Avnet Australia scores Microsoft cloud coup

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Avnet Australia scores Microsoft cloud coup

Avnet Australia & New Zealand has scored a Microsoft coup as the first Australian distributor admitted to the vendor's Cloud OS Network, where it joins the likes of Optus and Melbourne IT.

Joining COSN means Avnet's private cloud is technically validated with Microsoft Azure, enabling the distie to open up hybrid cloud data centre solutions for its partners.

Avnet ANZ sales and group services director Mark Johnston told CRN it was the culmination of a "big investment" for Avnet.

"What it means is that our private cloud has now been certified by Microsoft as built to a standard, so we can easily build true hybrid cloud solutions that will be able to bounce between our own gear and the Microsoft public cloud stack. That is big news," said Johnston.

It's a coup for Avnet to get promoted from a Gold Hosting partner to a member of COSN, and sets it apart from some of Microsoft's other cloud-focused Australian distributors, such as two-tier Cloud Solution Providers, Ingram Micro and Rhipe.

Avnet's point of difference is its hosting environment, said Johnston. "In our private cloud right now, we support about a thousand end user organisations via 200 partners and or agents – call them whatever you like. Those partners are everyone from very small resellers to ISVs through to systems integrators, through to resellers where we might pay a rebate or a recurring monthly rebate for leads."

Production and disaster recovery are spread across Fujitsu's North Ryde and Homebush data centres. The distie recently expanded into NextDC in Sydney and Melbourne, said Johnston.

"I am not sure of any other hosting or service provider organisation, owned by a distributor, that offer up to five nines of performance guarantee, with a rebate if we don't make it," said Johnston.

The Avnet private cloud is built primarily on Lenovo compute with IBM and Tintri storage, as well as Dell gear. Networking is mainly Brocade. Johnston said it was roughly a 40:40 split between VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments with the other 20 percent RedHat Linux.

According to Microsoft's Cloud OS website, the Cloud OS Network is "a worldwide group of select service providers that partner closely with Microsoft to offer customers hybrid cloud and Azure-enabled solutions".

The other COSN partners in Australia are Optus, Melbourne IT, itGlobal, MHA Cloud Computing, SaaSplaza and Softsource.

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