Lenovo DCG unveils new data management solutions

The announcements strengthen Lenovo’s storage and data management portfolio, and improve their ability to deliver an end-to-end analytics-driven solution.

The Lenovo DM5100AFA

Today, Lenovo Data Center Group [DCG] is announcing a series of end-to-end data management solutions. They have beefed up their hybrid cloud data management capability with the new version of their Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series Storage Manager OS. They have augmented the 2.0 version of their ThinkSystem Intelligent Monitoring cloud-based management solution. with improved analytics and predictive AI guidance. They also introduced new hardware, with the entry level ThinkSystem DM5100F All-Flash Storage Array with end-to-end NVMe support, and the new Lenovo DB720S Fibre Channel Switch.

“As we are building from a customer perspective, with the new normal, the key thing is how we can have solutions and offerings that are very agile and can adopt to models of operations from on-prem to hybrid, to extreme performance, to delivering the right price performance, to different ways of consumption, and delivering this all as a service,” said Kamran Amini, VP and GM, Server, Storage and Software Defined Infrastructure, Lenovo Data Center Group. “We really are focused on the customer side of the world, not delivering another product.”

Stuart McRae, Executive Director, Storage, Lenovo DCG, emphasized how the new announcements fit into this vision.

“Lenovo has invested heavily in storage and data management over the last three years and this is really the next big step in innovation for us,” he said. “As the world evolves to a different data usage model, we feel well positioned to take advantage of that.

“Analytics and AI are driven by data,” McRae said. “Good data equals better answers and better analytics. That data is changing. We see it moving from the core to the edge to the cloud. That’s where its growing. That requires a new approach, and a new thinking. And only Lenovo is really able to deliver that end to end analytics solution with what I would say is unified data management.”

The Lenovo DM Series Data Management version 9.8, coming next month, has what McRae termed some key new features.

“One of the big new changes is that we are adding integrated Object S3 support within the data management stack,” he said. “Today we have had leadership in unified file and block capability. Adding object storage to that provides data management for all the protocols we see customers needing going forward. Being able to manage that as one with their other data types provides a lot of efficiency for customers. They can also start small and grow. They are not starting with a huge object storage solution when all they really need is to support those applications and the edge and be able to move that data to the cloud.”

The other main enhancement to the management software involves the addition of Disaster Recovery.

“The other new feature that we think is really important for customers as they start the movement of their data to the edge is the new simplified Business Continuity capability that integrates Disaster recovery into the DM series stack,” McRae stated. “That provides a very simplified, easy to use synchronous replication capability. The new capabilities in the software management for data will allow partners to build new solutions.”

Also announced was the ThinkSystem Intelligent Monitoring 2.0 AI-based management for ThinkSystem storage.

“This is our new cloud based AI-based management platform that provides predictive analytics for all of the storage platforms within Lenovo, whether its DM or DE,” McRae said. “This is where we see customers going, where they can manage all of their storage arrays from one location. In a distributed environment where they have edge and core and cloud, they can manage it all from one cloud-based interface.”

Partners who are managing customers environments for them get this cloud-based capability as well, which McRae said is a major new asset for the channel.

“ThinkSystem Intelligent monitoring is the capability that partners will be able to access to manage their customers’ solutions,” he commented. “That’s super exciting for partners who are doing outsourcing and managed services for customers’ storage. They can go in, actively see what’s going on with the storage, the capacity utilization, the performance. It allows them to be proactive in how they are managing their customers’ storage.”

Two new hardware products were part of the announcement. The DM5100AFA is the new entry level all flash, all NVMe storage array that integrates with all the other DM series products.

“That will deliver up to 45% or more performance over the product it is replacing,” McRae said.

The other is the DB720s Fibre Channel Switch. It provides high speed next generation 64 Gb capabilities that streamlines customers’ end-to-end performance.

“For low latency high performance analytics applications, it reduces latency by up to 50%,” McRae noted.

Two new solutions involving strategic vendor collaboration which were recently announced, were also highlighted here. The Lenovo AI Training Module involves NetApp and NVIDIA.

“It developed a more entry level turnkey AI training solution that customers could deploy that includes Lenovo server, switching, storage and software,” McRae said. “The goal is really to integrate all that best of breed capability with one point of support and make it efficient and affordable to people.

The other new collaborative effort is the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, customer edition.

“A lot of customers want the HANA experience on premise,” McRae said. “The HANA customer edition is an SAP offering that incudes end-to-end Lenovo stack, servers,  series storage, ThinkAgile components for the management stack, all delivered together through SAP with Lenovo’s TruScale consumption model.”

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