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In an effort to solve the technology and cost challenges of small businesses looking to move to the private cloud, Avnet Technology Solutions teamed up with EMC to deliver channel-ready products for small businesses following the launch of EMC’s VNXe3200 storage platform and EMC ScaleIO architecture.

These cloud appliances deliver the benefits of private clouds at price points and sizes aimed at small businesses and are available through Avnet’s channel partners in the United States and Canada.

The new series of products, designed to speed up the adoption of private clouds by small businesses and remote offices/branch offices (ROBOs), are the Avnet A30 Series and A20 Series appliances. These are Avnet’s converged infrastructure products based on EMC’s VNXe3200 unified storage platform and EMC ScaleIO architecture, respectively, and that provide small businesses with remote and virtual access to their data via private clouds.

Both offerings are based on EMC’s VSPEX for Private Cloud architecture, which offers virtualization, validated interoperability and cloud-based storage and backup. The physical products are small enough to fit into a small wiring closet.

“VSPEX allows an EMC partner to build a converged infrastructure by having EMC do all of the proven testing methodology to make sure interoperability works across the compute, network and storage platforms,” said John Tonthat, director of business development and marketing for the EMC solutions group, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas. “When EMC released it one year ago, it was aimed mostly at the upper end of the midmarket, and one of the things we heard from the partner base was they needed a solution that was aimed more at the ‘S’ in SMB. We also got a lot of feedback from our Canadian partners who looked at those reference architectures and said that’s great but we need it to size for the Canadian marketplace.”

Once EMC releases a reference architecture, it’s typically up to the channel to deliver the actual product. “With our close collaboration and relationship with EMC, we worked collaboratively to develop a solution aimed at fulfilling that market,” said Tonthat.

The Avnet A30 Series is directed at businesses sized at approximately 50 users. It includes EMC’s Data Domain DD2200, providing storage protection and data integrity and the VNXe3200 unified storage platform.

The Avnet A20 Series meets the requirements of approximately 25 users. This series includes ScaleIO, a software-only solution that uses the application hosts’ local disks to create a virtual SAN that is comparable to or better than external SAN storage at a fraction of the cost and less complexity, according to Avnet.

The A20 can help start the conversation with SMBs about driving private clouds at a price point and workload optimization scheme that allows parity for SMBs with the midmarket and enterprise, said Tonthat. “We view this as the first series of products that really delivers that technology capability and equalizes the playing field.”

Tonthat also makes it clear that these are a series of converged infrastructures aimed at not only market size but application tuning. “If you look at distribution’s value proposition, if we can enable our partners to solve a problem, it accelerates their ability to serve that market.”

Avnet also helps its partners bring the products to market through its Transformation as a Service (TaaS) initiative, which enables channel partners to transition their end customers from a “second platform” (server, compute, and on premise) to a “third platform,” as it relates to moving those workloads to the cloud while integrating social, mobile and big data, as described by IDC, said Tonthat. This initiative streamlines the converged solutions process with pre-sales support, engineering assistance, financing and other services, such as data center migration and technology recycling.

Partners can also leverage the Avnet Global Solutions Center in Chandler, Ariz., for the integration and assembly of the appliances by Avnet’s EMC-certified engineers. This reduces time to deployment while providing partners with a fully tested and validated converged infrastructure product.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.