT, converged and hyperconverged," Radhika Krishnan, executive director and general manager of the Converged Infrastructure and Networking unit with Lenovo's Data Center Group, told eWEEK. "There has been a lot of effort to make sure these [capabilities] are available to SMB customers."

Lenovo over the past year has aggressively pushed into the booming converged and hyperconverged infrastructure market, partnering with Nutanix and Juniper Networks to develop solutions for enterprises that are looking for ways to more quickly and efficiently process such workloads as databases and virtualized desktops.

Most data center system makers are getting into the hyperconverged infrastructure space, which IDC analysts expect will grow to almost $2 billion this year and to almost $5 billion by 2019. The systems offers compute, networking, storage, virtualization and software in a tightly integrated appliance. Cisco Systems in March got into the space through a partnership with SpringPath to build hyperconverged offerings called HyperFlex Systems. Hewlett Packard Enterprise officials also plan to get into the market.

Lenovo became a significant player in the data center systems space when it bought IBM's x86 server business for $2.3 billion. Lenovo has since forged partnerships in the hyperconverged space, not only with Nutanix, but also with Juniper.

"We're relatively new to the data center business," Lenovo's Krishnan said. "We don't have the baggage of a legacy business."

The HX 2000 Series comes with the latest-generation Intel processors, DDR4 memory and tiered storage. They're also compatible with Lenovo's XClarity management software, which is designed to enable SMBs to more easily manage their infrastructure. Nutanix's Xpress software creates a common pool of resources within the appliance by aggregating compute, storage and networking, and also offers one-click upgrades. Through a feature called Cloud Connect, the systems also offer built-in backup to either Amazon Web Services or Microsoft's Azure cloud services, and the Xpress software offers support for multiple hypervisors.

The HX 2000 systems can be provisioned within an hour, an important feature for SMBs, given their limited IT resources, Krishnan said.

"Xpress is the next step in the company's long-term strategy to bring the benefits of hyperconvergence to businesses of all sizes," Raja Mukhopadhyay, vice president of product management at Nutanix, said in a statement.

Lenovo's Converged HX 200 Series systems will be available in July.