Technology is in a constant state of evolution, and at the forefront of the channel’s attention is finding solutions to bandwidth demands, increasing operational efficiency, and moving toward server and client virtualization – all while reducing IT complexity. Data center consolidation through converged infrastructure solutions is gaining momentum as businesses embrace a centralized computing model that ensures predictable application delivery, easy management, cost efficiency and comprehensive security.
But as with any seemingly new technology, potential complexities also accompany the deployment of converged solutions.
IT Staffing Issues – One of the most attractive aspects for solution providers in selling converged infrastructure is that these are solutions that appeal to organizations of all sizes. But at the same time, solutions providers have to work around the skills of the end users, who do not always have the resources of a large IT staff – or the knowledge and experience in implementing and deploying such solutions. The IT organization must identify a person or team who will ultimately be accountable for the performance of the converged infrastructure, whether it is in-house or services provided by their solution provider. Although converged solutions ultimately reduce IT complexity, end users might see a challenge in identifying the right people to deploy them and in shifting their operational structure to allow success.
Conflicting IT Buying Cycle – A converged solution, while it answers many of the cost-saving requirements of an IT organization in terms of the greater utilization and faster speed of deployment, is now storage, servers, networking and management in a single system. In the past, end users have balanced their budget based on the natural product replacement timelines, allowing them to purchase each piece separately and spread out into a buying cycle. End users will need to modify and align their budget and available capital with their timing of purchasing converged solutions, which can cause end users or partners some heartburn because they are no longer able to buy the hardware in the separate pieces that they traditionally have. This can be good news in a way, because utilization rates of these systems can be higher – the total cost of the infrastructure can be lower than the “sum of the parts.”
As organizations quickly discover the benefits of flexible, consolidated systems management – management of the server, network, storage and orchestration resources as a single unit, the transition to converged infrastructure solutions is driving the market. However, end users are faced with challenges in finding the resources to deploy and manage infrastructures as well as finding the capital needed outside of their buying cycle. As a trusted advisor, being fully prepared for those potential complexities, among others, puts partners ahead of the curve to gain a competitive edge.
With partners and their end users in mind, Avnet has several solutions and services available to partners to ease all complexities faced while deploying converged solutions in a white-label fashion. Avnet can fill in the gaps, from providing the total converged solution to assisting partners in the physical and logical deployment, to filling staffing roles that manage systems or transfer system management know-how. Avnet can even help partners and end users leverage Avnet’s creative financial solutions, such as CapacityNow™, to assist in providing the capital needed for purchasing total converged solutions. Avnet allows partners to become their customers’ trusted advisors and create long-term, high-value customer relationships while capitalizing on a fast-growing converged infrastructure market opportunity.