Lenovo TruScale For Data Centers: 5 Things Partners Need To Know

Welcome To The New Lenovo: TruScale Infrastructure Services

Lenovo is looking to shake up the data center market with the launch of its new consumption-based, infrastructure as-a-service offering: TruScale Infrastructure Services.

“This is going to be the new norm for us,” said Matthew Horne, general manager of TruScale Services for Lenovo’s Data Center Group in an interview with CRN. “We can enable partners with a base offering, then they can customize it, layer on their own services and make it something unique. It really is a new level of partnership with our channel partners to take this to market.”

The new infrastructure subscription service aims to provide customers with more flexible, agile and efficient data center solutions. Lenovo executives sound off on five things Lenovo partners need to know about the new TruScale Infrastructure Services offering.

Based On Electricity Consumption

Lenovo’s TruScale pay-per-use offering is based on electrical consumption. The consumption usage is determined by a chip on the server motherboard that is running analytics based on electrical consumption.

“When we designed our server infrastructure, we put a chip on the motherboard of every single piece of equipment we sent out there running analytics on electrical consumption,” said Roderick Lappin (pictured), senior vice president and chief customer officer for Lenovo’s Data Center Group. “If you talk to a CIO, the No. 1 cost of running a data center these days is electricity. It’s electricity running the infrastructure, running the air conditioning and cooling solutions. What we’re doing is building a subscription model that allows the CIO to be able to see an electrical consumption model invoiced monthly based on how they’re using the equipment.”

Lappin said existing pay-per-use models in the industry are running utilization on things like compute or memory. “They have unique things like workloads that don’t match how the cost are associated with the data center,” Lappin said. “Because ours is electrical consumption, it’s basically matching how the CIO is actually running their data center. We are really being much more like a utility. We’ve designed a management suite that’s on one pane of glass for whatever you’re building this infrastructure for.”

Not A Lease, No Minimum Capacity Required

A major differentiator for TruScale in the infrastructure-as-a-service market is that there’s no minimum capacity requirement for customers.

“This is not a lease,” said Horne. “There no minimum capacity commitment required. That choice is up the customer. … What seen in the market and what we’ve heard from customers is other vendor offerings end up as essentially a structured lease. There are high commitments. Limited flexibility. No ability to scale down. That is not what this is. This is a full on-premises deployment that’s an all-inclusive subscription service. A customer can come in anywhere from zero perfect to 100 percent depending on their business needs. That consumption is metered and billed monthly.”

The consumption metering is all displayed through a new TruScale partner portal.

Channel Services

Laura Laltrello, vice president and general manager of services at Lenovo Data Center Group, said one major channel revenue driver for TruScale is partners providing application layer services.

“Our customers don’t have time to think about what hardware do they need and how do they keep it up and running -- they want someone to partner with them to do that,” she said. “Once you get into the application layer, that’s where the channel flourishes. We want to go in with the channel. Partners should take their entire solution stack and put it on top of this so that the customer gets one complete solution.”

Lenovo’s popular ThinkAgile software-defined infrastructure and ThinkSystem server portfolios are available for partners to sell the TruScale Infrastructure Services offering.

Better Than Public Cloud

With TruScale, customers can better manage their IT budget and have a tighter security hold on data compared to the public cloud. TruScale allows customers to use and pay for hardware and services on-premise or at a customer-preferred location, providing businesses with cloud-like economics with the security of on-premise hardware.

“You end up with a problem on a cloud service provider because you don’t have any control over the bill any more. The way multi-cloud is working, there are cloud service providers proliferating across corporations and the CFO is pulling his or her hair out trying to understand where all the costs are coming from,” said Laltrello. “You have control with TruScale because you know what you sized up front and you know what your bill is going to be. As long as you understand what your utilization is, you have absolute control and you lose that completely once you’ve turned your data over the cloud. Also, when you try to get the data back from the cloud, it’s very difficult. [TruScale] gives the customer much more control of their own finances and the security of their data center.”

All-In On Channel

Lenovo wants to make it crystal clear that TruScale Infrastructure Services is a channel led offering.

The big difference between us and our competitors is we are coming 100 percent channel friendly with this offering. We want to go in with the channel,” said Lappin. “One of the unique things between us and our competitors is the annuity stream that drives this business model is perpetual and shared between us and the channel partners. As the customer data requirements scale, and the electrical consumption they’re running as a utility continues to scale, the partner’s annuity stream will also increase proportionally.”

Lenovo said partners will still maintain and own the customers relationship at the end of the day with TruScale. “This isn’t a way for us to pull business direct. This is something we want to outreach with our partners on,” said Horne.

Lenovo is investing globally in subject matter experts to provide partners with specialists to help sell the offering. TruScale is now available for all certified Lenovo Data Center partners.