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By | Simon Sharwood 8th December 2015 08:01

Lenovo reveals its Nutanix hyper-spawn

Three, count 'em, three, hyperconverged boxen aimed at China and beyond

Lenovo's relationship with Nutanix has been consumated, with the Chinese kit-maker revealing its hyperconverged boxen running the latter's software.

There are three models in the “HX Series” of hyperconverged appliances. The HX3500 is a “compute-heavy” appliance aimed at desktop virtualisation and smaller virtual machine fleets and/or workloads. The machine can cope with a pair of Intel's E5-2699 v3 CPUs, for a 36-core rig. The HX5500 is aimed at workloads that need more storage, so can handle eight 3.5 inch drives to get its hands on more capacity. Core counts top out at 28 on this model.

The HX7500 retains the 2U form factor of the other two machines, but leaves their eight-drive limit behind by offering the capacity to house two dozen 2.-5-inchers. The E5-2669 again gets a gig, earning the machine a target market of “Databases and other I/O intensive workloads”.

All devices ship with Nutanix's Acropolis hypervisor, or you can pay up and have VMware ESXi 5.5 U2 or 6.0 installed.

The deal's a good one for both companies. Nutanix gets an entry into China, which is hard to do these days without buddying up to a local company, and potentially massive exposure for its Acropolis hypervisor. Chinese companies aren't always keen on paying for software, so Acropolis may be a way for Nutanix to open up a new front of irritation for its frenemy VMware.

Lenovo gets a hyperconverged offering, which is a sensible thing because there's clearly a market for such kit.

The rest of us get to watch a fascinating game play out as Nutanix and SimpliVity (which also has a deal with Lenovo) streak ahead in the hyperconverged market, making high-profile alliances wherever possible to advance their causes. Microsoft, meanwhile, has flexed its muscles by collaborating with HPE on Azure Stack and pointing out with increasingly-less-subtlety that it has a very strong hybrid cloud story to tell.

And VMware? It's tossed the public part of its hybrid cloud into VirtuStream in a transaction its investors don't like. The VirtuStream venture is also seemingly at odds with VMware's past position of making vSphere and running a cloud based on it as the ideal way to do hybrid cloud.

Grab some popcorn, folks. This one is just getting interesting. ®

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