What is our primary use case?
We sell the Lenovo ThinkSystem DE 4000 or 6000 series storage arrays. The clients that we sell the products to are mostly manufacturers and the use case for ThinkSystem is always production for storing and operating their virtual environment, which means the units are almost always used for VMware. It is just typical storage for production and virtual machines.
How has it helped my organization?
It does not improve the way we function as we use it with clients. It gives us another product to offer to fill particular client needs.
What is most valuable?
As far as features go, the product does not really have a lot of them. The products we sell are Lenovo's low to mid-range stuff. They are not really feature-laden products with added value that make them stand out from other solutions. The lack of complexity and the lower price — because of that lack of complexity — may be the most valuable features.
The interface is all good.
What needs improvement?
You can not buy a lot of options for these devices. There are a lot of things that it does not do. Some things that it does not do that we would like it to do include easy tiering. If you have got spindles and you want to cache a couple of terabytes of storage on SSD, that would be something we would like to see that, currently, it does not have the capacity to do.
The thing it comes down to is that Lenovo needs to add some more of the software features that would allow the ThinkSystem line to compete with other products that we sell. Other than that, it is what it is.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have had experience with the product for as long as Lenovo has been out with it. I do not know exactly how long that is, but it is maybe seven or eight years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I think these Lenovo products are very stable. We generally do not have issues with their products going down.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
ThinkSystem is scalable. Our clients are small top medium-large businesses and within that range, it works well.
How are customer service and technical support?
When we had to use them, the technical support was very good. If I had to rate them I would give them an eight-out-of-ten. Maybe they need to work on consistency with response time, but the bigger concern comes down to the actual know-how. A lot of times, we have to defer to IBM for support in order to get an answer.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used a different solution from IBM.
How was the initial setup?
The installation and the initial setup for these is very simple.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing is fine for what the product does.
What other advice do I have?
The advice that I would you give to others looking into implementing this product is that it is a good product if it fits your needs. Products in this category are not all the same and they all have something unique, but ThinkSystem is a good offer and can work out well if you can work with it to fit the use cases that you have.
On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate this product as probably and eight-out-of-ten overall. I would give it that rating because it is a good product. It is stable. It is well supported. It just lacks some depth in the area of features. That ends up not necessarily being a strike against the product because, price-wise, it is a good value. If you want all the bells and whistles, Lenovo wants you to move up the ladder on something else they have to offer.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?