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By | Chris Mellor 26th January 2015 10:58

Right, we've bagged IBM’s X86 server biz... now what? – Lenovo

Firm mulls storage market, penetrates EMC VSPEX

Now that Lenovo has IBM’s X86 server business, it’s able to freely participate in partnerships with storage suppliers. Does it view storage as a market into which it can expand?

Although not a storage vendor in the mainstream array sense Lenovo does have a number of storage product lines:

  • PX2-300D and PX4-400D NVR video surveillance arrays, basically RAID-protected filers with Atom-powered processors and LifeLine SW providing small office NAS functionality
  • ThinkServer SA120 Direct-attach storage 12-bay, 3.5-inch drive, rack enclosures with four optional 2.5-inch SSD bays, and up to two controllers
  • Lenovo-EMC desktop and network (rack enclosure/tower) storage – reference the EMC Lenovo deal in 2013
  • Lenovo VNX arrays

It's following on from IBM participation in EMC’s converged/integrated server/storage/networking VSPEX reference architecture scheme with two EMC-validated systems:

  • EMC VSPEX by Flex System for Private Cloud supporting 200 – 1,000 Virtual machines
  • EMC VSPEX by Flex System for VDI

They "feature Lenovo ThinkServer systems with the latest Intel processors, RackSwitch networking, EMC storage, and VMware virtualisation".

Lenovo is also involved in IBM’s Storwize V7000 arrays with, for example, the Lenovo 6195 Storwize V7000.

The questions El Reg is asking itself are:

  • Will Lenovo move into the networked storage array business?
  • Will Lenovo do VSPEX-like deals with other suppliers, such as NetApp?
  • Will Lenovo produce its own integrated server/storage/networking products?
  • Will Lenovo partner hyperconverged systems suppliers by running their SW on its servers?

That fourth question was prompted by the Maxta and Simplivity deals with Cisco UCS servers running their software.

There may well be an agreement between IBM and Lenovo specifying that Lenovo will not offer any competition for IBM storage arrays for a certain period of time.

If there isn’t, or when it runs out, just how will server-shipping Lenovo view the storage market? Watch this space. ®

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