Lenovo and NetApp partnered to develop new storage products and launch a joint venture company in China.
The companies announced the partnership today at Lenovo’s Transform 2.0 conference. The new Lenovo-branded products combine NetApp’s all-flash data management and storage software with Lenovo’s servers. The first two products, Lenovo ThinkSystem DE and DM Series, are globally available now.
And the Lenovo and NetApp joint venture, which the partners say should be up and running by spring 2019, will sell storage products in China.
Both pieces of the partnership will increase NetApp’s share of the rapidly growing data management and software-defined storage market, said Brad Anderson, SVP and GM of Cloud Infrastructure at NetApp.
“We’re underserved in China and it’s maybe the fastest growing data management market globally,” Anderson said. “Both companies are coming at this with a lot of momentum. NetApp is now No. 1 in all-flash globally, and Lenovo has a lot of momentum on the compute side. This joint venture is an opportunity for us to drive our joint footprint beyond what we could do individually.”
The company doesn’t make public specific numbers around its business in China, but according to NetApp’s first quarter fiscal 2019 earnings Asia Pacific accounted for 14 percent of its revenue.
Additionally, the Lenovo-branded storage products will give NetApp access to small and medium-sized business. “This allows us to get into that commercial segment, and access SMB customers we don’t normally serve,” Anderson said. “Lenovo has a high-volume velocity that lets us drive our data fabric into that segment.”
NetApp also partners with Cisco and Fujitsu on converged infrastructure products, but the new deal with Lenovo doesn’t encroach on those relationships, Anderson said. “I don’t see this overlapping at all,” he said, adding that those products target large enterprises.