Partners See Opportunity As Lenovo, Juniper Team Up On Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Lenovo and Juniper Networks are partnering to develop hyper-converged infrastructure, entering an emerging market that has seen a major flurry of activity as of late.

The partnership, unveiled Wednesday, will marry Lenovo's x86 servers and switches with Juniper's routers, switches, software-defined networking, management and security technology.

Under the partnership, customers will be able to purchase Juniper’s networking hardware directly from Lenovo, the vendors said in a press release.

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The vendors also will collaborate to offer simplified management and orchestration in the data center using Lenovo's xClarity management software and Juniper's Network Director and Contrail software-defined networking software.

Hyper-convergence, which typically refers to the combination of compute, storage and virtualization running on x86 server hardware, is getting unprecedented industry attention as Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise prepare to enter the space.

Nutanix and SimpliVity, the No. 1 and No. 2 hyper-convergence startups, respectively, have raised nearly $590 million in funding between them.

Lenovo and Juniper partners told CRN they're encouraged to see the vendors joining forces to go after the hyper-convergence market opportunity.

’I think this is very positive for both companies in going after open networking, open compute and open storage solution-based technology for the data center,’ said Chris Becerra, president and CEO of Terrapin Systems, a Morgan Hill, Calif.-based Juniper partner. ’There have been recent partnerships announced in the industry and this is an answer to that in lieu of large companies merging.’

Becerra said the deeper integration between Lenovo and Juniper's products will help them target customers with a comprehensive hyper-convergence offering.

’For us, the fact that there’s synergy and development between the two companies means there’s another technology we can have available to us,’ said Becerra.

Lenovo and Juniper are entering a market where rivals have begun to set up shop.

Last week, Cisco launched a new hyper-converged system called HyperFlex that combines Cisco UCS servers with software-defined storage technology from the company’s partnership with startup Springpath.

Dell also recently expanded its Nutanix-based hyper-converged infrastructure appliance line with the addition of two new models based on its server hardware.

HPE, meanwhile, said it is set to release a new hyper-converged product later this month that will be priced 20 percent below market leader Nutanix's offering, while also offering speedier setup.

Partners said Lenovo will benefit from the Juniper partnership by gaining a new avenue for selling its x86 servers and switches , while Juniper will have another sales outlet for its networking hardware.

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