Lenovo Launches Converged Infrastructure Solution With Nimble Storage

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Server vendor Lenovo and flash storage vendor Nimble Storage are partnering on a new converged infrastructure solution that Lenovo hopes will be its first, big step down the road to becoming a data center powerhouse.

Partnering with San Jose, California-based Nimble Storage will give Lenovo a tier-one storage offering, said Stuart McCrae, director of the Lenovo storage product group.

"Lenovo storage is still young and growing," McCrae told CRN. "We started with file and block storage, and added software-defined storage. Now we're offering tier-one, all-flash and hybrid flash storage."

[Related: How We Got Here: Lenovo's Blockbuster IBM Server Deal]

Lenovo's march into the data center started with its 2012 strategic agreement with EMC to jointly develop VSPEX reference architectures for converged infrastructure. That effort expanded with Lenovo's 2014 acquisition of IBM's x86-based server business. However, the Lenovo-EMC relationship ended even before the purchase of EMC by Lenovo arch-rival Dell.

The new relationship with Nimble Storage is starting out with ThinkAgile, Lenovo's new brand for converged infrastructure. The solution includes Lenovo servers, Nimble storage, and Lenovo network technology it got with the IBM x86 server business acquisition, McCrae said.

The different parts are tied together with Lenovo's XClarity infrastructure management software, he said.

The ThinkAgile offering will be pre-integrated by Lenovo in its own facilities and sold by Lenovo's channel partners, McCrae said. It will not be sold by Nimble Storage channel partners, said Dan Leary, vice president of corporate development for the storage vendor.

While Nimble Storage has converged infrastructure partnerships with other vendors, they are more along the lines of meet-in-the-channel relationships, Leary told CRN. "We don't have any other pre-integrated converged infrastructure relationships," he said.

ThinkAgile is expected to be only the first of a growing relationship between the two vendors, Leary said.

"What's really unique is the longer-term ramifications of our relationship," he said. "This is a collaborative technology partnership that will lead to further developments."

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