Avnet debuts first made-for-Canada converged offering

John Tonthat, director of business development and marketing for the EMC solutions group at Avnet Technology Solutions

, director of business development and marketing for the solutions group at

LAS VEGAS – While Technology Solutions’ pre-integrated solution offerings have long been available to its Canadian resellers, they haven’t always been a good fit for the -centric Canadian market. But that’s changing with the introduction of the company’s new A30 integrated stack based on EMC and technologies, which it says was purpose-built with the Canadian market in mind.

The A30 is based on Cisco networking and UCS servers, and also include EMC’s new 3200 storage array and its DataDomain 2200 device. It’s designed to run 50 to 75 virtual machines and support small businesses in the 50- to 175-user range.

“It’s aimed at SMB, and it’s a solution that our Canadian team have been asking for for the better half of a year,” said John Tonthat, director of business development and marketing for the EMC solutions group at Avnet Technology Solutions. “We designed it with the specific notion of meeting the needs of our Canadian partners.”

The A30 is available today, pre-integrated from Avnet, to partners that have basic EMC and Cisco authorizations. Because it’s pre-integrated by the distributor, the higher requirements usually required for access to the companies’ converged infrastructure offerings are not in play.

And even among partners who could put such an offering together themselves, there is often not the desire to do so. Since launching its pre-integrated EMC/Cisco stacks a year ago, Tonthat says the distributor has noticed partners turning to Avnet to build the stacks, and the focusing on higher-margin services such as consulting and application integration services to increase profitability.

The A30 offering includes the Cisco and EMC gear as well as a 12U enclosure that’s “size-optimized to fit inside a smaller wiring closet” that one might expect to find at an SMB customer, Tonthat said.

The company also announced details of the A20 Series, a stack for smaller-still businesses, down to the 25-user range. The A20 centres around EMC’s ScaleIO, a software-only approach that lets applications use local disk on servers as a sort of a , driving down both cost and complexity for smaller customers.

The A20 can be ordered and delivered today, but Tonthat said it will become “much more interesting” in upcoming weeks with additional software components that are about to become available.

“It compresses the costs and lowers the bar of entry into running a small private starting at the 25 virtual machine mark,” Tonthat said. That equates to a market that’s just “one step above SOHO,” as he described it.

While the new offerings are the first Avnet-marketed integrated architectures designed with the Canadian marketplace in mind, it does not appear they will be the last. Tonthat called the A30 “the start of a series of products to be released aimed at the Canadian marketplace” in the months to come.

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