Why Lenovo Is Winning in Storage

One of the newest players in storage, including enterprise solutions, is Lenovo. It’s been making inroads into the market because of several unique advantages, including local manufacturing of products, one of the strongest defenses against ransomware, and an impressively broad portfolio of solutions that were partially refreshed this month. 

Let’s talk about Lenovo and storage this week and why it’s important to the enterprise ecosystem.

Manufacturing advantage

Lenovo builds products for Asia in Asia and products for the West in the West. This approach addresses the very real concern that the West and East have with regard to each other’s data, which is that some hostile government has put a back door into the product and may be using it to illicitly access foreign information.

There have been issues with products in the past and efforts by both the East and the West to use systems to spy on each other, making the concerns Lenovo addresses a big deal, especially when it comes to government or military contracts. While others may work to assure and provide build oversight, Lenovo’s placement of manufacturing in areas that are trusted is an extra step that helps make its solutions more attractive to those concerned about illicit foreign government data access. 

Ransomware Defense

Ransomware remains a huge problem for the industry. It costs millions of dollars in lost data, government sanctions related to the data loss, and lost business resulting from downtime and the related loss of customer trust. Lenovo’s products generally come with a ransomware defense. It looks at unusual behavior and then moves aggressively to protect the data using a number of forms, including locking out access, rapid backups when under threat, and regular immutable backups that assure that should your data be compromised and destroyed, the amount of lost data will be relatively small so that it doesn’t materially impact operations.  

Back when I worked at IBM Storage, there was a running joke about how everyone was competing on how fast backups could be done when it was recovery time that was the more critical path. Lenovo has focused on minimizing recovery time and impact which has endeared it to global enterprise storage buyers. 

Broad Portfolio

Not everyone is created equal, yet having a bunch of assorted products, particularly storage products, from different vendors massively increases the aggravation of managing the site. When possible, you want the fewest number of active vendors because, when a problem emerges, the more vendors you have, the more likely you will get into a finger-pointing contest where each argues the other’s product was the problem. 

From Lenovo’s new DM3010 solid state storage solution to its ThinkSystem DM Arrays to the ThinkAgile SXM Azure stack hub solutions all announced this week, Lenovo has one of the broadest product line portfolios in the market. When possible, IT buyers tend to like “one throat to choke” so they don’t find themselves mediating between vendors in order to get a critical fix. Since storage tends to be mission-critical, any time you can reduce complexity and speed recovery while better-assuring uptime, it is a good day.  And Lenovo, whose enterprise chops came out of purchasing both its PC and server businesses from IBM, has assuring uptime in its DNA thanks to that IBM infusion. 

Wrapping up:

While Lenovo is new to large-scale storage compared to the decades that its peers have been in this business, Lenovo benefits from the purchase of IBM assets which extends its knowledge far beyond what its time in the market would indicate. Lenovo is favored where concerns about manufacturing and ransomware are pronounced and appears to be able to provide the extensive storage lines required by enterprise buyers that has allowed it to grow into what is usually a staid market where the players rarely change. 

This makes Lenovo uniquely attractive to buyers who are focused on the aspects of this market that Lenovo is best at, and that is a large number of potential customers given how quickly Lenovo is growing into the market.