Lenovo DSS-G software-defined storage solution to be more channel-friendly

The pre-integrated solution combines IBM’s Spectrum Scale software with Lenovo servers, and is the first of multiple related software-defined solutions Lenovo will announce this year.

Scott Tease, Executive Director of HPC at Lenovo

Today at Lenovo’s Accelerate Partner Forum in Orlando, Lenovo is announcing the availability of IBM’s Spectrum Scale [DSS-G] software-defined storage solution on Lenovo’s System x3650 M5 server. Lenovo’s first organic High Performance Computing [HPC] storage offering, the Lenovo DSS-G follows up the GPFS Storage Server, but is likely to have a much more significant channel presence.

“With this, we are taking standard Lenovo organic storage, and putting the Spectrum Scale software stack on top of it for performance-centric applications,” said Scott Tease, Executive Director of HPC at Lenovo.

The solution’s strength lies in its leveraging of the DSS-G’s declustered RAID, where the RAID rebuild activity is spread across many disks to greatly speed up the rebuild.

“What makes DSS-G unique is that it doesn’t depend on a hardware RAID controller to manage RAID.” Tease said. “These are expensive and proprietary, and have traditionally been the bottleneck. By doing RAID control in the software, you get much higher performance and scalability. We can now look at RAID arrays of hundreds of drives, rather than 10 drives managed in a single array.”

The Lenovo DSS-G is a pre-integrated, easy-to-deploy rack level offering. It features Intel Xeon processors, Lenovo D1224 and D3284 12Gbps SAS storage enclosures and drives, and software and networking components designed to maximize choice, and which includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux support.

“In the future we will provide even more options, and a lower price point going forward,” Tease said. “Customers will have a choice of JBOD, and the SSD they want to put into it, as well as the connectivity, and the solutions will be supported by one part number from beginning to end. With Lenovo Scalable Infrastructure [LeSI], we are leveraging our server and cluster experience to reduce the complexity of deployment in this type of solution.”

Tease also said the Lenovo DSS-G is only the first of a series of software-defined solutions using the same exact building blocks.

“This is the first solution of an entire family of things in the future,” he said. In May, Lenovo will release a SUSE Enterprise Storage version, the DSS-C, designed for interaction with Lenovo scale-out HANA solutions. Later this year, distributed storage architectures for Red Hat Ceph Storage and Intel Lustre EE will also become available.

The Lenovo DSS-G is likely to be a much better channel product than the GPFS Storage Server.

“This can start off with a single 2U JBOD, which is perfect for the channel,” Tease said. “Before we had to start with a minimum of four big JBODs, which wasn’t ideal for the channel. Being able to start with these smaller building blocks makes it a far more approachable solution for the channel.” It also means a significantly lower price point – in the neighborhood of $150,000. The result, Tease said, is that about half of these could be sold through partners.

The DSS-G also features strong services opportunities.

“This is another one of the things we are excited about,” Tease said. “These things are full of services offerings and performance-tuning opportunities – very rich high-margin services for skilled partners.

The Lenovo DSS-G offering is available now.