Inspur, the fast-growth cloud computing and server vendor from China that has several systems on the current Top500 list, and DDN, a leader in high-end storage, have announced a joint sales and marketing agreement to produce solutions based on DDN storage platforms integrated with servers, networking, software and services from Inspur.
The two companies said they will jointly target oil and gas, life sciences, financial services, academia and other sectors.
The two companies have a track record of working together on joint deals, primarily in Asia.
“Inspur has worked closely with DDN on projects across China for many years, and we are excited to expand our collaboration with DDN to deliver joint solutions to customers worldwide,” said Vangel Bojaxhi, Inspur’s worldwide business development manager.
Inspur, founded in 2000, is headquartered in Jinan, Shandong Province, and has 26,000 employees. It has the largest share (18.2 percent) of China’s server market`and is, according to the company, the largest server provider for Alibaba and Baidu. According to industry watcher Gartner Group, Inspur was the world’s fastest growing server vendor for the first three quarters of 2016, with server shipment year-on-year growth of 28 percent during that period.
Privately held DDN has evolved from a nearly 100 percent partnerships sales model, as of two years ago, to a 50-50 balance between partnerships and direct sales, according to Larry Jones, DDN’s partner manager for the Inspur relationship. He said the deal was spurred by Inspur’s ambition to expand its reach beyond China, hiring an international business development manager who is familiar with DDN and has worked with Jones in the past. The joint agreement grew from there.
“It’s really exciting for both companies,” he said. “Inspur has its own storage organization, but like most server manufacturers they don’t have a HPC storage offering that’s anywhere near what DDN can do.
“For us, we’ve done some deals with Inspur in China but never on a global basis,” said Jones. The relationship is “in its infancy, but we’re hoping to grow it slowly and build on our mutual relationships with clients and take advantage of the expertise and core competencies of each company.”
While the partnership will help Inspur gain a toehold in the U.S. market, for DDN it’s intended to help the company reach markets in China and Europe, according to Jones. He said this is first partnership of this kind in the U.S. for Inspur.
“I think it’s going to start more in the commercial marketplace,” he said, “then as time goes on it will progress into the traditional HPC market as Inspur is accepted on a global basis. The things they do in China in the high end, traditional HPC space, they do with Chinese components. But they also are a Western component servers vendor too, so they make computers out of all the western components, (x86) machines that look very much like a Dell EMC or an HPE or Lenovo or IBM kind of thing, with Intel and Nvidia processors, as opposed to machines based on all Chinese technologies.
“We’ll be offering a fully integrated stack,” added Jones. “So if you know what we do with Lustre and Spectrum Scale file systems offerings, here’s a set of equipment that has been built, tested, we know it works, deployed, supported, so everything is there. Inspur is in position to say: ‘Here’s a complete, integrated solution that includes DDN storage.”