IBM and Cisco Focusing on Converged Tech for MSPs

By Gina Roos  |  Print this article Print
converged technology for MSPs

MSPs—seeking ways to simplify services management, speed deployments and cut costs—are shifting to converged systems like the IBM/Cisco "data center in a box."


This makes it very easy for a partner to create a migration service, which has always been a strong revenue base for channel partners, around VersaStack, Herzog said.

With integrated infrastructure "acquisition costs are lower, and installation risks are greatly reduced," said Herzog. Customers have told IBM that VersaStack has reduced downtime, saved money, improved resource utilization and sped up application deployments.

Most of the benefits are attributed to the solution being pre-tested and validated, along with built-in redundancy features and centralized management interfaces.

One of the biggest benefits is the control of compute, storage and network from one pane of glass, said John Buskermolen, co-founder of i-Virtualize, a Toronto-based provider of hosted and on-premises infrastructure services. Deploying VersaStack enabled the company to shrink its infrastructure footprint in its hosting data center by about 48 percent, he said.

"So you can imagine the costs savings from power, cooling and real estate," Buskermolen continued. "When you have a highly secure data center, which we are in, the costs are significant and to be able to reduce those costs helps our bottom line quite a bit."

 "Some of the benefits of the integrated infrastructure are the single point of management, and it allows us to deploy more quickly and respond to our customers more quickly," said Dan Simunic, co-founder, i-Virtualize. "From a data center perspective, it reduces our costs and it allows our people to be more efficient as well."

"One of the greatest selling features for us is the IBM storage component," continued Simunic. "We've been a longtime IBM customer and the [Storwize] V7000 with some of its features like easy tier technology, real-time compression and the ability to scale really works well for us. The performance is an important factor as well when you're dealing with cloud apps."

Training also is a big part of the partnership with both IBM and Cisco, added Buskermolen, along with a high level of tech support from the beginning to the end of a project.

The initial VersaStack solution targets data center and private cloud deployments, as well as big data and analytics for large commercial and enterprise customers. Cisco and IBM expect to introduce additional reference architectures over time. Solution support services are available from Cisco, IBM and channel partners.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, focuses on technology and the channel.