Avnet unleashes self-serve cloud to Australian channel

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Avnet unleashes self-serve cloud to Australian channel
Avnet team at the 2014 VMware partner conference

Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions has revealed a new functionality for Australian cloud resellers to self-provision resources, after announcing it has engaged Brocade to virtualise its local data centre infrastructure.

"We're already rockin' and rolling," said Darren Adams, vice president and general manager of Avnet ANZ. "We have online tools available to our data centre clients and the self-provisioning is available now."

Adams said the new service would reduce "the costs of offering a cloud solution" for its partners and provide "better return on investment on networking".

Brocade's SDN technology is enabling the self-serve of data centre resources for Avnet's clients, according to the distie.

"Avnet has a central goal to fully automate our Australian data centres and enable comprehensive network virtualisation," Adams said. "The Brocade purchase is part of an ongoing evolution for us."

Adams told CRN that the billing consequences of the self-provisioning capability would depend on the individual customer agreements.

"Depending on the customer, some can move up and down without additional charges and some may pay more when they reach certain thresholds," he said. "Sure, generally if you turn things on you pay more and if you turn things off you pay less – but how that’s applied is dependent on the individual deal."

Adams told CRN that Avnet has a "15-20 year heritage" in data centre services and currently has "millions of dollars of annual contracts under management".

"We have our own data centres while some of our competitors outsource," said Adams. "We're not trying to be Amazon. We're about flexibility, scalability and portability – we're trying to be a high end provider."

The distributor has "hundreds of customers" and "dozens of resellers" utilising its data centre offerings, Adams said.

"We have a white label model for our partners and the SDN plays into that flexibility. It's a flexible way of provisioning the environment."

Avnet said in a statement that the "Ethernet fabric" provided by Brocade encompasses "10 Gigabit Ethernet server access ports, operating at wire speed and with very low port-to-port latency; self-configuration and self-management capabilities; and support for both VXLAN and NVGRE, two emerging SDN protocols for virtual machine mobility".

"We think the SDN area is pretty hot right now," Adams told CRN. "All our networking suppliers – including companies like HP and Juniper – have exciting SDN solutions and all those vendors are in our data centre today. This Brocade deal is a value add and certainly doesn't mean it's an exclusive arrangement."

Avnet's statement said that the distie participated in "the global pilot program for the Brocade VDX 6740 Switch" then was "one of the earliest adopters" of the technology in the Asia Pacific.

Adam Judd, vice president of Brocade Asia Pacific, said: "Avnet’s cloud capabilities will be powerful. It's a very exciting project and Brocade is fully committed to seeing it through to success."

Avnet is an international distribution business that has more than 18,000 employees and 1000,000 customers worldwide. Brocade is a networking vendor founded in 1995.

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