Lenovo TruScale and Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Accelerate Enterprise Transformation

Digital transformation is an enterprise imperative. Enabling that transformation is the focus of Lenovo’s TruScale data center infrastructure services. The combination of TruScale infrastructure services and Nutanix application services creates a powerful accelerant for enterprise transformation.

Cloud is the Transformation Trigger

Many enterprises are seeking to go to the cloud, or at least to gain the benefits associated with the cloud. These benefits include:

  • pay-as-you-go operational costs instead of large capital outlays
  • agility to rapidly deploy new applications
  • flexibility to adapt to changing business requirements

For many IT departments, the trigger for serious consideration of a move to the cloud is when the CFO no longer wants to approve IT acquisitions. Unfortunately, the journey to the cloud often comes with a loss of control over both costs and data assets. Thus many enterprise IT leaders are seeking a path to cloud benefits without sacrificing control of costs and data.

TruScale Brings True Utility Computing to Data Center Infrastructure

The Lenovo Data Center Group focused on the needs of these enterprise customers by asking themselves:

  • What are customers trying to do?
  • What would be a winning consumption model for customers?

The answer they came up with is Lenovo TruScale Infrastructure Services.

Nutanix invited DCIG analysts to attend the recent .NEXT conference. While there we met with many participants in the Nutanix ecosystem, including an interview with Laura Laltrello, VP and GM of Lenovo Data Center Services. This article, and DCIG’s selection of Lenovo TruScale as one of three Best of Show products at the conference, is based largely on that interview.

As noted in the DCIG Best of Show at Nutanix .NEXT article, TruScale literally introduces utility data center computing. Lenovo bills TruScale clients a monthly management fee plus a utilization charge. It bases this charge on the power consumed by the Lenovo-managed IT infrastructure. Clients can commit to a certain level of usage and be billed a lower rate for that baseline. This is similar to reserved instances on Amazon Web Services, except that customers only pay for actual usage, not reserved capacity.

infographic summarizing Lenovo TruScale features

Source: Lenovo

This power consumption-based approach is especially appealing to enterprises and service providers for which one or more of the following holds true:

  • Data center workloads tie directly to revenue.
  • Want IT to focus on enabling digital transformation, not infrastructure management.
  • Need to retain possession or secure control of their data.

Lenovo TruScale Offers Everything as a Service

TruScale can manage everything as a service, including both hardware and software. Lenovo works with its customers to figure out which licensing programs make the most sense for the customer. Where feasible, TruScale includes software licensing as part of the service.

Lenovo Monitors and Manages Data Center Infrastructure

TruScale does not require companies to install any extra software. Instead, it gets its power utilization data from the management processor already embedded in Lenovo servers. It then passes this power consumption data to the Lenovo operations center(s) along with alerts and other sensor data.

Lenovo uses the data it collects to trigger support interventions. Lenovo services professionals handle all routine maintenance including installing firmware updates and replacing failed components to ensure maximum uptime. Thus, Lenovo manages data center infrastructure below the application layer.

Lenovo Provides Continuous Infrastructure (and Cost) Visibility

Lenovo also uses the data it collects to provide near real-time usage data to customers via a dashboard. This dashboard graphically presents performance versus key metrics including actual vs budget. In short, Lenovo’s approach to utility data center computing provides a distinctive and easy means to deploy and manage infrastructure across its entire lifecycle.

Lenovo Integrates with Nutanix Prism

Lenovo TruScale infrastructure services cover the entire range Lenovo ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile products. The software defined infrastructure products include pre-integrated solutions for Nutanix, Azure HCI, Azure Stack and VMware.

Lenovo has taken extra steps to integrate its products with Nutanix. These include:

  • ThinkAgile XClarity Integrator for Nutanix is available via the Nutanix Calm marketplace. It works in concert with Prism to integrate server data and alerts into the Prism management console.
  • ThinkAgile Network Orchestrator is an industry-first integration between Lenovo switches and Prism. It reduces error and downtime by automatically changing physical switch configurations when changes are made to virtual Nutanix networks.

Nutanix Automates the Application Layer

Nutanix software simplifies the deployment and management of enterprise applications at scale. The following graphic, taken from the opening keynote lists each Nutanix component and summarizes its function.

image showing summary list of Nutanix services

Source: Nutanix

The Nutanix .NEXT conference featured many customers telling how Nutanix has transformed their data center operations. Their statements about Nutanix include:

“stable and reliable virtual desktop infrastructure”

“a private cloud with all the benefits of public, under our roof and able to keep pace with our ambitions”

“giving me irreplaceable time and memories with family”

“simplicity, ease of use, scale”

Lenovo TruScale + Nutanix = Accelerated Enterprise Transformation

I was not initially a fan of the term “digital transformation.” It felt like yet another slogan that really meant, “Buy more of my stuff.” But practical applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence are here now and truly do present significant new opportunities (or threats) for enterprises in every industry. Consequently, and more than at any time in the past, the IT department has a crucial role to play in the success of every company.

Enterprises need their IT departments to transition from being “Information Technology” departments to “Intelligent Transformation” departments. TruScale and Nutanix each enable such a transition by freeing up IT staff to focus on the business rather than on technology. Together, the combination of TruScale infrastructure services and Nutanix application services creates a powerful accelerant for enterprise transformation.

Transform and thrive.

 

Disclosure: As noted above, Nutanix invited DCIG analysts to attend the .NEXT conference. Nutanix covered most of my travel expenses. However, neither Nutanix nor Lenovo sponsored this article.

Updated on 5/24/2019.

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Ken Clipperton

About Ken Clipperton

Ken Clipperton is the Lead Analyst for Storage at DCIG, a group of analysts with IT industry expertise who provide informed, insightful, third party analysis and commentary on IT hardware, software and services. Within the data center, DCIG has a special focus on the enterprise data storage and electronically stored information (ESI) industries.

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