As IT moves to a cloud-based model, data centers are undergoing a rapid transformation in terms of both technology and consumption models. Compute, storage and network components are now consumed as a converged infrastructure, and the industry is moving towards software-based management and orchestration for faster deployment and efficiency.
In this rapidly changing landscape, Lenovo is in a unique position to innovate and deliver value to customers. We’re on a mission to be the number-one trusted data center vendor and advisor. With the acquisition of the x86 business from IBM in October 2014, Lenovo combined the renowned System x products with its award-winning manufacturing and supply chain capabilities to build and deliver a world-class portfolio. In addition, Lenovo has developed strategic alliances with key industry leaders such as Red Hat, SAP and Nutanix, to offer comprehensive solutions to customers worldwide.
As a next step in this journey, I am very pleased to announce that Lenovo is now partnering with Juniper, an industry leader in networking.
Why are Lenovo and Juniper partnering?
Lenovo and Juniper share a vision for the data center that includes our common understanding of market trends, customer pain points and a path to addressing customer issues such as network disaggregation and management complexity. Juniper, with its comprehensive portfolio of routers, switches, network security products, network management software and SDN technology, is an ideal partner for Lenovo.
Lenovo has a strong portfolio of networking products at the access layer of the data center and rich history of innovation around server-interconnect networking. The Lenovo networking portfolio includes switches for Flex System and top-of-rack switches for the data center. Our networking products currently have 18M+ ports in deployment in the biggest data centers of the world. Through the partnership, we look to complement and expand our portfolio with breadth of offerings from Juniper. The Juniper portfolio complements the Lenovo networking portfolio and adds capabilities at the core of the network.
As a first step, Lenovo customers will be able to purchase Juniper’s broad portfolio of networking products directly from Lenovo, including consolidated support.
Over time, the intent is to develop a deeper collaboration between the two companies in several areas.
Initially driven by the top cloud companies, the industry now is moving towards an open networking model to drive down costs. This model enables the customers to buy hardware and network operating systems (NOS) from different vendors and run third-party applications for orchestration and management. White box switches have become popular and a host of NOS vendors have emerged in the market. However, there is a large segment of cloud and enterprise customers who require the benefits of disaggregation (to run third-party applications) but still prefer to buy the switch and NOS from name-brand vendors such as Lenovo and Juniper.
Through this partnership, Lenovo and Juniper intend to bring open, flexible solutions to market, based on the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE).
Simplified orchestration and management
Keeping in mind customer needs for fast provisioning and easy administration, Lenovo and Juniper intend to collaborate to offer simplified management and orchestration in the data center leveraging Lenovo XClarity management software as well as Juniper Network Director and Contrail SDN software.
Lenovo and Juniper also have joint, worldwide go-to-market plans targeting enterprise customers, service providers, channel partners as well as system integrators. This will include the sales teams and field technical support teams from both companies working closely together. In addition, Lenovo and Juniper aim to develop a tailor-made reseller model to address unique localization requirements in China.
Some concluding thoughts
With key strategic partnerships, Lenovo has a complete portfolio that includes both hardware and software products, spanning from traditional IT to converged, hyperconverged and software-defined data center offerings—to meet the needs of both legacy and modern cloud/hyperscale customers.
In less than two years since we acquired the System x business from IBM, Lenovo has become a formidable competitor to Dell (with EMC), HP, Cisco and Huawei—and is well on its way to becoming a market leader and trusted data center partner.
This is an exciting time for us in Lenovo and I’m proud to be a new addition to this company.