Lenovo expands hyperconverged portfolio with SimpliVity alliance

Lenovo announces its second hyperconverged partnership this week, which like the first is focused primarily on the SMB space, where Lenovo is initially focusing with its hyperconverged strategy.

Brian Hamel Lenovo

Brian Hamel, Vice President and General Manager, Lenovo North America Enterprise Business Group

Earlier this week, Lenovo announced its first hyperconverged solution, a ROBO-focused offering in co-operation with British-based software-defined storage vendor StorMagic. Now, three days later, they are announcing their second partnership in the space, an alliance with Westborough MA-based SimpliVity, which will see SimpliVity’s OmniStack data virtualization platform sold with Lenovo System x3650 servers.

“When we look at the marketplace with IDC’s estimated growth for hyperconverged growing from a billion today to three to five billion by 2019, we see this as a sweet spot to participate,” said Brian Hamel, Vice President and General Manager, Lenovo North America Enterprise Business Group. “The way in which we will participate in hyperconverged is by partnerships with storage software vendors.”

While both SimpliVity and StorMagic started out in the SMB space, with one and two rack systems, they both scale beyond that. Lenovo’s short term plan for hyperconverged, however, is to first establish itself as a dominant player at the low end of the market, although the longer term plan is to move up to the midmarket and enterprise as well.

“At the low end, the one and two rack space, we can deliver hardware at the most affordable price point in the market, so this segment aligns very well with Lenovo,” Hamel said. “Both StorMagic and SimpliVity provide us with great relationships to grow in the SMB space. SimpliVity is clearly one of the top emerging hyperscale offerings. They started in SMB and are driving up into the enterprise, so they will fit nicely with this market we are trying to attack with them.”

The SimpliVity OmniStack Solution running on Lenovo System x3650 M5 provides all IT services below the hypervisor, including compute, storage, and networking, real-time data deduplication, compression, and optimization functions, built-in backup, disaster recovery, and WAN optimization capabilities. Hamel said that when the offering becomes available in the fourth quarter, multiple models will be available, covering small, medium and large configurations.

SimpliVity’s first partnership was with Cisco as part of its UCS offering, and while the rumor mill has recently been speculating that relationship is on the rocks, with SimpliVity reaching out to other OEMs, Hamel said that all that is immaterial from Lenovo’s perspective.

“Software players have multiple hardware relationships and that’s not new news to anyone,” he said. “We are thrilled to have them as a partner. We will be well positioned to bring out the most affordable hardware infrastructure to marry with this software, to produce the most affordable solutions for our clients.”

Hamel said that Lenovo views its hyperconverged business as channel first as well as partner alliance based, and thinks that Lenovo partners will be delighted with this offering.

“The VAR community is very hungry for this type of solution, because it lets them bring more value from a services perspective,” he said. He also indicated that Lenovo will work with SimpliVity to ensure partners are fully trained on the offering.

The SimpliVity OmniStack Solution with Lenovo System x3650 M5 is scheduled to ship in Q4 2015 in the United States and Canada. Arrow Electronics will handle the distribution.