5 Things To Know About Lenovo-NetApp's Strategic Partnership

Lenovo And NetApp Hold Hands

Lenovo sent shockwaves through the IT industry on Thursday by unveiling a new strategic partnership with NetApp alongside several new co-developed storage solutions.

"Through this partnership, Lenovo and NetApp will offer a comprehensive portfolio of products, solutions and service that is unrivaled in the market today," said NetApp CEO George Kurian in a statement. "Combining our complementary strengths in customer-centric innovation, Lenovo and NetApp will establish a new standard to accelerate our customers' success."

The partnership was announced during the Lenovo Transform 2.0 event in New York on Thursday with around 1,000 customers, channel partners and executives in attendance. Here are the five biggest things you need to know about the new Lenovo-NetApp partnership.

The Technology Combination

Lenovo and NetApp are currently co-developing the largest range of new Lenovo-branded storage products that combine NetApp's all-flash data management solutions with Lenovo's ThinkSystem core data center server line. The new products leverage core software from NetApp including its ONTAP software bundle that includes data protection, high performance and advanced capabilities such as instant cloning, data replication and data retention. The solutions will be manufactured by Lenovo.

"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 oppose to mixing and matching."

Global Market Impact

The partnership pins together two global market leaders in server and storage. NetApp currently ranks third in worldwide storage market with $832 million in sales during second quarter 2018, up 20 percent year over year, according to IDC. NetApp captured 6.3 percent of the global storage market share. Lenovo ranks sixth in worldwide storage share with total revenue of $397 million in the second quarter, up a whopping 133 percent year over year, capturing 3 percent market share. Dell ranked No.1 in global storage market with 19.1 percent share, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise with 17.3 percent.

On the server side, Lenovo is currently the fourth largest vendor in terms of worldwide server revenue with $1.55 billion in sales during second quarter 2018, up 86 percent year over year. Lenovo captured nearly 7 percent of global server share. Dell placed first in total server share at 18.8 percent, followed by HPE with 16.6 percent share, then IBM at 7.3 percent share.

Attacking China

On top of the technology partnership, Lenovo and NetApp are creating a new joint venture company in China. The new company, which is still pending local approvals and does not yet have a name, will provide storage products and data management solutions tailored-made to meet China's specialized requirements and cloud ecosystem. The joint company is expected to be operational by spring 2019.

"Lenovo is committed to driving the new IT - Intelligent Transformation - through an expanding customer-centric set of data center offerings," said Lenovo chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing in a statement. "Lenovo is committed to both organic and inorganic growth to meet the needs of our customers, and maintaining the strongest global partnerships in the data center industry."

New ThinkSystem DM Series

At Transform 2.0, Lenovo and NetApp unveiled its joint hybrid storage arrays, the ThinkSystem DM, which provide a unified solution to manage all block-and-file workloads on one array. The scale-out DM Series hybrid solution enables customers to scale from a base of two nodes to a 12-array cluster containing up to 28PB SAN or 57PB NAS capacity. The hybrid arrays include NetApp's ONTAP data management software bundles that provides storage efficiency, data protection, high performance and advanced capabilities such as instant cloning, data replication and data retention.

The three new ThinkSystem DM models include the DM7000H with raw capacity of up to 57PB and memory of 3072GB; the DM5000H with raw capacity of up to 15PB and memory of 768GB; and the DM3000H raw cappropacity of up to 17PB and memory of 768GB.

New ThinkSystem DE All-Flash Array

NetApp and Lenovo have also come together to develop the ThinkSystem DE series of all-flash arrays that include features such as redundant components with automated failover, intuitive storage management with tuning functions, and advanced monitoring and diagnostics with proactive repair. The arrays protect against data loss and downtime event, both locally and remotely, using advanced data protection features like synchronous mirroring and full drive encryption.

The new compact 2U ThinkSystem DE6000F midrange storage array includes up to 1 million IOPS, 21GBps of read bandwidth and 128GB of memory. The entry-level DE4000F all-flash storage system has up to 300,000 IOPS, 10BGps of read bandwidth and 16BG of memory.