Creating a network that adapts to the business

Lenovo is at the heart of the global evolution in network architecture

It is important to support a heterogeneous environment as at times customers will choose a multi-vendor strategy, says Siddiqi.
It is important to support a heterogeneous environment as at times customers will choose a multi-vendor strategy, says Siddiqi.

The evolution of the network over the last few years has been nothing short of remarkable over the recent past.

Internet of things, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other emerging technologies have turned the traditional network architecture on its head. The new applications have had an impact on not just the way networks are architected, but most importantly on how services are delivered and consumed. 

Smart and connected devices today are helping improve the user experience and drive productivity, observes Zeeshan Kamal Siddiqi, HPC & Networking Leader META, Middle East Turkey and Africa.

With IoT specifically, comes the opportunity for analytics and AI. “Networking plays a critical role in connectivity and intelligence. It is important to recognise behaviours and address anomalies. An intelligent network, such as Lenovo switches, can help to keep the workloads running smoothly whether it is in a manufacturing plant, hospital, or emergency services,” Siddiqi adds.

Enterprise networks are seeing an increasingly large number of IoT devices plugging into them. It is common to have multiple devices such as IP cameras, IP phones, LED lighting, digital signage, etc. all in one office, Siddiqi observes. “As the number of devices grows, powering them through Ethernet becomes critical for easy deployment. Lenovo’s PoE switches are ideal for enterprises to improve their productivity,” Siddiqi observes.

Additionally, enterprises are moving more towards hyper-converged solutions. “Secure and seamless VLAN migration is critical to the success of such solutions. Lenovo switches network orchestrator increases productivity in such cases,” Siddiqi adds.

Portfolio

Lenovo networking portfolio ranges from enterprise to data centre products. Lenovo’s Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches help in a variety of verticals from health care to finance. Lenovo also offers Top of the Rack switches, access, aggregation, leaf and spine switches for the data centre ranging from 1GbE to 100GbE.

They include the Ethernet Rackswitch (ToR), Ethernet Switches for Flex (Embedded), CNOS Networking Software, and the Lenovo ONIE switches and software Open Networking products.

For data centres, Lenovo offers both data and management switches. “In addition to these, our operating system is designed for the modern data centre and cloud. It comes ready for SDDC, hyperconvergence with Nutanix, and DevOps,” Siddiqi adds.

This diversified product portfolio ensures that customers benefit from the reliability of Lenovo switches and the feature-rich operating system without the hassle of dealing with different vendors for different data centre products such as compute, storage and networking.

Additionally, Lenovo switches come included with three year warranty and free software updates and upgrades. All features are included in the offer and there are not additional licensing fees, says Siddiqi.

“As a result, customers get low total cost of ownership, enabling them to reduce OpEx by 50% and gain high ROI up to 111%, as validated by ACG.

That said, a typical enterprise network will operate as part of a much larger ecosystem. Lenovo has subsequently made its networking products interoperable with other vendor’s products.

“In networking, it is important to support a heterogeneous environment as at times customers will choose a multi-vendor strategy. Other times, customers change their vendors to gain better reliability and performance as they grow their network,” Siddiqi observes.

“Therefore, it is important to have interoperable products. Tolly tested and validated Lenovo switches for interoperability with other leading vendors. This study also found that our switches outperform competitors in some use cases,” Siddiqi explains.

Lenovo switches enable customers get low total cost of ownership, enabling them to reduce OpEx by 50% and gain high ROI up to 111%.

Open architecture

Supporting this interoperability model is an open strategy Lenovo has pursued in the manufacture of its networking equipment.

Modern data centres have a variety of products from many vendors to boost productivity. For instance, DevOps, SDDC, analytics, etc. have to come together for the data centre infrastructure to be successful. Multi-cloud is another important aspect of modern data centres that has emerged.

“Lenovo networking is about seamless integration in the ecosystem. Our operating system supports VMware, OpenStack, etc. We help to intelligently connect and orchestrate workloads between data centres. Our goal is to embrace the customer’s ecosystem and help them to succeed in this environment,” says Siddiqi. “We do not believe in vendor lock-in,” he adds.

At the heart of the new data centre is cloud.

Lenovo’s Cloud Networking Operating System (CNOS) is a modern data centre that is built from the ground up for cloud, designed to scale for the growing east-west traffic in the data centre, says Siddiqi.

“To support today’s software-defined data centres, CNOS comes ready for Microsoft Azure Stack, VMware and OpenStack. Lenovo’s telemetry solution detects and mitigates failures by migrating workloads. In addition to this, Lenovo’s Intelligent Network Controller orchestrates multi-cloud environments,” he adds. 

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