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Excelero strikes deal with Lenovo for NVMesh

Startup Excelero snared Lenovo as its first major server partner to resell its software that can pool ultra-fast NVMe-based storage resources across a network.

Lenovo has added Excelero’s NVMesh software to its price book. Lenovo and Excelero said SciNet, Canada’s largest supercomputing center, and at least one other company is already running NVMesh deployments on Lenovo ThinkSystem servers.

Excelero has worked with other server OEMs, such as Supermicro, to resell its software through one-off transactions, according to Patrick Guay, Excelero’s vice president of strategic accounts. But until the Lenovo deal, the Excelero software was not loaded in a price book for an OEM or its partners to sell on an ongoing basis, Guay said.

Despite the partnership with Lenovo, Excelero customers will not yet be able to purchase the NVMesh software pre-integrated onto Lenovo server hardware. John Majeski, general manager of software solutions for Lenovo’s data center group, said the company is considering that option. In the meantime, Lenovo can custom integrate the Excelero technologies for customers.

Lenovo customers now have two storage options in the non-volatile memory express (NVMe) technology space, following the server vendor’s partnership with NetApp signed last year. IDC research vice president Eric Burgener said Lenovo-branded NetApp systems would address mixed workloads while Excelero NVMesh-based systems running on standard Lenovo server hardware, would target ultra-low latency workloads such as big data analytics.

The NVMesh software can run in converged or disaggregated modes. In converged mode, the applications run on the same server as the NVMe-based PCIe Express (PCIe) solid-state drives (SSDs). In disaggregated mode, clients access discrete storage servers loaded with NVMe SSDs.

Excelero also has a partnership with Micron, which sells Micron Accelerated Solutions (MAS) for Excelero NVMesh.

Burgener said many IT organizations are wary of buying product from startups, so the Lenovo partnership could provide an opportunity for them to acquire innovative technology they might not consider if they have to go through a startup. He said, while many users understand the efficiency of buying through only a few major vendors, they also sometimes feel constrained by the limited options.

“There’s less risk associated with buying it through Lenovo than if they deal directly with the startup,” he said.

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