Avnet’s Brian Mitchell Talks FlexPod: The Future of Converged Infrastucture


Brian Mitchell of Avnet stopped by theCube during the recent NetApp MVP Event to discuss his company’s role in the storage vendor’s ecosystem.

Avnet is one of the world’s largest resellers of IT solutions and hardware components. It also claims to be the number one distributor of FlexPod, a converged infrastructure reference architecture series that is jointly developed by NetApp and Cisco. Mitchell boasts that his company assembles FlexPods for customers all over the world, and that it even built the appliances that were put on display at VMworld.

“We often find that folks will say, ‘hey, I’m going to build it myself.’ Guess what happens – it goes south, the bill fails, [the] customer is not happy,” a very enthusiastic Mitchell told theCube hosts John Furrier and Dave Vellante. “What we do is we say, ‘hey, let us take the screwdriver-level integration, let’s actually build it ourselves,’ then we’ll literally test it, cable it … we talk about that, we’re talking about taking that low-level screwdriver integration and allowing the partner to leverage our services so that they can go out and deliver higher dollar consultancy services.”

Mitchell says that he keeps a close eye on a number of data center trends, including solid-state memory. He highlights that most enterprises stand to benefit the most from hybrid storage solutions that marry high-performance flash with cost-effective spinning disk. Pure-flash offerings are ill-suited for latency-tolerant database warehouses and other traditional enterprise processes, he stresses.

Application delivery is one of the challenges that FlexPod aims to address. The executive notes that the reference architecture enables admins to streamline their on-premise environments and leverage cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services for non-critical workloads.