Delivering the Enterprise Cloud Platform

By Gerry Smith, EVP and President, Data Center Group, Lenovo and Sudheesh Nair, President, Nutanix

Sudheesh: Hi Gerry, it’s great to catch up with you. By the way, congratulations on your new role leading the Lenovo Data Center Group.

Gerry: Thanks Sudheesh. I’m excited about Lenovo’s opportunity to help our customers address the challenges they’re facing in the data center, specifically around big data. For example, customers tell us they need better ways to exploit the latest computing and storage demands driven from sensors and client devices. They want to store this data either in their own data centers or public clouds, and then manage and sift through this growing mountain with analytics. Architectures that were adequate 20 years ago are no longer a good match and can’t keep pace with new and ever-increasing demands.

Sudheesh: We’ve been hearing the same from our customers. Their businesses are demanding a nimble infrastructure as a baseline, not just one that keeps costs under control. Without a flexible architecture they can’t ramp up applications quickly. This is why Nutanix has evolved into “The Enterprise Cloud Company”. We not only provide the ability to quickly startup new infrastructure and scale it easily with predictable costs — just like the public cloud — we also tie in seamlessly with cloud services such as Amazon Web Services and Azure for backup. Basically, it’s bringing cloud home to a customer’s own data center.

Gerry: I fully agree Sudheesh, and in addition to agility, our customers demand high reliability to handle their mission-critical workloads. They need to meet their own demanding SLAs, which demands a rock-solid data center infrastructure. Bottom line is they must have TRUST in their infrastructure and the supplier who delivers it. 

In the data center, our System x server line has a long history of being the industry leader in quality and reliability, as well as in performance. These servers make up the hardware foundation for the Lenovo Converged HX Series appliance powered by your Nutanix software. By partnering with best-of-breed start-ups such as Nutanix, we can provide cutting-edge innovation in software-defined infrastructure, among other segments of next-generation IT.

We are seeing others in the industry trying to do the software development themselves when it’s outside their core competency. We feel the Lenovo approach — partnering with leaders such as Nutanix — is the smartest and fastest way to deliver value to customers and help them meet their SLAs. We embrace our strengths in client and data center platforms and partner with top-notch software innovators to help customers master the intersection of mobility, IoT and analytics.

Sudheesh: Gerry, another topic that customers worry about is security. Some may have concerns about Lenovo’s Chinese heritage. Can you address that?

Gerry: When Lenovo acquired the System x product line, we were put through stringent levels of scrutiny in order to get the acquisition approved by U.S. government agencies.  We passed that review, and have passed 4 other CFIUS national security reviews since acquiring IBM’s PC business in 2005.  No other company can say the same.  From this process, we have now implemented extended security practices and satisfied a third party audit last year showing compliance. Due to these practices, we believe our servers are the most secure in the world, which provides peace of mind—whether customers are in healthcare, telecommunications, financial services or government.

Sudheesh: It’s like what I do when scrutinizing building contractors who want to re-model my house. You want to know about them, what proven skills they have, who else used them successfully. Just like what you want from your cloud provider. By deploying your own enterprise cloud on-premises, you are the building inspector, always knowing the quality of the offering. 

Gerry: That’s a good analogy Sudheesh. At Lenovo, we never want to get complacent. We need to constantly re-invent ourselves.  Customers have reaped the benefits from vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle who did not rest and reinvented their businesses to be cloud-based, with tightly integrated hardware and software, to provide a more intuitive, predictable and productive user experience.

Sudheesh: Similarly, it’s providing a higher level of innovation benefitting customers that has propelled Nutanix. We pioneered hyperconverged infrastructure providing simplicity through the tight integration of compute and storage in an extremely easy-to-provision-and-manage appliance. We pioneered integration of virtualization by support of heterogeneous hypervisors and even created a new hypervisor of our own called AHV, short for Acropolis Hypervisor, in order to allow customers to mix, match and easily switch to keep costs low and avoid lock-in. We pioneered web-scale for the enterprise data center allowing customers to scale endlessly without limit, just like the public cloud providers. We made it so any size company, from small firms to Fortune 500, can get started with Nutanix and scale out, linearly eliminating the need to “forklift upgrade” later to enable more performance and capacity. With Nutanix there are no limits and customers can pay as they grow, so there’s no over-buying.

Gerry: Absolutely Sudheesh. Combine the Nutanix software with premier reliability, performance and security of Lenovo infrastructure, and you get a scalable, affordable cloud solution that is unmatched.

Sudheesh: It’s really a great partnership.

Gerry: Yes, it is. From the U.S. to China to more than 160 other countries, the Lenovo HX appliance running Nutanix software gives customers the ability to easily and dependably run their own enterprise cloud anywhere in the world.