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By | Trevor Pott 19th August 2015 13:05

Lenovo and SimpliVity cozy up for a hyperconverged push

Chinese giant to ship more boxes, IPO-hungry partner improves chances

SimpliVity has announced a partnership with Lenovo, adding yet another tier-1 vendor online who can supply hyperconverged server nodes with SimpliVity's hardware-accelerated deduplication and compression secret sauce.

Since acquiring IBM's server business, Lenovo has been going from strength to strength, building a portfolio of partnerships to ensure it has solutions to meet any need. Don't expect this to be the last hyperconverged partnership, either.

Lenovo is already partnered with Stormagic and Maxta in this space.

SimpliVity currently has strong partnerships with Dell and Cisco. SimpliVity's business model is 100 per cent reliant on the channel: it relies entirely on relationships with tin-shifters to get units into customers' hands.

Considering that SimpliVity is largely targeting the upper-midmarket and enterprise, this makes perfect sense. Becoming a qualified vendor with most organisations is a pain, but this gets even more difficult the larger the company you are targeting.

The companies SimpliVity is targeting will have relationships with one or more of the tier-1 IT vendors, so the more partnerships SimpliVity can line up, the greater the number of organisations that will realistically be able to consider its wares.

A key part of SimpliVity's strategy is to be able to offer similar systems from each vendor. The ultimate goal is to have nodes with each major vendor so that if you see one you like from a vendor that's not on your organization's list of accepted suppliers, you can choose the equivalent node from a vendor you do work with.

SimpliVity is flush with cash from a recent funding round. The company is further increasing its marketing spend this round to ensure it isn't forgotten among the press devoted to Nutanix's posturing. Money is also being sunk into R&D, with SimpliVity embracing KVM and Openstack, and a promise of additional hypervisor support to come.

SimpliVity assured your reporter that it understands hyperconvergence is a feature, not a product, and that there are numerous other projects being developed to bring SimpliVity closer to endgame machine status.

Depending on who you ask and how you count, SimpliVity is sitting at either second, third or fourth place in the hyperconverged market. Entering the market later than Nutnaix, it's managed to maintain year-on-year growth levels that nobody else has been able to touch.

Of course, one need only look at Nutanix's crushing market share in this space to see exactly how much of a difference first-mover advantage makes.

The Lenovo partnership is thus vital if SimpliVity wants to move beyond the status of "acquisition target" and start entertaining ideas of an IPO, like Nutanix has been.

SimpliVity has been adamant that it would prefer to IPO, which makes this partnership with Lenovo an important addition to its roster, not a replacement for either Dell or Cisco. SimpliVity is quite emphatic about just how committed it remains to its existing partners.

Still to add to the tier-1 partnership list are HP, Huawei and Supermicro. Don't expect it to be particularly long until we hear announcements for each of those vendors. Expect to hear a lot more announcements from SimpliVity on a number of items before the year is out. ®

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