5 Technologies Leading Lenovo's Data Center Charge

Partnering To Make Moves In The Data Center

Lenovo sits atop the worldwide market in PCs but has struggled to gain traction in the data center since acquiring IBM's x86 server business about a year and a half ago. Now, the company, which has U.S. headquarters in Morrisville, N.C., is moving aggressively into the data center with the launch of several partnerships, products and programs that cover software-defined storage, networking, servers and hyper-converged infrastructure.

The latest expansion comes on the heels of the launch of Lenovo's HX2000 series of hyper-converged appliances developed in conjunction with Nutanix, a series of hyper-converged appliances aimed at the small- and midsize-business market and running on Nutanix's new Xpress software.

The company said it is digging deeper into the global data center market and into areas where it sees the most potential to make gains in cloud-based compute and consumption models.


"There hasn't been a time like this in storage ever," said David Lincoln, general manager of Lenovo's storage business. "We see it in research, and we see it in the street, and it poses a threat to a lot of the legacy incumbents and their business model."

Lenovo is launching a software-defined storage appliance program called StorSelect. Under the program, Lenovo will team with Nexenta Systems and Cloudian to offer software-defined storage software on turnkey appliances built on Lenovo hardware. The first appliances being sold under the program are the Lenovo DX8200N, which integrates Nexenta software for unified file and block storage for scale-up deployments in either all-flash, hybrid or traditional drive flavors, and the DX8200C, which uses object-based storage software from Cloudian for large, scale-out deployments.

New To The Family

In addition to the StorSelect program, Lenovo introduced its V-Series family of 12-Gb SANs, including the V3700 V2 and V5030 flexible hybrid and all-flash SAN solutions designed to allow users to scale efficiently. The V-series is Lenovo's first branded midrange SAN. The V5030 offers compression and storage virtualization into Lenovo's product set. The V3700 V2 is the line's entry-level model.


Lenovo released a new operating system, Lenovo Cloud NOS, which offers improved resiliency, cloud-level scalability and programmability. The company also provided some details around the strategic alliance it made with Juniper Networks earlier this year. The companies have signed a reseller agreement that allows Lenovo to offer Juniper's EX2200 Gigabit Power over Ethernet and EX4550 10GbaseT switches, as well as its QFX10002-72Q data center spline aggregation system as part of Lenovo's data center access products.

The companies also have jointly published a new virtualized data center reference architecture that is intended to allow customers to build solutions using their respective offerings.


Lenovo refreshed its x3850 and x3950 X6 servers with new versions incorporating Intel Xeon E7-4800 and E7-8800 v4 processors. The company said the new processors are up to 39 percent faster than the previous generation, and pack memory up to 12 TB to tackle mission-critical environments like SAP HANA or Hadoop, as well as large virtualization projects, big data and analytics workloads.

The servers are built in what Lenovo calls a modular ’compute book’ design that allows them to be upgraded or maintained quickly and economically.

I Am Your Density

Lenovo also rolled out the ThinkServer sd350, an ultra-dense, 2U four-node system designed for software-defined workloads. Lenovo executives said the sd350 can handle four times the customer apps in the same 2U rack space as a traditional server while taking 48 percent less time to deploy than competing servers. The aim of the sd350 is high efficiency, and Lenovo considers it the company's "next step" in its offerings for software-defined storage and software-defined data centers.