Looking to extend its channel reach, virtualization vendor Virtual Iron has signed a deal with distributor Tech Data Corp.

Tech Data will carry the complete line of Virtual Iron server virtualization and management solutions. The companies are offering to VARs free 30-day trials of Virtual Iron to test and evaluate, available at

The non-exclusive deal marks only the most recent in a series of moves by the Boston-based technology company to increase its channel presence through partnerships with distributors. In addition to Tech Data, the company has also recently signed deals with several tier-one European distributors, including Avnet, which will bring Virtual Iron to many parts of Europe.

“Up until now we have done all the recruiting and channel enablement ourselves,” said Mike Grandinetti, chief marketing officer at Virtual Iron. But the European deals will bring the company another 200 to 250 VARs in that geography.

And Virtual Iron expects the Tech Data deal to expand its North American distributor ranks from the current 110 to 250 to between 300 and 350 by the end of the calendar year.

Grandinetti said Virtual Iron was aggressively approached by top distributors in the United States including Ingram Micro and Synnex.

“We decided to partner with Tech Data,” he said. That’s because Tech Data does not already have a formal relationship with VMWare, the market leader in the virtualization space.

Virtual Iron was also attracted to Tech Data’s Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) division, a recently formed organization within the distributor that focuses on emerging technologies.

“They profile the type of consultative reseller who has training around these types of technologies,” said Grandinetti.

“Virtualization is a significant component of AIS,” said Amy Belcher, a product marketing director at Tech Data. “We are spending a significant amount of time and resources focused on it.”