Lenovo Creates New SAN Storage Arrays

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    To expand its reach inside the data center following the acquisition of the IBM x86 server business last year, Lenovo has bolstered its storage area networking (SAN) portfolio with the addition of two storage arrays built by the company from the ground up.

    Lenovo thus far in the data center has been primarily reselling storage solutions from IBM or EMC, but the company is expanding its presence in the data center. Denny Lane, director of product management for enterprise storage at Lenovo, says the company is now adding homegrown SAN storage systems to its lineup.

    A big reason for this push, explains Lane, is the amount of storage that is being deployed on the server. Lane says about 45 percent of all storage sales is now server led.

    Over time, Lane said customers can expect Lenovo to expand the number of homegrown storage systems it offers. After all, selling systems built from the ground up is inherently more profitable than reselling systems made by another vendor.

    Announced at the Lenovo TechWorld 2015 conference and scheduled to be available this month, the 2U Lenovo Storage S2200 and S3200 storage arrays come with dual and single controllers in 12- and 24-drive configurations. The S2200 supports up to 96 drives and the S3200 supports up to 192 drives. Both units support Fibre Channel, iSCSI and SAS, with the S3200 being able to support Fibre Channel and iSCSI simultaneously.

    Both storage offerings also support Lenovo Intelligent Real-Time Tiering, which automatically moves frequently accessed data to higher performing drives every five seconds. In hybrid configurations that make use of Intelligent Real-Time Tiering, Lenovo claims the “Lenovo Storage S3200 can provide near All-Flash-Array (AFA) performance for up to 120,000 IOPS at a fraction of the cost” of a Flash-only storage system.

    In addition, Lane notes that Lenovo includes (at no extra charge) Lenovo SAN Manager, which provides a graphical interface through which administrators can invoke data tiering, thin provisioning, SSD reach caching, rapid RAID rebuild, snapshots and storage virtualization capabilities.

    The Lenovo SAN offerings, adds Lane, also include redundant power, hot-swappable fans and drives, multi-pathing, and in-chassis controller upgrades without requiring IT organizations to migrate data to another storage system during that process.

    At the moment, Lenovo trails rivals like Hewlett-Packard and Dell in servers and NetApp and EMC in storage. But Lenovo is making it clear that in the wake of the acquisition of the x86 server business from IBM, it perceives that storage and servers inside the data center are increasingly being joined together.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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