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Ingram Micro Rolls Out Support For New Vblock Architectures

Ingram Micro is working with EMC, Cisco, and VMware to make sure its solution provider partners get certification and products to implement the three vendors' new Vblock Infrastructure Packages.

With the agreement, Ingram Micro is offering its 2,500-plus partners who work with Cisco, EMC, and VMware access to the training and support to deliver Vblock reference architecture, said Holly Garcia, senior director of vendor management for the distributor.

Cisco, EMC, and VMware in early November unveiled Vblock Infrastructure Packages, a series of pre-configured, pre-tested solution based on Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) and networking switches, EMC's Symmetrix or Clariion storage arrays, and VMware's vSphere server virtualization platform.

They are aimed at helping customers build virtual data centers and private computing clouds.

However, Vblock is not a product offering in itself, but instead is a series of validated architectures to let partners bring the technologies to market.

The new relationship with Ingram Micro stems from a 14-year relationship with Cisco, including a deeper focus on Cisco's storage and data center initiatives, Garcia said.

"We're telling partners that we have relationships with all three partners, and are helping bring them together," she said. "We have expertise with all three, and can add to their value proposition."

The new Vblock relationship also builds on work Ingram Micro has done with Cisco's Unified Computing System strategy, Garcia said.

Cisco in March unveiled its UCS strategy, which seeks to combine server, storage, virtualization, and networking capabilities in an integrated package that the company said will make data centers more flexible, efficient and cost-effective.

Ingram Micro has access to all the UCS-related products, and can help partners get certified with specific components that relate to UCS and Vblock, including Cisco's Nexus 7000 switches and its c-series of blade servers, Garcia said.

Ingram Micro next week is holding a Vblock presentation for solution providers at its Santa Ana, Calif. headquarters, and currently has about 100 partners registered for the event, Garcia said.

Ingram Micro currently stocks all the needed components for Vblock 2, which is designed to support 3,000 to 6,000 virtual machines using Cisco's UCS, Nexus 1000v and Multilayer directional switches (MDS), EMC's Symmetrix V-max storage, and VMware's vSphere platform.

The distributor is also ready with the components for Vblock 1, which is designed for 800 to 3,000 virtual machines and uses a similar configuration to the Vblock 2, but includes EMC's Clariion storage instead of the Symmetrix V-max.

Support for the entry-level Vblock 0 by Ingram Micro will become available as the solution is released by the three vendors, Garcia said.

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