The Lenovo ThinkAgile VX Series is a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliance solution that combines VMware’s vSAN software with vSphere and vCenter, running on clustered, Lenovo ThinkSystem servers. The Lenovo ThinkAgile VX Series leverages the on-going advancements of VMware’s vSAN technology, currently supporting version 6.7.
The VX Series uses a modular, scale-out architecture of 1U, 2U and 4U appliance chassis each containing an independent server node, (except 4-node VX 3720). Clusters are comprised of at least two and as many as 64 nodes and can be scaled non-disruptively by adding single nodes. Each node is configured with 1, 2 or 4 CPUs and 2.5” or 3.5” drive form-factor HDDs and SSDs in either hybrid or all-flash configurations, providing some extremely high capacities, with up to 24 drives per node.
vSAN offers mirroring (RAID 10) and single- and dual-parity (RAID 5/6) between nodes as well as built-in encryption that doesn’t require self-encrypting drives. It also has inline deduplication and compression, providing up to a 7x space reduction, according to VMware. However, these data reduction features are only available on all-flash nodes and must be set on or off for the entire system, not by the volume or VM, as other products allow. The VX Series has most of the same software characteristics as VMware’s vSAN product (for more information see Evaluator Group Research on VMware vSAN).
vSAN is embedded in the VMware hypervisor kernel, allowing for more optimization of the data path and simpler management. This integration also leverages the features of vSphere, such as High Availability (HA), vMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), Site Recovery Manager, vRealize Automation, etc.. While Lenovo ThinkAgile VX shares these features with the other vSAN OEMs, the ThinkAgile VX Series offers several points of differentiation.
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