7 answers from Lenovo about the Azure Stack.
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What is Lenovo’s view of the market environment and what makes Azure Stack such a valuable asset for our partners?
Lenovo and Microsoft have been working closely together for many years to develop innovative data centre solutions. Lenovo’s software-defined infrastructure and Microsoft’s Azure Stack perfectly complement each other, ensuring that users enjoy hassle-free configuration and fine-tuning.
Lenovo ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Cloud is a fully integrated rack solution that can be immediately implemented. It is fail safe, effective and secure and is therefore the perfect basis for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS cloud scenarios.
This hyper-converged, hybrid cloud system has all function, support and deployment services you need for your data centre. The solution’s low TCO, easy management and excellent reliability not only reduces the pressure on your administrators and also your budget.
What is the Lenovo-Stack?
Lenovo ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack hardware consists of Lenovo SXM6400 and SXM4400 servers and is available in 3 versions:
- Entry SXM4400: 4-8 computer nodes
- Enterprise Starter SXM4400: 4-12 computer nodes
- Enterprise Full SXM6400: 12 computer nodes
Each with 384 GB, 768 GB or 1,536 GB memory per node
From Lenovo’s point of view, for which customers and IT strategies is Azure Stack suitable?
Azure Stack is useful for customers who:
- already use Public Azure Cloud services, but don’t want to use a public cloud for their sensitive data due to compliance. Azure Stack offers the ability to process this data with the same services in the local data centre and thus adhere to compliance policies.
- want to use Azure cloud services combined with the security of their own data centre.
- do not want to worry about the infrastructure used or the interaction between hardware and software.
- need to unify the development of applications across their entire hybrid cloud environment.
- depend on being able to easily move applications and data between private and public clouds.
Azure Stack is extremely important for partners like Bechtle to be able to offer local cloud services to customers in order for them to develop new business models.
What’s Lenovo’s approach to building the optimal solution?
- A start-up workshop to define customer needs and targets and to gain an understanding of the existing environment.
- A planning workshop for the technical planning of the installation and data centre integration.
If necessary, Lenovo offers the possibility to perform a POC with Azure Stack in the Briefing Center in Stuttgart. Several ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack are available, to which Lenovo offers BareMetal access via a VPN connection, as well as support for the POC during the agreed term.
- Hardware installation includes system unpacking, power cabling etc. and can also be carried out by the partner.
- Azure Stack Integration (“Onsite-Deployment”) – certified Lenovo technicians install and integrate and document the entire Azure stack. Lenovo delivers ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack to the customer as a turnkey solution.
- Hotline and Defect support: Lenovo provides a single point of support, which is responsible for both hardware and software problems in the entire Azure stack. In addition, ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack includes a Lenovo Systems Management solution that monitors the environment in real time 24/7 and automatically reports any problems to the support team.
- Health Check and Update: Either Lenovo or Bechtle will provide an appropriate service that maintains, checks and updates the entire environment during its lifecycle.
What is the roadmap for future scalability?
The roadmap only focuses on Microsoft. Lenovo coordinates closely with MSFT and ensures the immediate implementation and expansion of new features.
The roadmap currently provides for up to 16 nodes from May 2018 which can be individually expanded.
Lenovo’s goal is, of course, to design tailor-made solutions for customers’ future requirements.
What distinguishes Lenovo in the operation, management and support of your Azure Stack?
Lenovo has developed its Azure Stack solution together with Microsoft and ensures full end-to-end functionality. Reliability, performance and customer satisfaction are Lenovo’s top priorities. With low TCO and flexible configuration options, Lenovo Azure Stack customers receive a solution that is as economical as it is custom-made and can be easily adapted to future requirements. Lenovo ensures continuous further development.
Together with Lenovo, Bechtle provides comprehensive support for the Lenovo Azure Stack throughout its entire lifecycle, including installation, maintenance and administration. Lenovo provides a single point of support for hardware and software plus reliable support through ThinkAgile Advantage, a systems management solution that monitors your Azure Stack in real time 24x7 and automatically reports incidents to the support team.
Lenovo xClarity Management is characterised by simple, intuitive handling and open integration interfaces. In addition to 24/7 monitoring and Call Home, integration in state-of-the-art DevOps environments with Ansible is guaranteed.
xClarity not only offers an integrated analysis tool for real-time troubleshooting (predictive failure alerts), but also ready-to-run systems (factory integration), value added service and white glove experience.
What does Lenovo’s cooperation with Bechtle and Microsoft look like?
For Lenovo, innovation depends on close collaboration. The Lenovo Executive Briefing Center in Stuttgart offers interactive environments for discussions with individual agendas, which are tailored to the requirements of customers and business partners. A range of customer experiences can be offered in cooperation with Bechtle—from tailor-made one-on-one meetings to seminars for several customers. All offers include the following options:
Share your experience – Discussions on specific business requirements, analysis of current industry trends and insights into Lenovo’s technology strategy and planned data centre offerings.
Customer experience – Test our technology at live demonstrations and go behind the scenes on lab tours.
Testing – Work with our data centre technology experts to validate industry-leading solutions in Lenovo server, storage and networking products.
Executive Briefing Center
- Lenovo Showroom
- Workshops with direct remote access to the EMEA Innovation Center
Innovation Center (DC with remote access)
- Proof of Technology
- Proof of Concepts
- Dynamic Demos
All Lenovo solutions, including the Azure Stack, are installed in the Executive Briefing Center in Stuttgart and can be tested there.
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