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Lenovo thinks customers simply love IT-as-a-service

Anyone that agrees has been 'smoking dope' says one of world's largest resellers

Lenovo is boasting that customer demand for subscription-based services is growing after updating its TruScale IT-as-a-service portfolio.

The problem is that not everyone seems to agree, including Europe's largest reseller.

Enterprise hardware vendors including HPE, Cisco, Dell and Lenovo are all trying to compete with cloud vendors who've done a good job of convincing clients to embrace a hybrid world and ditch some of their servers. In response, the old guard is promoting the as-a-service model and working hard to persuade corporate punters to rethink things.

The latest to step into that line is Lenovo, which has added infrastructure wares from Nutanix, Red Hat, and Veeam to its TruScale IT-as-a-service portfolio.

Announced in 2019, TruScale allows customers to use and pay for datacenter hardware and services on a subscription basis, deployed at their own site or at a location of their choice such as a colocation host.

These latest additions to the TruScale family include a hybrid cloud product using the Nutanix platform, a containerized application platform using Red Hat OpenShift, and a backup service in partnership with Veeam.

Lenovo TruScale Hybrid Cloud with Nutanix gives customers the cloud software from Nutanix running atop Lenovo's ThinkAgile HX HCI, hyperconverged system hardware designed specifically for this platform.

According to Lenovo, this gives customers the security and control of on-premises infrastructure and the flexibility of hybrid cloud, with installation, configuration, 24/7 monitoring, and incident support all handled for them by Lenovo.

Likewise, the TruScale Backup as a Service with Veeam integrates Veeam's backup software running on ThinkSystem Servers and using ThinkSystem DE storage arrays. This is delivered via an on-premises private cloud model and incorporated into existing Lenovo TruScale data management services, the company said.

TruScale Hybrid Cloud with Red Hat is billed as being ready out of the box, running Red Hat's OpenShift application platform on ThinkAgile or ThinkSystem servers. For enterprise customers, this promises a fully managed hybrid cloud for running business applications, with the goal of making it easier to modernize applications and accelerate the adoption of containers.

Lenovo claims that momentum for its consumption-based TruScale service is growing and that uptake has been increasing quarter-on-quarter for the past year. It cites a study of CIOs which found that 92 percent of IT leaders would consider as-a-service offerings in the near future.

Hardware are increasingly moving to similar subscription-based payment models, such as Dell's APEX and HPE's GreenLake. However, not everyone agrees that these are the best solution for customers.

Speaking at the recent Canalys Channels Forum, Computacenter CEO Mike Norris said as a IT as-a-service was "brilliant" for vendors and "pretty good" for channnel partners. "As a corporate customer, I think it's shit

"In the vast majority of cases, anybody that thinks as-a-service is great for customers, I think they are smoking dope."

This follows on from previous remarks from Norris, warning he did not believe customers want to buy that way if they can avoid it, and that it is vendors that really want consumption-based pricing because it delivers better margins.

"If I was a vendor, I would want a consumption model," he said previously. "I see absolute logic in why I would want to sell as-a-service and not sell capital goods."

Norris previously explained that one reason why he thinks it doesn't make sense is because subscription-based pricing simply shifts IT spending from capex to opex, while businesses should be investing capex into investments that would improve their opex. ®

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