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Lenovo takes on $87bn data centre market

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Lenovo has intensified its focus on the $87-billion data centre technology market by unveiling an expanded arsenal of IT solutions, including next-generation software defined storage, enterprise networking offerings and capabilities, the latest high-performance servers and an enhanced suite of hyperconverged appliances. 
The broader portfolio drives Lenovo deeper into next-generation IT and strengthens the company’s ability to help customers transform their data centers by embracing emerging data consumption and delivery models such as cloud-based infrastructure, big data and analytics solutions.
The company will showcase many of these new solutions publicly for the first time at its annual Lenovo TechWorld event in San Francisco today (9 June).
The new offerings are the latest demonstration of Lenovo’s ability to leverage partnerships with industry leaders, as well as leading-edge startup firms, to orchestrate delivery of best-of-breed solutions free of legacy technologies and investment burdens.  They give customers even greater flexibility to deploy the right solutions for their evolving IT environments and business scenarios without being locked in to rigid technology stacks.

Software-defined storage and SAN
Lenovo launched a new and innovative Software Defined Storage (SDS) appliance program, called StorSelect, collaborating with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to integrate their SDS software with Lenovo hardware in turnkey appliances. The factory-integrated appliances with end-to-end Lenovo support enable simple and confident deployment of scalable storage solutions.
The first offerings in this program – the Lenovo Storage DX8200N and DX8200C – integrate SDS software from Nexenta Systems and Cloudian respectively, to deliver breakthrough return on investment for storage solutions.
The DX8200N supports unified file and block storage for scale-up deployments leveraging three different technologies – all-flash, hybrid, and all spinning drives.  The DX8200C is an object-based storage appliance that is ideal for large scale-out deployments and addresses the fastest growing segment of the storage market.  Both offerings are built upon Lenovo’s industry leading x86 server platforms and will begin shipping worldwide in the third quarter of 2016.
In addition to the StorSelect solutions, the company also unveiled its first Lenovo-branded mid-range storage systems – new V-Series family of 12Gb SANs. The V3700 V2 and V5030 are flexible hybrid and all-flash SAN solutions that help clients confidently and affordably scale their IT operations to improve storage economics in their organisations. The Lenovo V Series family will begin shipping worldwide in June 2016.

Networking OS and Juniper partnership
Lenovo has rejuvenated its enterprise networking line with expanded offerings and capabilities, enabling customers to deploy more comprehensive solutions from the core data center to the campus. The company released its next-generation network operating system, Lenovo Cloud NOS, which offers new functionality that enhances resiliency, cloud-level scalability and programmability.  It will be available for customer download starting on 17 June.
In addition, Lenovo disclosed new details of its global strategic partnership with Juniper Networks, which was announced earlier this year.  The two companies signed a reseller agreement under which Lenovo will offer Juniper Networks’ EX2300 and EX4550 Ethernet Switches, as well as the QFX10002-72Q data centre spine aggregation switch.
Lenovo will sell these Juniper offerings directly as part of an integrated portfolio that also includes Lenovo’s own data centre access products.  The Juniper offerings will be available from Lenovo beginning in the third quarter of 2016.
The companies also jointly published a new virtualised data centre reference architecture, available now, that will allow customers to easily build solutions integrating their respective technologies to address virtually all data centre networking needs.

High-performance servers
Lenovo refreshed its x3850 and x3950 X6 servers with new versions incorporating the latest Intel Xeon E7-4800 and E7-8800 v4 processors, which deliver up to 39% faster performance than the previous generation.
With memory support up to 12TB, these powerful offerings are designed for mission-critical environments, such as in-memory applications like SAP HANA or Hadoop, as well as large virtualisation projects, big data and analytics workloads.
The Lenovo x3850 X6 and x3950 X6 offer fast performance, establishing 17 new industry performance benchmarks.[3]  In addition, the new servers feature an innovative, modular “compute book” design, so they can be upgraded or maintained quickly and economically, enabling a highly agile and resilient data centre infrastructure.  They will be available starting this month (June 2016).
Lenovo’s powerful 4-Socket x3850 X6 server using Intel Xeon E7-8890 v4 processors on Windows delivers a more than 33% performance improvement over the previous-generation Lenovo system against the SAP SD 2-tier standard application benchmark.
In addition, these new servers enable expanded memory support to provide 33% more memory for SAP S/4HANA solutions in eight-socket, 8TB configurations with SAP HANA SPS12. With this innovation, customers can expand their SAP S/4HANA footprint while gaining the faster, more responsive data access needed to drive their digital enterprises.
Lenovo also rolled out the ThinkServer sd350, an ultra-dense, 2U four node (2U4N) system designed for more demanding software defined workloads where maximum density and efficiency, as well as highly attractive ownership costs, are critical requirements.  The sd350 will be available starting in July 2016.

Hyperconverged appliances
Lenovo announced a significantly expanded portfolio of HX Series hyperconverged appliances, based on Nutanix software and built upon the company’s latest server technology, to cover a broader range of workloads and deployment cost requirements.  The new offerings include:
* The HX1000 Series for Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) appliance;
* The HX2000 Series for small to mid-size businesses (SMB) featuring Nutanix’s new Xpress software (announced May 24); and
* Integration of Lenovo’s latest server platform into its HX3000 Series, a “compute heavy” solution optimized for VDI and smaller virtualization workloads, and HX5000 Series, a “storage heavy” version optimised for server virtualisation workloads with larger capacity demands
These new appliances significantly expand Lenovo’s hyperconverged family, which also includes the HX7000 Series optimised for databases and other I/O intensive workloads.  They will be available through Lenovo direct and business partner channels beginning in the third quarter of 2016.