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St. Louis VAR Buys Crosstown Rival To Bolster Virtualization Expertise

World Wide Technology's acquisition of Server Centric Consulting is intended to strengthen its partnership with Cisco and others.

Server virtualization

World Wide Technology is one of Cisco's largest Gold partners, and is the primary supplier of Cisco products to the federal government. It also partners with Hewlett-Packard, EMC, NetApp, Sun Microsystems and VMware.

Server Centric Consulting, which was founded as a server-based computing company, has expertise in VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix virtualization technologies, with a strong focus on virtual desktop infrastructure.

Scott Miller, the former president of Server Centric Consulting and now World Wide Technology's director of business development for virtualization, said the acquisition was logical given the trend towards increasing virtualization of customer data centers and the degree to which the two companies have partnered in the past.

One of the drivers of the acquisition is Cisco's data center push with its Unified Computing System, Miller said.

Cisco's Unified Computing System, or UCS, strategy seeks to combine compute, storage, virtualization and networking capabilities in an integrated package that the company said will make data centers more flexible, efficient and cost-effective.

"World Wide Technology has a large Cisco practice, and is trying to build out a data center practice," Miller said. "We bring expertise in virtualization. As Cisco does more with virtualization, it will get easier for World Wide Technology to do more with Cisco."

Cisco's UCS represents a big shift not only in the vendor's product line but also in how to sell the technology, which requires a wide range of expertise, Miller said. "You need to know how to drive into your customer base and take advantage of the technology," he said.

Because of its virtualization focus, Server Centric Consulting has partnered with a number of other solution providers around the country to help them with their virtualization projects, Miller said. World Wide Technology was one of those who worked with Server Centric Consulting in what Miller termed part of World Wide Technology's "frienemy" network.

"We started actively working with World Wide Technology about six months ago on 15 or 20 opportunities," he said. "They liked us, and approached us about getting together."

Other solution providers have also approached Server Centric Consulting to talk about possible mergers, but most were overly focused on a single product, Miller said.

World Wide Technology, on the other hand, leads with a solutions mentality. "It also has a network practice that is growing with virtualization, which suits us," he said.

Terms of the acquisition, which closed last month, were not released.

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