Lenovo brings software-defined appliance with DataCore software to market

Lenovo’s DX8200D turnkey appliance is Lenovo’s first collaboration with Datacore, and combines its x3650 M5 servers with DataCore software in a very channel-friendly offering.

Radhika Krishnan, Executive Director and GM of Software-Defined Data Center & Networking, Lenovo Data Center Group

Lenovo has announced its DX8200D solution. It’s a turnkey software-defined storage appliance that combines its server platform and DataCore Software’s SANsymphony software. It’s also an offering that Lenovo thinks is well suited to its channel.

Lenovo and DataCore have collaborated together since 2015, and DataCore’s SPC-1 benchmark performance of 5.1 million IOPS last June was achieved on a pair of Lenovo x3650 M5 servers, connected by Fibre Channel to 12 external hosts.

“We have been working with them in the field for a while now, but this appliance is the first that we have produced together,” said Radhika Krishnan, Executive Director & General Manager of Software-Defined Data Center & Networking, Lenovo Data Center Group.

Lenovo is defining the DX8200D as software-defined, defined by its ability to run on a commodity server, and sees it as a key element in their software-defined strategy.

“Not all customers refresh servers and storage at the same time,” Krishnan said. “For those that just want to upgrade storage capabilities, software-defined is ideal. Hyper-converged makes sense if they want to do both servers and storage at the same time.”

The DX8200D is designed to reduce management expenses while providing enterprise storage capabilities at a much lower price point than traditional SAN arrays.

“We believe that software-defined has strong value prop around both CAPEX and OPEX, and we believe that Lenovo is well positioned to take advantage of this,” Krishnan said. “Our plan is to be a leader in the space by partnering with industry leading software-defined vendors. Having multiple partners in this way will give customers choices, and make our offerings differentiated.”

The Lenovo DX8200D also uses Lenovo x3650 M5 servers, and leverages DataCore’s ability to pool the collective resources of isolated and disparate storage devices, manage them, and place them under one common set of enterprise-wide services. Lenovo says the appliance will lower data centre total cost of ownership significantly, with an up to 90 per cent decrease in time spend on storage management and support tasks, up to a 75 per cent reduction in storage costs and up to 100 per cent reduction in storage-related downtime.

“The DataCore software allows you to virtualize gateway functionality, and since the majority of customers are brown fields, this makes it easier for them to transition to software-defined, “Krishnan said. “DataCore also provides the ability to get single pane of glass management.

The Lenovo DX8200D also features Lenovo’s own XClarity software, an enterprise management tool, that can centrally automate discovery, inventory tracking, real-time monitoring, configuration, fault detection, and alert handling.

Krishan believes the DX8200D will fit a broad assortment of use cases.

“We think it’s well suited for a variety of workloads,” she said. “Ultimately, it’s for customers that require a higher capacity than a traditional SAN, while offering a better price per GB. It fits with any kind of server virtualization workload.”

A turnkey appliance is a made-for-the-channel products, and Krishnan said that that’s certainly the case here.

“We believe there will be very strong channel demand for this,” she stated.