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Lenovo and Veeam integration teams storage with protection

Thanks to a new integration, Veeam and Lenovo customers can purchase Veeam's data management and protection with Lenovo's software-defined infrastructure or SAN products.

Veeam Software and Lenovo are hoping that data management and protection plus software-defined infrastructure or SAN equals a comprehensive storage platform.

The Lenovo and Veeam integration, launched this month, enables customers to use Veeam's intelligent data management software on Lenovo's software-defined and SAN offerings.

Neither vendor is a stranger to partnership. Veeam integrates its software with several backup vendors, and recently added a partnership with Lenovo server competitor Cisco. Lenovo has several storage and hyper-converged partners, including OEM deals with NetApp and Nutanix.

Customers are saying "I don't want just hardware, I want a solution," Veeam co-CEO and president Peter McKay said.

The Lenovo and Veeam integration aims to provide simplified IT, mitigated risk, data management, disaster recovery and support for analytics.

John Majeski, general manager of software and solutions at Lenovo, said he's impressed with Veeam's technology, its simplicity and ease of use.

"It really complements what our customers need," Majeski said. "Veeam has a really strong track record of innovation. ... It looks like there's more innovation coming."

As Veeam has recently made the enterprise a key focus, it has also pushed more into data management, extending beyond its roots in virtual machine protection. What Veeam calls its "hyper-availability" platform includes backup, replication, data visibility, monitoring, orchestration and automation, across virtual, physical and cloud workloads.

Integration opens up more uses

Edwin Yuen, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said organizations want to integrate their data management with software-defined infrastructure (SDI) and SANs.

Veeam's Peter McKayPeter McKay

"What we are seeing is more and more businesses looking at SDI and SAN, gaining efficiency and flexibility, just like they did when server virtualization hit," Yuen wrote in an email.

"The key is that data management, especially for backup and recovery, needs to be integrated with SDI/SAN, as opposed to just seeing it as another target store. With the greater integration, you can open additional data management scenarios, including data analytics and secondary uses like providing data sets for application development."

Customers can purchase Veeam products with Lenovo's SDI or SAN offerings directly from Lenovo and its resellers in one transaction. Yuen said that single-purchase option is important.

"The primary issue with many partnerships, beyond technical ones, is that the buying and installation experience is not integrated," Yuen wrote. 

Yuen said to keep an eye on possible additional interactions at the virtualization and workload levels.

Majeski said Lenovo's approach is to simplify IT, solve real-world problems, have a customer-first mentality, and provide solutions for today and tomorrow. Veeam seems aligned with that approach, he said.

Veeam extends partnership reach

The key is that data management, especially for backup and recovery, needs to be integrated with SDI/SAN, as opposed to just seeing it as another target store.
Edwin Yuensenior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

The Veeam integration with Lenovo had been in the works for about a year, said McKay, who anticipates more collaboration between the two companies.

McKay said he also expects more partnerships of this nature. Although Veeam is hardware-agnostic, there's more the company could do with hardware partners and work proactively to sell together, McKay said.

While other vendors -- such as Commvault and Dell EMC -- have recently launched integrated appliances, Veeam has been busy with hardware partners.

In July, Hedvig and Veeam teamed up to integrate Hedvig's software-defined storage with Veeam's data protection. In August, the partnership with Cisco bundled Veeam's high availability on Cisco's HyperFlex hyper-converged infrastructure appliances. Veeam also launched support for the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor this year, after announcing its intention in July 2017.

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