Ingram builds out virtualisation

Ingram builds out virtualisation

Ingram Micro is building out its virtualisation portfolio with a raft of new vendor deals. It has also appointed Sydney-based integrator, Technical Architecture Solutions (TAS), as an official services provider.

Among those now finalising agreements with the distributor are infrastructure networking vendor, Avocent, and storage virtualisation vendor, DataCore. Avocent produces an embedded Virtual Presence Infrastructure platform. DataCore's SAN Melody products focus on storage consolidation and management.

Last week, server virtualisation management vendor, PlateSpin, announced it had cut ties with Infotronics in favour of a sole distribution deal with Ingram. Ingram Micro virtualisation business manager, Peter Pollari, said its strategy was to hand-pick complementary vendors to VMware.

"We want to ensure resellers aren't unfairly burdened with a mix of vendors to go to market with," he said. "We've avoided overlapping vendors wherever possible and are taking a best-of-breed approach." Avocent and DataCore were among several vendors touting virtualisation technologies at Ingram's ExpoTech show in Sydney last week.

"Avocent and DataCore participated in ExpoTech but are not official partners at this stage," Pollari said. Ingram plans to bring on several vendors over the coming months, he added. To assist resellers with virtualisation product sales and services, Ingram has appointed TAS as its preferred virtualization services partner.

"We're trying to take the risk away for resellers, particularly in terms of the financial imposte to skill up in these technologies. Services are going to be a very important aspect," Pollari said. "TAS is the perfect fit as it has national coverage, doesn't sell hardware and won't compete with resellers for customers. "Our aim in the virtualisation practice is to have a complementary suite of products in a ready packaged environment with services wrapped around that allow resellers to enter the [virtualisation] market when they are ready."

TAS director, Tony Wilkinson, said it was devising several packaged services for Ingram resellers around the virtualization product sets. These are aimed at smaller and professional level partners. The integrator has been providing third-party services directly to resellers for the past four years.

"Ingram is pointing us to their reseller base to help differentiate themselves as a distributor and add more value," Wilkinson said. About 20 services SKUs from TAS will be added to Ingram's price list by the end of this month, Wilkinson said. They will include installation, configuration and training SKUs around VMware products, as well as training on complementary virtualization products from PlateSpin.

From there, Ingram and TAS will develop bundles that focus on integrating the entire virtualisation stack as well as complementary hardware, Wilkinson said. They are expected to be available mid-year.

TAS and Ingram are also making available a special SKU covering virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment and proof of concept. It ties in with VMware's promotional offer giving organizations that purchase an enterprise license a free 10-user VDI bundle.

"VMware isn't the solution for everything - it can be complemented by products from XOsoft, DataCore, PlateSpin and Symantec," Wilkinson said. "For example, you need backup to go with VMware, and technologies for meshing virtual and physical environments.

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