Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Saturday, December 15, 2018
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NetApp, Lenovo Join All-Flash-Server Forces 

Lenovo-NetApp ThinkSystem

Two industry heavies, NetApp and Lenovo, yesterday launched a strategic partnership in which the companies are co-developing what will be Lenovo-branded storage products combining NetApp’s all-flash data management solutions with Lenovo’s ThinkSystem hardware infrastructure. The two companies’ technologies combined are designed to modernize latency- and performance-sensitive IT infrastructures increasingly called upon to support broadly distributed workloads from cloud, to core, to edge.

Lenovo and NetApp also announced a new joint venture company in China to deliver storage products and data management solutions localized and tailored to meet China’s specialized requirements and distinct cloud ecosystem. The new venture is expected to be operational by spring 2019, pending local approvals.

The news comes on the heels of last month’s announced partnership between NetApp and Nvidia to combine the former’s data services and storage with the latter’s GPU-based compute power; while that alliance targets jump-starting AI for organizations not laden with data scientists, The Lenovo partnership targets the data center, digital transformation and “high performance data management.”

“Lenovo and NetApp are uniquely positioned to deliver the next-generation of high performance data management solutions across the globe offering customers unprecedented new performance, value and choice,” said Kirk Skaugen, EVP, Lenovo Data Center Group. “Lenovo, now the world’s fastest growing server company, remains committed to our vision of being the most trusted data center partner for our customer’s digital transformation. We are bringing these new storage and data management solutions immediately to companies in more than 160 countries with an unmatched supply chain and services network, and through an ever-strengthening global channel partner ecosystem.”

The first solutions from this partnership – Lenovo ThinkSystem DE and DM – are scale up/scale out storage solutions that the companies said gives customers “enterprise-grade data management capabilities” and unified storage across block-and-file workloads. Available now, the ThinkSystem DM Series offers an all-flash array that delivers 5:1 data reduction, deploys workloads such as SQL Server, VMware and SAP HANA in less than 10 minutes, consumes 11x less power, with deduplication and data compression, compared with HDD arrays and, because of its unified architecture, reduces hardware requirements by up to 50 percent, according to the companies.

The all-flash arrays offer up to 4 million IOPS, along with 40Gb Ethernet (GbE), 32 Gb Fibre Channel and NVMe over Fibre Channel connectivity, which the companies said eliminate bandwidth bottlenecks caused by flash storage exceeding the speed of the network. Taken together, the ThinkSystem DM can reduce rack space by 38x, according to the two companies.

Lenovo and NetApp also announced a new joint venture company in China to deliver storage products and data management solutions “localized and tailored to meet China’s specialized requirements and distinct cloud ecosystem.” The new venture is expected to be operational by spring 2019, pending local approvals.

“In today’s global economy, customers demand new approaches to IT infrastructure that support their digital transformation; through this partnership, Lenovo and NetApp will offer a comprehensive portfolio of products, solutions and service that is unrivaled in the market today,” said George Kurian, CEO of NetApp. “Combining our complementary strengths in customer-centric innovation, Lenovo and NetApp will establish new standards to accelerate our customers.”

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