Bringing advanced Ethernet fabric technologies to the data centre

Published: March 15th, 2011

Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions (NYSE: AVT) has teamed with networking vendor Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) to launch Avnet Accelerator, a jointly developed program for Avnet’s Brocade partners.

The invitation-only program provides tools, training and business assessments to help partners invest in Brocade’s Ethernet fabric technologies. It’s primarily focused around Brocade’s VCS technology and the Brocade CDX 6720 Data Center Switch, and is designed to help partners design and implement advanced data centre solutions for clients challenged by virtualization and application proliferation.

“We’re really excited about the program, and leveraging best practices to enable partners with certain expertise to gain a competitive advantage,” said Cheryl Neal, vice president of marketing for Avnet’s technology infrastructure solutions group. “It leverages this exciting new technology from Brocade and really speaks to helping industries with high-traffic networking, in combination with our vertical expertise.”

Avnet Accelerator is built around four primary components. The first is understanding partner competency, vertical expertise and geographic coverage, and how Avnet can help them. The second is enablement, talking costs out of the partner’s business by helping them leverage the technology more efficiently. The third is demand generation and the fourth is measurement, having regular business planning sessions with partners and reviewing progress.

It’s about being ready to manage new infrastructures as virtualization and cloud computing change data centre architectures, said Neal. Participants will receive targeted training to help them achieve certifications, whiteboard selling techniques, sales guides for vertical markets, and access to demonstration equipment.

Neal said the Brocade offerings work very well in industries with high traffic networks, which fits in with the vertical focuses Avnet has been developing with partners around areas such as government, education, health care and energy.

Avnet said it’s the first distributor to offer demonstrations of the Brocade VDX 6720 switch in a live data centre environment through its SolutionsPath Demo Center in Arizona, which partners can log on to virtually to create proof of concept solutions for prospective customers.

The program is by invitation-only, and Neal said they’re looking at offering it to 10 to 20 per cent of Avnet’s Brocade partner base to start. Avnet and Brocade are working to identify prospects, and partners can also self-nominate.

“It’s a joint investment between Avnet, Brocade and the partners to come up to speed, really understand the technology and drive it to market, so we’re looking for partners willing to invest,” said Neal. “They should have current Brocade capabilities, current virtualization capabilities, and vertical expertise in health care, government or education.”

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.