Ingram Micro Extends High-End Servers, Storage

Ingram Micro distributes other xSeries servers but the x440, introduced in March, was only recently made available to broadline distributors, said Sally Stanton, vice president and general manager of emerging technologies at Ingram Micro.

IBM sells the x440 line through a single-source model in which solution providers must sign one-year contracts to purchase the products from one distributor.


Ingram Micro's Sally Stanton says products will bring new enterprise solutions business.

The product line is also being distributed by Avnet Hall-Mark, Gates/Arrow, Pioneer-Standard Electronics and Tech Data.

IBM initially opted to distribute the x440 only through specialty distributors, but Ingram Micro and Tech Data convinced the vendor to add broadline distributors, Stanton said. "The emerging technologies group is like a specialty distribution organization within Ingram Micro," Stanton said. "We have the flexibility and knowledge base of the enterprise market but still are able to leverage Ingram Micro's core capabilities."

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Solution providers must become members of IBM's EXAct Network program to sell the x440 servers, Stanton said.

"IBM wants to know what is this reseller doing, what's their experience level, what vertical markets they're in, what other IBM business do [they do, what software apps do [they support," she said.

Among other requirements, solution providers must submit a business plan with the IBM program application, which is then considered by the vendor's review committee, Stanton said.

The IBM x440 is a strong option for server-consolidation opportunities, said Marc Ferguson, sales manager at PC Systems, Oklahoma City. "We sell a lot of x360 servers, and the bigger box is a logical step for our end users and a way to not get kicked out of accounts because we can't sell it," he said. "I can take that single box and replace eight servers with it. Our primary vertical is health care, but it's a fit for any vertical that runs into a space crunch in the data center. It's a 5U box. If you're running four 3U boxes, that's 12 down to five. Maintaining one server over a number of servers is a benefit, too."

The HP StorageWorks EVA line is also handled through a closed distribution model and is carried by the same distributors.

Ingram Micro solution providers will be able to address higher-end storage opportunities with the new line, Stanton said. "We've had the [StorageWorks MA 8000 and MA 1000, which are more midrange products," she said. "We're able now to expand and reach into the enterprise for more new customers."

Ingram Micro will configure the EVA line at its Memphis, Tenn., configuration facility, Stanton said.