Chinese PC maker and server and storage wannabe Lenovo Group has an appetite to buy itself some market share in the systems racket, say the company's top brass. In fact, it wants to double its market share in this space. That seems like a less ambitious goal than acquiring IBM's System x and BladeCenter x86-based server business …
SGI is unlikely. Their one major market is government and they would lose that. If Dell drops its servers, that leaves them as a software and systems company without software. Supermicro has great technology, and could be built into a strong Lenovo brand, but it brings no big enterprise customer base, and no storage.
IBM was near perfect, but after their showing in the last quarter, especially in Europe, Lenovo was right about the price.
Doesn't leave too many choices!
Since the x86 offerings from Lenovo were mostly rebranded system x models, could it be that they have already been paying IBM for the privelige of using those designs? The range was always pretty sparse - and pretty low-end, so I can understand why it never took off. We have some of their machines, and always end up going to the IBM sites to get useful technical info.
IMO the Supermicro business model is very different from the Tier 1 vendors - because the customer can spec exactly what they want, I suspect there is a fairly niform margin across their product line. On the other hand HP et al. will sometimes heavily discount the entry-level models and make the money back on expensive parts (disk is a favourite) or via a fatter margin on systems with special capabilities like redundant power.
Also comparing Supermicro to the Tier 1 vendors, the latter tend to have put a lot more thought into the internal layout and serviceability of their machines - a friend who is a data centre technican greatly prefers working on Dell servers than Supermicros.
So, apart from the clash of organisational cultures, a purchase of Supermicro wouldn't put Lenovo in a good place to compete with HP, Dell, and IBM in the declining "tradtional" x86 server market. The flip side is that Supermicro's flexibility puts them in a good place to address the needs of big "cloud service" customers who may wish to order thousands of identical machines configured to the customer's exact requirements.
OS foundation Software critical to X86 server business growth
Profit margins on the X86 Windows Server business have grown thinner, primarily because of the re-adjusted "real costs" for small business in calculating the inclusion of additional layers of robust and adequate security mandated by the severe intrusion attacks recently in networking and Cloud Computing based on Windows infrastructure.
Therefore unless Lenovo was willing to accomodate significant losses for a period of time to mitigate the X86 business purchase from IBM, or charge customers higher rates which certainly will be difficult in competing with HP and Dell, Lonevo would have no choice in such IBM purchase but to set main foundation of their X86 business on a major Linux (RedHat/Ubuntu ) and/or FreeBSD, and specifically target those international markets hardest hit by world economic recession, and pressing need for greater reliabilty and security capability.
Just recently I spearheaded a detailed and comprehensive Request for Proposal on behalf of a multi location dental practice for a complete technology revamp that included workstations, servers, networking, peripheral equipment, multi-user Dental Practice software rated to strongest and beyond HIPPA security standards, and a complete suite of contracted support services for a two year period. The software can be run on either latest Windows Server 2012, RedHat/CentOS Linux as well as FreeBSD, and can service Windows, Apple Mac OS X, Linux and two main mobile OS clients. The proposals were prepared by a seasoned Microsoft Gold Partner for Windows and an established RedHat/UNIX System Integrator firm for UNIX/Linux solution.
With all the criteria and guaranteed working operation of solutions being tested as generally equal, the RedHat solution was approximately 44% less overall, with inclusion of an additional year of contracted support services to 3 years.This was an income losing deal breaker for the Microsoft Partner, whose included hardware was from a Windows focused and preferred vendor, as was admitted the sales VP.
Can Lenovo and or Dell, HP continue to be at a competitive disadvantage in stagnant US market, or particularly in South and Central America, Europe, Southern Africa and parts of Asia that simply cannot support the exorbitance growing costs of solutions going forward. Even in Cloud Computing environment , a similar distinct difference exists in Windows Azure versus the Amazon AWS and OpenStack based dominant services that are considerable more reasonably priced, not to mention the greater scalability, robustness and better security gained.
Access to customers by buying IBM's server biz?
Not if the customers turn around and refuse to deal, because the owners are the yellow peril [sic].
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