Sun Adds Avnet As Storage Distributor

Avnet joins Sun's longtime storage distribution partners Access Distribution and MOCA, a division of Arrow Electronics.

Phoenix-based Avnet will carry all of Sun's storage products and related server offerings, beginning today, in a bid to broaden Sun's base of storage-centric partners, according to officials at both companies.

The addition of the Sun storage line is an extension of sorts given that Avnet is into its eighth year as a StorageTek distributor. Sun acquired StorageTek about a year ago for $4.1 billion.

Jeff Barteld, Sun's director of U.S. channel sales, says the addition of the Sun line makes sense because it fills in gaps that existed in StorageTek's portfolio.

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"The acquisition of StorageTek pretty clearly signaled our intent to grow our storage business aggressively," Barteld says. "Avnet has continued to grow its StorageTek business, so it's really just logical to extend and expand the relationship."

Jeff Bawol, senior vice president and general manager for Avnet Partner Solutions, Enterprise Software and Storage, says the agreement will give partners selling StorageTek products a much broader storage portfolio from Sun.

"It gives us the ability to reach into the Sun legacy storage products and incorporate those with the StorageTek products, and gives our partners a more complete solution to those who were just selling StorageTek before," Bawol says.

That should become easier in October when the two companies' product lines will be incorporated into a common price list, Sun's Barteld adds.

A key focus, he adds, will be to bring on more storage-centric partners, particularly those who can bring in customers that are currently on competitive server platforms, notably Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

The move comes days after Sun's channel chief, Greg Stroud, resigned. Stroud will be replaced by vice president Tom Wagner, who will be coming out of Sun's telecom division.