Lenovo ThinkAgile HX solution with Nutanix certified on SAP HANA

Lenovo’s ThinkSystem servers have long been certified on SAP HANA, but this is the first certification of their ThinkAgile HCI line with Nutanix, which they see as both a strong validation that HCI is ready for the enterprise, and a great market opportunity.

Shekhar Mishra, Director, Software-Defined Infrastructure at Lenovo

Lenovo, together with Nutanix, have announced that the Lenovo ThinkAgile HX7820 hyperconverged [[HCI] solution has been certified by SAP for SAP HANA. It is the first SAP certification of a Lenovo HCI solution on HANA, which the company sees as a validation by SAP that HCI technology has reached maturity and is fully capable of handling demanding Tier One workloads.

“We have always had a strong relationship with SAP, but it has more been around bare metal using our unique file system, and we had SAP HANA certified on our ThinkSystem servers,” said Shekhar Mishra, Director, Software-Defined Infrastructure at Lenovo. “That’s where most of the success has been. In the last year, as hybrid converged grew in the market, and began to move up to Tier One deployments, Nutanix approached us and we started talking about this. We and Nutanix approached SAP together, taking it to them on our server platform, where we have many benchmark records.” Nutanix’s AHV hypervisor and their Enterprise Cloud OS platform had been certified by SAP on HANA in late August.

Mishra said that customer demand mandated that the vendors drive this forward.

“There is a lot of pull from the market,” he said. “We knew that this was not about ‘if’ HCI would be used in Tier One production environments, it was about how fast it would take to get there. Customers need that level of assurance that this is certified by all three parties.”

Stefan Bockhop, Executive Director, Lenovo DCG North American Channel Sales

“When customers deploy a Tier One solution, they won’t bet the business on anything that isn’t certified,” said Stefan Bockhop, Executive Director, Lenovo DCG North American Channel Sales.

Bockhop said that the certification was also important in validating Lenovo’s strong strategic relationship with Nutanix.

“We have a strong HANA business today, but it’s on ThinkSystem,” he said. “The ability to offer it on ThinkAgile is what our partner, Nutanix wanted. We are enabled and entangled with Nutanix in so many ways – from sub-8 nodes, up to a 4-socket system like the ThinkAgile HX7820 for enterprise accounts. It’s a testament to how strong HCI is in the marketplace. It also shows the breadth and importance of our relationship with Nutanix.”

The ThinkAgile HX Solution for SAP HANA includes deployment of SAP HANA onsite by a Lenovo Professional Services team. Bockhop said that this isn’t inconsistent with Lenovo’s channel-friendly approach.

“We sell the HX with and through partners, but all of the deployments come with those professional services capabilities,” he said. “We want to make sure that experience is a full and encompassing one. That last mile of service is so important in these deployments.

“Most of our deployments with Nutanix go through the channel,” Bockhop added. “Last year, we had 280 per cent growth with Nutanix in the channel.”

“We are expecting major growth from the ThinkAgile HX Solution for SAP HANA,” Mishra said. “We grew 4x in software globally from last year, and have had several consecutive quarters of over three-digit growth, and we think this segment will do very well for us.”

“Our partners in the metal tiers have a 2x multiplier on Nutanix so that it counts double to the retirement of their numbers,” Bockhop said. “We are offering the usual spiffs and leads, but this 2x really makes it worthwhile for them. It emphasizes the shift towards this technology. Partners will see this as an opportunity to make a modern infrastructure with this.

“It’s not just Lenovo that’s excited about this,” Bockhop added. “Nutanix also has a spiff on this to their partners.”