IBM may be selling its x86 business

Rumors have emerged that IBM is negotiating the sale of its x86 business with Lenovo, a move that would create a major shift in the data center infrastructure market as a whole.

Industry sources recently told CRN that the talks between IBM and Lenovo are not only active, but in fairly advanced stages. At this point in the arrangement, Lenovo is the only remaining suitor for the x86 server division that IBM is trying to sell.

According to the news source, Lenovo’s strong position in the deal stems from IBM’s strategy going into how it plans to sell its x86 business. In an ideal situation, IBM does not want to sell the x86 server division to an OEM that competes with it in other market segments, such as storage or network equipment. Lenovo has proven a fitting partner for this deal because it focuses its data center equipment production strategies on the server segment and does not pose a threat to IBM in other areas.

Considering the implications of the IBM-Lenovo deal

IBM support plans help many IT managers keep their x86 servers running. At this point, Lenovo does not offer hardware maintenance and operating system support services. The deal is not yet official and is still far enough away from completion that it could fall apart. However, one thing that is clear is that Lenovo’s acquisition will have an impact on maintenance. As part of the deal, Lenovo will be acquiring many of the engineers that provide maintenance and support services for IBM. This is creating an air of uncertainty as many IT managers depending on IBM support may not have access to those same solutions if the deal with Lenovo completes. The fact that Lenovo will take on some of IBM’s engineers makes continued support a possibility, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the issue.

For IT managers trying to figure out how they should respond to the IBM-Lenovo deal, there are a few options. One of the best is to work with a third-party hardware maintenance provider that can offer quality maintenance and support services without creating risk.

Avoiding a maintenance gap

One of the worst things IT managers can face, at least from a maintenance and support perspective, is a service gap. A period of time in which equipment is not covered by a support plan creates incredible risk as it leaves organizations without an effective plan in place if hardware goes down. This can lead to an extended outage, major financial losses, reputation-related damages and the possibility of higher maintenance costs if moving back to the OEM becomes an option. In some cases, OEM support plans include added charges for periods in which the hardware is not covered.

At this stage in the deal, there is no way to predict what will happen if Lenovo decides to offer support services and IT managers experience a support gap during the possible acquisition. However, many IT leaders probably do not want to deal with that uncertainty. A third-party hardware maintenance plan can give companies certainty that their hardware will be covered regardless of what happens on the OEM side of things.

For IT managers that want stability and cost efficiency, third-party maintenance can be a prime option regardless of what is happening with the OEM. A good maintenance provider can offer cost efficiencies and customer service plans that are invaluable for IT leaders. This can be enough to make the services valuable even if the OEM has a good reputation for maintenance. When IT managers have to face uncertainty, such as an acquisition, the benefits of a third-party maintenance plan are even greater.