Once you’ve understood how software-defined can impact your applications, the considerations and choices become clearer.

I had previously written about the fundamentals of data, and a framework to evaluate workloads. Read it here, so you can identify what data is worth virtualizing, then identify characteristics and capabilities of the system you’re considering for software-defined storage (SDS). When those details are clear, you are ready for the next step.

With the evolution of various file systems, many start-ups entered the space to begin the evolution of storage. As a result, the Software SDS market is quite fragmented, and it can be a bit overwhelming to try and make sense of all the offerings available today.

This has also left many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) unable to partner/create solutions on SDS, as it has become difficult for OEMs to embrace software-defined when they also have to protect their legacy investments. More by design than accident, our acquisition of IBM’s x86 Server & Networking portfolio, allowed Lenovo Data Center Group (DCG) to get a fresh start. Starting from a clean slate, we have partnered key SDS vendors to bring offerings to market.

Some OEMs have legacy investments to protect, making it difficult for them to embrace software-defined.

Central to this strategy, the partnership approach on SDS comes in two flavors – the appliance model, and the reference architecture model. The reference architecture model is around validating the configuration required to run the partner software. The appliance model, however, is different. We and our partners have both invested heavily in R&D efforts – from ideation to manufacturing to support – to bring the appliance product to market. If there is a problem – we look after it together. We work with the partner for root cause analysis (RCA) to fix the current problem and prevent future ones.

Appliances To Suit Every Workload

In October 2016, Lenovo announced appliances with Cloudian to address the growing Object Storage market, called the DX8200C. While Cloudian had partnerships with both Google and Amazon, Lenovo became the only vendor to offer onsite object storage capability. With Cloudian today, Lenovo is able to offer data capacity starting at 100TB scaling up to Exabytes of data. It has the ability to burst to the cloud and is also 100% compatible with S3 API. This solution is relevant to the conversation of management of large size data, and accessibility.

The same month, Lenovo announced partnerships with Nexenta on File & Block storage with DX8200N appliances that run the NexentaStor software. The DX8200N delivers unified file (NFS and SMB) and block (FC and iSCSI) storage services, scaling from tens of terabytes to petabyte configurations, and includes all data management functionality by default. This solution is relevant to the conversation of price/TB, being perfect for large backups and cloud hosters.

In March 2017, Lenovo introduced DX8200D based on DataCore. The #1 & #2 SPC-1 benchmark on storage today is held by DataCore running on Lenovo servers. Both companies have seen many successes in the field, and it is the next logical step in the relationship. Due to its storage virtualization capability, the DX8200D protects your existing investments on traditional SAN and becomes the perfect bridge for moving from traditional SAN to Software Defined Storage. This solution is relevant to the conversation of utilizing existing storage assets, and expanding to enterprise capabilities at incremental costs.

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Kashish Karnick
Product Manager Storage and Software Defined, Lenovo Asia Pacific

New technologies creep up everyday, creating opportunities for new innovative solutions that can truly add value. But the complexity of technology is a road block to this value, and Kashish loves being able to simplify this – everyday.