Avnet Climbs Aboard the Cisco Unified Computing Train

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Avnet joins the growing ranks of distributors that have lined up to help VARs take Cisco Systems' Unified Computing System solutions to market. Westcon and Ingram Micro have also recently announced plans to make Cisco's UC initiative more available through a broader group of VARs.

Avnet has joined the growing army of distributors lining up to make it easier for channel partner solution providers to resell and install Cisco's Unified Computing System.

This week the IT and electronics distributor announced that it would create a dedicated business unit focused on Cisco Systems' data center product suite, and it would sell products including Cisco's UCS blade and rack servers along with other products for the data center to its VAR partners in the United States and Canada.

Ingram Micro and Westcom have also recently made announcements about their plans to offer the suite of Cisco's UCS solutions to VAR channel partners that qualify to sell them.

Avnet said in its announcement that it also plans to stock and configure products for VAR customers, making it easier for them to design complex blade solutions for their end customers.

In addition Avnet will be launching Cisco-focused enablement and service offerings to its VAR partners, the company said.

"With the incredible amount of convergence taking place within the data center, it is critical to provide customers with complete solutions designed to address their business challenges," Jeff Bawol, president of Avnet Technology Solutions for the Americas, said in a statement.

"Our new distribution relationship with Cisco will enable Avnet's channel partners to address the data center market holistically with an exciting class of products designed to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs," Bawol added. "We will work hand-in-hand with our channel partners to ensure [that] they have the support, programs and services needed to be successful in this highly complex environment where server, storage, networking and virtualization technologies are increasingly converging."

Among the products included in the deal are:

  • Nexus Data Center Family of Switches
  • MDS Family of Fiber Channel SAN Switches
  • Catalyst E-Blade Switches
  • Unified Computing System (UCS) Blade and Rack Servers (B and C)
  • Application Control Engine (ACE)
  • WAN Optimization (WAAS)

The products will be offered along with Avnet's consulting, integration, implementation and managed services to create complete data center solutions, the distributor said.

The new Cisco business unit will be led by Avnet executive and 20-year channel veteran Chris Swahn, who will serve as vice president and general manager.
Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com