The data centre division of Exclusive Networks, BigTec, has signed its first major networking vendor after striking a distribution deal with Juniper Networks.
The partnership is part of the business unit’s increased focus on resellers operating within the hybrid cloud and software-defined infrastructure markets across Australia.
Representing the second vendor signing for BigTec since the business unit was launched, the division has also struck up a partnership with backup and disaster recovery vendor, Rubrik.
The distributor’s foundation vendor is Nutanix, with the addition of Juniper Networks in line with company plans to push into the next-generation data centre space.
BigTec Pacific managing director, Dominic Whitehand, said companies are increasingly trending towards the real-time, DevOps model, creating a need for data centre vendors to similarly shift towards providing hybrid cloud-based solutions to deliver increased value.
“[The Juniper partnership] is perfect timing for us," he said. "We are looking to bring a solution stack into the data centre market, particularly around transformative technologies for web scale IT, virtualisation, software defined networking and enterprise cloud infrastructure.
"We are both looking for the same thing in terms of data centre market specialisation. Juniper adds significant credibility to that software stack and our approach to the data centre market.
In 2014, Juniper Networks announced it would be disaggregating and adding to its portfolio, making a significant play in the data centre market as a result.
Juniper Networks vice president A/NZ, Ralph Candiloro said that when the vendor went out to market, it sought a specialist distributor with a solid reputation in the channel and given the existing Juniper relationship with Exclusive Networks Group across other markets, the decision was easy.
“When we came across Dominic’s organisation, the BigTec component within Exclusive Networks was a huge appeal to us," he said. "They had a unique value proposition into a segment that is very important to us.
“We are not alone. It's an ecosystem and there are other pieces to the puzzle. Hyper-convergence is also very important and we work closely with companies such as Nutanix."
Candiloro said Juniper had between 30 and 40 tech alliances in the data centre market which the vendor works with at an engineering level and integrates into its products.
“The other nice fit was that BigTec was already playing with some of those partners of ours," he added.
"We are not having to do specials in the BigTec family simply because we already have that back end integrated via our tech alliances which are the same partners BigTec have."
Juniper markets itself very much as a challenger brand across the industry, with Candiloro understanding that while there remains a market for partners selling components of infrastructure, next-generation data centre technologies are set to play a defining role in the future of IT.
"That challenges our partners and channels because they no longer sell the bits and pieces," he added.
"The plumbing doesn’t stay separate from the control pane and the control pane doesn’t stay separate from the automation.
"There is certainly a place for partners who understand that segmentation in the market is necessary and presents a big opportunity because there is a gap in the market.
"With Exclusive Networks and BigTec, they have the first mover advantage. I think this will become part and parcel of what you see in the industry as the technologies firm up and develop, and as stand alone devices need to work in a software defined environment.”
Making the shift
Whitehand said that despite the market traction, organisations aren't capable of transforming data centres overnight, due to ongoing legacy infrastructure investments.
"We want to help people transform their data centre one block at a time," he added. "We want to present a reference architecture that any customer can look at and address one point at a time.
"The great thing with Juniper is they can address the stack up and down. We are talking security segmentation, cloud data management, hyper convergence, and switching. There is a great relationship that we will build with Juniper on that basis."
Looking ahead, Whitehand said BigTec is focused on "leading the charge" within the data centre, exploiting on the division's early mover advantage to create opportunities across SDN and IoT.
"I think it's going to be very important to have a strong voice out there in the channel talking to the partners about how they can address the needs of their customers in those areas," he added.
At a global level, BigTec represents vendors such as Array Networks, Avi Networks, Nuage Networks, Nutanix, Pluribus, Rubrik, Silver Peak, Tegile, vArmour and VMTurbo.