UPDATED 19:55 EDT / MAY 21 2014

Avnet on converged infrastructure, VSPEX market adoption | #EMCworld

John Tonthat - EMC World 2014 - theCUBEJeff Frick and Stu Miniman hosted this year’s theCUBE at fifth annual EMC World conference in Las Vegas earlier this month. They had the pleasure of welcoming John Tonthat, Director of Business Development and Marketing for Converged and Data Solutions with Avnet, to the program.

“Can you just give us a little intro to the solution itself? A portable moving VSPEX and where are we today?” Miniman started.

“We wanted to really launch our services capability and make a splash, so we decided to integrate a fully converged infrastructure. It was a V+C+C configuration in a mobile data center that was hardened, and we worked with a particular manufacturer where the enclosure can move up to three miles an hour, it runs in a hostile environment in terms of weather and conditions, and it’s designed to operate in disaster recovery type scenarios.  It’s gone on a national tour with a number of partners that’s used it to get the conversation going about VSPEX turning reference to reality.” Tonthat replied.

VSPEX market adoption


“We had a number of federal partners look at and deploy similar solutions but what we found interesting enough is there was a number of state and local recovery folks who needed essentially sort of think of if you have a natural earthquake or a tornado hits; you want to roll out a data center, plug it in and in hostile conditions it runs and so from an adoption perspective it did well.

“The pre-integrated state means that Avnet actually puts it all out together and ships it out as what we might call a single manage entity?” Miniman enquired.

“Yes,” Tonthat confirmed, “Close to that. Pre-integrated is when the partner buys the compute, the network and the storage individually. Post-integrated is when we take that service and do it for the partner. We have launched a number of enablement activities that has resulted in a significant number of increase both closed deals as well as increasing the close rate of VSPEX.”

How much is a project like that that is really designed to deliver that solution?” Frick queried.

“Most of our partners fall into two categories,” Tonthat started, going on to explain the two groups as those partners with “the capability to do the implementation themselves, and partners who don’t have that capability.”

“For the ones that do have that capability, it comes down to a conversation of where they could get a better utilization of their bench, so they can get that consultant out at a higher billable rate, and source… the basic integration services out,” Tonthat continued. “It’s turned out to be a boom for those partners as well. So, it fits both sides… of the partner base.”

“How big is this mobile data center?”  Frick asked.

“Yes.” Tonthat confirmed, “It’s actually about two-and-a-half feet wide, it’s about six feet tall and it weighs about 2500 pounds because it’s completely self-contained. Its battery operated, the air inside the enclosure never mixes with the outside air, so you can have it in the mill of a dust storm and as long as you have got electricity it continues to run.”

On the showroom floor


In terms of what Avnet was doing with their show floor, Tonthat explained, “We have got two new converged infrastructures that address different segments of the market. So, the first one is a 75 VM configuration, again its V+C+C in a 12U enclosure and it’s really designed to address the SMB market and the Canadian market interestingly enough. So when we launched last year with 300 and 600 VM configs, the Canadian folks came back and said they were looking for a little smaller sizing and we are so excited to showcase the unit on the floor with the brand new VNX3200 and the DD2200 in it, right? So, it’s a fully running VSPEX with the latest technology and we plan on bringing that out to market. So, we are very excited. Second one is ScaleIO. So, we have got a ScaleIO configuration and for us it’s the prelude to the Hyper-converged market and we are very excited about that.”

“What’s the interest in the market and why you are excited about the ScaleIO piece?” quizzed Miniman.

Tonthat replied, “I think particularly from the way that we are deploying the solution; we are aiming it at the sub 50 VM configuration where there is no network involved so you can really compress the price.

“A converged infrastructure at a starting point gives them a great deal of flexibility and then continues to allow them to grow. The thing that we hear a lot is, ‘how can we get converged infrastructures a little bit more down market?’  We think that ScaleIO really solves that issue,” Tonthat said.

Evolving relationships


“How has your relationship at Avnet changed with EMC over the last few years?” was Miniman’s final question.

“Three years ago, we were predominantly selling just EMC hardware/software to a… niche set of partners who concentrated solely on storage… That partner base has grown because it’s not just storage partners, its application vendors and partners, its compute partners. These specs allow us to open up the aperture of the ecosystem.

“Our partner base has changed rather dramatically over that time.” Tonthat concluded.

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Show your support for our mission by joining our Cube Club and Cube Event Community of experts. Join the community that includes Amazon Web Services and Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and many more luminaries and experts.

Join Our Community 

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.

“TheCUBE is part of re:Invent, you know, you guys really are a part of the event and we really appreciate your coming here and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy

We really want to hear from you, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the event and in theCUBE Club.

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.