Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series Review

Reliable, but has a difficult licensing process and needs more storage


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our customers. When they have old hardware and infrastructure and need to update them, we set up the Lenovo systems for them.

What is most valuable?

Lenovo offers a good variaty of Storage Systems. Starts with DS, then DE and the most sophisticated version - DM-Series. When Workload is the question this Storagesystem will help our costumers to solve these issues. In the AllFlash variation of this System Lenovo gives the 1 3 to 1 Promise. Means you buy only the third part of calculated Storage, because the System compresses and deduplicates in a extreme good ratio. 

The second part, as Lenovo partners, we always look there strategic routes so we can imagine where the way is going along - also the contact to the technicians and to the Lenovo Partnermanagement gives us the good feeling for their products and their visions - so we can translate them to our customers, who needs not only reliable systems but also a long term vision where the journey will move.

What needs improvement?

The licensing model needs to be revisited. It needs to be simplified.

When using flash, users need to calculate the correct combination of SSDs to ensure the correct amount is provided to the customer. If a customer, for example, needs 30 terabytes of disc space or flash storage, a lot of testing and calculations need to happen to see if this is possible to get to with just flash storage.

The solution needs to offer more storage tools so clients can scale while the costs can be kept low.

Lenovo DM offers a costing tool, however, it could be simplified a bit more. If it was easier to use, the costing could happen sooner and everything could get to market faster.

For how long have I used the solution?

We advice our Customers to use the solution for one year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any problems with the solution. It's quite reliable. We haven't had bugs or glitches. There haven't been crashes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've never had issues with scaling the solution. We have customers with 400 users or more, and customers that have 150 users. However, it's not the number of users that decide how the solution scales, it's the workload.

How was the initial setup?

Currently, the initial setup is a bit complex. There's a new DM series in stock. It's a bit difficult to get the proper experience from Lenovo directly in terms of getting to their technicians. 

The last time we got in touch with them, the process was getting smoother, however. They're making improvements in the process.

What about the implementation team?

We install the solution for our clients.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's difficult to calculate pricing on the solution. Lenovo does help us, as a partner, however, there are different types of storage at different price points, and also certain items that are built into the cost already. 

Normally, they break down and show you how they get to the final price. Typically, a client will tell you what they need and you run some calculations based on workloads. Once you have a plan that aligns with the customer's needs, you go to Lenovo for pricing, and you need to negotiate with them to try to lessen costs. 

Once you have decided on the costs, there are no extras beyond that which a customer would have to pay for. It's all one set negotiated cost.

What other advice do I have?

We're a Lenovo partner.

I'd rate the solution six out of ten.

With Lenovo, there are only two solutions: the DE or DM series. For common workloads, we tend to recommend the DE series as it's the best match for smaller companies. The DM series is more for those with many workloads that need very high performance. In use cases where the Workload needs performance, we advice our Customer to take the advantage of the Lenovo Best in Breed DM-Systems.

We typically advise customers to choose the DM series.

In Germany, we have many small firms and smaller environments. Most people will tell clients they absolutely need flash. However, we don't think that is always the case. It's similar with DM. You can't sell clients with small issues or small storage requirements something that offers flash all the time. It's expensive. You need to think about costs and be strategic to ensure you're meeting your client's needs responsibly.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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