5 Things Solution Providers Should Know About Lenovo's Open Platform Project

Lenovo Targets Telcos

Lenovo this week introduced its Open Platform at Lenovo architecture, which it calls OP@L, for the telecommunications industry, an effort to develop integrated solutions aimed at the red-hot market for mobile content, 5G networks and Internet of Things workloads.

The architecture pairs Lenovo hardware with Red Hat's network function virtualization (NFV) software stack. The solutions are intended to help the telecommunications industry build out data centers using open source technology to keep the solutions flexible and cheap.

Lenovo also said it would join the Open Platform for NFV project as a Platinum member in order to grow the company's presence in the open source community and position itself as "the industry's most trusted data center partner."

Click through to see five things solution providers should know about Lenovo's OP@L project.

Some Assembly Required

OP@L solutions can be built at Lenovo factories, or solution providers can build their own customized solutions based on the platform. Lenovo says it will provide a "best recipe" guide that walks solution providers through what hardware and software is required based on customer needs. Once the partner assembles the solution, it can be further customized as the customer grows or goes after new opportunities.

Lenovo's Test Kitchen

Lenovo says OP@L is intended to give users a platform that combines familiar, road-tested hardware and certified OpenStack software that can be customized for specific requirements. The company says solution providers have a huge opportunity to add value by doing customization work for customers.

How It's Arranged

The OP@L architecture integrates Lenovo hardware with an open software stack. As part of the project, Lenovo will certify its hardware with different NFV stacks to be used in 1U and 2U layouts. The company says it will soon offer a solution based on a hardened Open Compute Platform.

5G And Beyond

The OP@L solution is meant to anticipate the needs of the coming 5G world, in which the Internet of Things takes hold, ramping up the number of connected devices and requiring more bandwidth. Lenovo says telco infrastructure needs to modernize and move toward open standards and away from proprietary infrastructure. Lenovo's relationship with Red Hat, which has deepened in recent months, helps bring Lenovo in line with the ascendancy of open source software.

Carrying The Torch

The telco sector was big business for IBM, which sold its x86 server business to Lenovo about two years ago. Now Lenovo wants to solidify its position in that space by matching its hardware with Red Hat's open source stack. The move anticipates telco's move away from proprietary stacks to the open source solutions necessary to compete in the IoT market. Worldwide, Lenovo commanded a 7 percent server market share in the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.