Lenovo and Red Hat Expand Cloud Portfolio & Partnership

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  October 28, 2015

Tech industry partnerships come in all shapes, sizes and kinds, but central to their success is the completeness of the resulting solutions and services. That’s hardly a surprise since even the most ambitious vendors can’t play fully in every single area and market. Technology is simply too big, too widely dispersed, too varied an environment for any one company to inhabit, let alone dominate, entirely.

So smarter vendors objectively consider their own strengths, then hook-up with complementary partners. The newly expanded relationship between Lenovo and Red Hat fits that mold to a “T” and also serves to highlight the former company’s expanding data center-centric strategy and plans. It also builds on a relationship the companies have had since 2007, as well as new enterprise solutions Lenovo announced in August at VMworld.

Joint cloud solutions

So what does the expanded partnership aim to do? In short, Lenovo’s ThinkServer and System x rack servers will now support Red Hat’s:

  • CloudForms – A comprehensive management platform for cloud and highly virtualized environments
  • Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform –Lenovo has created a reference architecture designed to speed and simplify the deployment of its systems in Red Hat OpenStack-based clouds
  • Enterprise Linux and Virtualization – Lenovo has optimized its servers for RHEL and Red Hat’s homegrown virtualization platform

In essence, Lenovo and Red Hat are working together to enhance the management features and reduce the deployment complexities of the companies’ joint solutions for highly virtualized hybrid and private clouds. But at the same time, the pair is aiming to change the economics of private and hybrid clouds with price/performance innovations, subscription-based software infrastructures and solutions that are easy to integrate with existing IT environments.

Final analysis

Does this effort make sense for the companies and their mutual customers?

Absolutely. The fact is that hybrid and private cloud infrastructures have become common cause in businesses of every sort. Cloud is no longer a technology pipe dream but, instead, a fully recognized and respected methodology for supporting IT services and business processes.

Cloud also has special affinities for Linux and other open source technologies, a point that has buttressed Red Hat’s rapid build-out of solutions, like its CloudForms management tools and OpenStack platform. Similarly, Lenovo has a clear place in the cloud.

The company’s singular focus on open standards-based x86 system technologies, the platform of choice for many cloud environments, provides a robust platform for ongoing development efforts. Plus, Lenovo’s XClarity resource management solution uses standards-based RESTful APIs, allowing the company’s systems to be easily integrated with existing automation, management and orchestration processes in highly virtualized and cloud computing environments.

In addition, the partnership strengthens long term bonds between the companies. Not only have Red Hat and Lenovo worked together since 2007, but the latter’s acquisition of IBM’s System x group a year ago significantly bolstered that relationship. IBM began collaborating with Red Hat in March 1999, months before the company’s successful IPO, and Red Hat held a notable position in IBM’s larger Linux strategy.

This new collaboration for hybrid and private cloud demonstrates both the wisdom of Lenovo’s System x acquisition and the continuing vitality of the company’s partnership with Red Hat. Overall, these highly complete, new joint solutions should be good for both companies and the customers they commonly serve. That includes businesses already headed for the cloud and those planning or considering such a journey.

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