Lenovo Delivers All-New Systems Management Solutions

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  April 8, 2015

Lenovo announced Lenovo XClarity, a new systems management solution the company said is simple, fast, secure and automated. Lenovo XClarity complements the company’s growing portfolio of enterprise solutions targeting traditional IT data centers and private and public cloud environments.

According to Lenovo, XClarity addresses critical customer requirements, including the need to centralize and streamline hardware resource management, speed cloud and traditional infrastructure deployments, and enable visibility and control of physical resources from external, higher level management software tools. The new solution is available in two editions:

  • Lenovo XClarity Administrator – Based on a modern, agent-less virtual appliance architecture to support select System x servers and the Flex System converged infrastructure platform, XClarity Administrator is designed to be easily configured in minutes rather than the hours traditional system management solutions typically take. A tablet-friendly user interface allows administrators to find critical information and execute tasks quickly. Core tasks, such as firmware updates, configuration management and operating system deployments can be automated, freeing IT resources to focus on other critical needs. Open REST application program interfaces (APIs) allow developers to easily integrate the solution with external cloud orchestration and IT service management software tools, such as Microsoft System Center and VMware vRealize.
  • Lenovo XClarity Pro – includes Lenovo XClarity Administrator, along with Lenovo XClarity Integrator for VMware vCenter and Lenovo XClarity Integrator for Microsoft System Center. The solution is intended for customers centralizing server management activities within virtualization management environments. Lenovo XClarity Pro is designed to streamline maintenance in cluster environments and reduce downtime where workloads are dynamically moved from affected hosts via automated, non-disruptive rolling reboots and firmware updates. Lenovo XClarity Pro can also reduce unplanned downtime by dynamically moving workloads to avoid predicted hardware failures.

Lenovo XClarity Administrator and Lenovo XClarity Pro will be available during the second quarter of 2015 with a list price of $200 per managed server and $350 per managed server, respectively.

The pitch

Lenovo XClarity is an all-new management solution for Lenovo’s System x and Flex System offerings.

Final analysis

Similar to other mechanical devices, the OPEX costs of managing business servers over their lifecycle far outstrips their CAPEX acquisition price. But in the case of Intel x86-based servers, the management market is remarkably complex and crowded with offerings from mainline system vendors, OS players like Microsoft and Red Hat, virtualization solution vendors like VMware and third parties, including BMC.

Despite that complexity, innovative solutions can and do exist. For example, Lenovo’s new XClarity offerings qualify as a notable achievement that should please and benefit the company’s server customers and prospects. Lenovo XClarity is obviously complementary to the company’s own server and data center solutions, including its System x and Flex System offerings. But Lenovo has also ensured that the new solutions can be easily integrated with other widely used management solutions, like Microsoft’s System Center and VMware’s vCenter.

Most importantly, Lenovo’s XClarity has been designed to meet the core requirements and preferences of enterprise customers:

  • Simplify and automate IT processes – In essence, businesses need easy to use, automated solutions for server management to address generational shifts in IT staff and training, but automating processes can also help lower or eliminate errors. Plus, such solutions can help reduce the operating cost and increase the overall value of IT investments.
  • Ease server deployment/update processes – Everyone loves new hardware, but complex deployments become exponentially harder with larger numbers of systems. Simplifying deployment and update processes is critically important for already time-pressed IT departments.
  • Ensure that IT assets and processes are properly integrated – Ensuring the success of procedures critical to system health and availability, like firmware updates, is important. But that is especially true in highly virtualized systems and environments where poor performance can impair or even knock critical applications offline.
  • Align IT requirements and budget strategies – Organizations are best served by solutions that help them right-size IT purchases in accordance with budget strategies and constraints. Too many companies buy new products rather than ensuring that existing systems are working correctly.

How do these points relate to Lenovo XClarity?

Lenovo developed XClarity by leveraging the decades of experience of its System x and Flex System personnel and their deep understanding of modern data centers. The result is an entirely new system management solution that clearly capitalizes on Lenovo’s existing strengths and fresh innovations to meet the core needs of enterprise and service provider customers.

In essence, Lenovo XClarity qualifies as a solution that enables companies to easily adopt new computing technologies and to effectively adapt to market and technological changes at their own pace. That makes Lenovo XClarity worthy of consideration by both Lenovo’s core enterprise customers and other organizations considering or seeking innovative new system management solutions.

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