Lenovo And NetApp Join Forces To Take On Dell, HPE In Storage Arena


Lenovo and NetApp have formed a strategic partnership to attack the storage market and are hitting the ground running by launching new co-developed all-flash arrays and hybrid flash solutions at Lenovo Transform 2.0 in New York today.

"It sounds like NetApp is the missing link that Lenovo was looking for. It gives them more firepower to go up against an HPE or a Dell solution," said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Lenovo partner. "It gives NetApp a home of a server vendor and gives the server vendor a flash storage solution as opposed to mixing and matching. Instead of having a third-party add-in, this obviously creates a good solid relationship."

Lenovo and NetApp are co-developing products that combine NetApp's all-flash data management solutions with Lenovo's ThinkSystem server infrastructure. The new products leverage core software from NetApp and are manufactured by Lenovo.

[Related: Dell EMC Overthrows HPE For IDC's Worldwide Storage Market Share]

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Additionally, the two companies announced a new joint venture company in China that will deliver storage products and data management solutions tailored-made to meet China's specialized requirements and cloud ecosystem. The new company, which still needs local regulatory approval and does not have a name yet, is expected to be operational by spring 2019.

NetApp CEO George Kurian said in a statement that Lenovo and NetApp will offer a portfolio of products, solutions and service "that is unrivaled in the market today."

"Combining our complementary strengths in customer-centric innovation, Lenovo and NetApp will establish a new standard to accelerate our customers' success," Kurian said.

At Lenovo Transform 2.0 on Thursday, the first solutions from the partnership were released: the Lenovo ThinkSystem DE All-Flash Array Series and the ThinkSystem DM Hybrid Flash Series.

The ThinkSystem DM series are hybrid storage arrays that provide a unified solution to manage all block-and-file workloads on one array. Customers can scale out from a base of two nodes to a 12-array cluster containing up to 28PB SAN or 57PB NAS capacity. ThinkSystem DM simplifies the task of managing growth and complexity by delivering high performance, supporting a broad range of unified workloads and seamless scaling of performance and capacity.

The ThinkSystem DE series consists of the ThinkSystem DE6000F and DE4000F all-flash arrays with features such as redundant components with automated failover and advanced monitoring and diagnostics with proactive repair. The compact 2U ThinkSystem DE6000F is a midrange storage array with up to 1 million IOPS and 21GBps of read bandwidth. The entry-level DE4000F all-flash storage system has up to 300,000 IOPS and 10BGps of read bandwidth.

"We are bringing these new storage and data management solutions immediately to companies in more than 160 countries with an unmatched supply chain and services network, and through an ever-strengthening global channel partner ecosystem," said Kirk Skaugen, executive vice president of Lenovo, and president of Lenovo's Data Center Group, in a statement.

Goldstein said the Lenovo and NetApp joint solutions give customers a new option in storage.

"It's great to see Lenovo trying to compete better in storage," said Goldstein. "This gives people more preference to go with Lenovo to have an all-in-one type solution in place. We now have another option to put in our arsenal."