Partners Cheer Lenovo's DataCore Deal, Ponder Its Long-Term Storage Strategy

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Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based solution provider and Lenovo channel partner, said it is tough for a company to grow its data center business.

"Some clients want a pure HPE end-to-end solution or a Dell end-to-end solutions," Goldstein told CRN. "So there's not a lot of options there. But some clients swear by NetApp or pre-Dell EMC storage on Lenovo servers."

The DataCore relationship will help open Lenovo's doors to customers without a large SAN budget, Goldstein said.

"But I'm not sure what the long-term strategy is," he said. "Maybe the best strategy for Lenovo could be a midmarket strategy. Competition in the high-end is fierce. Maybe Lenovo has more of an SMB strategy and is not necessarily peeking in the high-end tier. It fits with Lenovo's current storage strategy. Software-defined storage gives them diversity."

Another Lenovo channel partner, who requested anonymity, told CRN that Lenovo has another issue when it comes to storage.

"Lenovo doesn't believe in account registration," the partner told CRN. "Companies like HPE provide protection. Storage sales require a lot of sales calls, and there's a lot of competition. Do you want to leverage yourself with a partner that doesn't offer deal registration?"

That is especially important given Lenovo's software-defined storage strategy, the partner said. "Storage on a commodity server platform without owning the technology, how can you protect partner sales," the partner said.

Lenovo was unable to respond to a CRN query about its deal registration program.

Having a software-defined storage strategy is a good first step for Lenovo, and the DataCore technology is a good fit, Pyle said.

"Lenovo needs a software-defined storage strategy," he said. "But it also needs a strong storage strategy to compete. I'm not knocking Lenovo's strategy. I'm saying they need to pay attention to storage, but not put all their eggs in the DataCore basket."

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