Avnet Intros Mobile VSPEX Solution For DR, Harsh Environment Deployments

Avnet Technology Solutions is making a completely configured EMC VSPEX solution-in-a-box available to solution providers for use in harsh environments or disaster recovery scenarios.

The Avnet Mobile Data Center Solution for EMC VSPEX combines technology from EMC, Brocade, Cisco, Elliptical Mobile Solutions, Metalogix, Microsoft and VMware in a self-contained chassis, said Greg Peterson, vice president and general manager for converged and data solutions under the distributor's EMC Solutions Group.

The chassis, from Elliptical Mobile Solutions, not only includes all the necessary power and cooling equipment but also moves under its own power, Peterson said.

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"It has a motor inside that moves it along at 3 miles per hour," he said.

Avnet, like several distributors, can configure solutions based on the VSPEX reference architecture to order for solution providers. In fact, said John Tonthat, EMC business director for technology infrastructure solutions at Avnet, the Avnet Mobile Data Center Solution for EMC VSPEX solution started out as a design exercise.

"We had an opportunity to partner with Elliptical Mobile for a unique solution in two recent unique use cases, one a deployment in Afghanistan and the other for use after Hurricane Sandy," Tonthat said. "We built it so it was completely enclosed against harsh conditions or disaster conditions. Data center operators can also use it to move a data center on the fly."

David Gottesman, principle at Gottesman Consulting, a San Francisco-based consulting company and partner with Avnet and EMC, said he can see several interesting possibilities for the Avnet Mobile Data Center Solution for EMC VSPEX solution.

"We've done a lot of business around sporting events, and with the military, and they need computers systems to go into harsh environments," Gottesman said. "We can bring a couple of these in, regardless of the environment. ... I can see where cell companies might need one if a tower goes down, or if communications are out."

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The Avnet Mobile Data Center Solution for EMC VSPEX solution might not be the first solution on the scene of a disaster because they do need time to configure and deliver, Gottesman Consulting's Gottesman said.

"But if you look at large disasters like a hurricane, you can deploy it in a week or two to help build an ad hoc infrastructure," he said.

Large sporting events held on the waterfront or in similarly harsh conditions can be like a circus, Gottesman said.

"People come in and build an entire infrastructure," he said. "Most of the time we do it with a container-based data center. These events can use some pretty heavy compute power. Customers in such a scenario don't know how much power and networking they might need. Having it in a single package simplifies the ordering and infrastructure."

Avnet's Tonthat said because of the nature of the mobile VSPEX solution, Avnet and its partners are unlikely to keep the Avnet Mobile Data Center Solution for EMC VSPEX solution in stock.

"How long it takes to build depends on the compute, network, storage and hypervisor requirements," he said. "It's spec'd out in advance. We have standard reference architectures through the EMC VSPEX program for 50, 100 and 250 virtual machines. Our EMC World demo unit was built and shipped in three days."