Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions is taking advantage of changes to EMC’s services authorizations for distributors to introduce a fully integrated mobile data center based on the storage company’s VSPEX reference architecture.
VSPEX is EMC’s prescribed infrastructure family for combining its storage gear with networking and server hardware and operating system and application software from a variety of vendors. It covers reference architectures for 100, 250, and 500 virtual machine configurations running a wide array of software, including Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware software.
In Avnet’s case, the Mobile Data Center for EMC VSPEX offered a ruggedized converged infrastructure of storage, server, and networking, all in a container that the distributor says can be used safely in a variety of un-data center-friendly environments, including outside in the desert.
“As long as you’ve got power, it’s going to work,” said Greg Peterson, vice president and general manager of Avnet’s EMC Solutions group. The distributor particularly sees opportunity for the offering in disaster situations, and military applications.
Late last year, EMC introduced a certification for distributors to deliver integration services around VSPEX-configured hardware, but the storage giant quietly updated that authorization this month to include permission to do complete software configuration. That change allows Avnet to offer the Mobile Data Center as configured as a solution provider may want it.
“It means we can load the OS, load the LUNs, load the hypervisor, the applications, and deliver the whole converged infrastructure,” said John Tonthat, business director for Avnet’s EMC group.
The distributor pre-integrates the hardware and software for the Mobile Data Center in its Chandler, Ariz. technical facility. Typically, it says it can deliver the offering within 30 days of an order being received, although Peterson said that in cases of disaster, it can get that down to a number of days, rather than weeks.
Avnet will be promoting it as an opportunity to a variety of its partners with strong virtualization practices and certifications for EMC’s midrange products. In order to sell and configure a solution based on VSPEX, partners have to have certifications for all the component vendors, as well as some specific training and certification on the VPSEX initiative.
As much as the distributor sees applications for its new solution, Tonthat said the introduction of the Mobile Data Center is just as much about raising awareness around VSPEX and what a solution provider – or distributor – can do with the reference architecture.
“The unit we built is a design exercise to capture our partners’ imaginations about the different use cases for private cloud,” he said. “There are so many applications for VSPEX – look at the rest of the Microsoft app stack, look at VDI. We’re working on some very cool roadmaps for products that are aligned with VSPEX roadmap, using our line card and our capabilities.”
And while it will be developing new packaged offerings based on VSPEX, Peterson said the distributor is looking to solution providers for new frontiers for the current Mobile Data Center package.
“We see opportunities, but now we’re looking for what partners will find to do with it, the novel uses they’ll find in the market.