Avnet, Cisco Event Bringing Sexy Back to the Data Center

Charlene O'Hanlon

February 22, 2012

2 Min Read
Avnet, Cisco Event Bringing Sexy Back to the Data Center

The VAR Guy has sent me to my home state of Arizona to attend the Avnet + Cisco Executive Symposium, a three-day gathering in Phoenix of Avnet and Cisco Systems partners to explore the realm of possibilities in the data center space. Attend an event where I can go for a run outside in February, enjoy a decent plate of chicken mole enchiladas and maybe even stick around to catch a basketball game played by my beloved Arizona Wildcats? Umm, yeah, sure. I’ll go.

So here I am, gearing up for the big day’s events (did I mention I’m also moderating a panel here?). I’ve already had an enlightening discussion with Jim Sherriff, senior vice president, Worldwide Partner Organization at Cisco about how the cloud is changing everything about the data center. And it’s true.

“Our classic resellers virtually all are doing some cloud building — it’s a natural extension of what they were doing with virtualization, so the majority of them have some relationships with cloud providers,” Sherriff noted. “What has been surprising to me is the number of companies that traditionally have dealt in managed services that have made the decision that they are going to be cloud providers. They have looked at the numbers and based on the valuation of economics they think it’s a more effective approach.”

But so many other VARs and solution providers are having trouble taking that first step — determining what role they want to play in the cloud (builder, broker or adviser) — and that’s part of the reason why we’re all assembled here in Phoenix.

So what’s in store for the day, as we look at the brave new world that is the data center? There’s no doubt there’s a plethora of opportunity — data centers are the new rock stars of IT, garnering attention as a virtually untapped resource (and a huge irony for me, who has covered IT networking — including the data center — for longer than I care to admit, and remember when data centers were likened to the grumpy old uncle who no one wanted to sit next to at Thanksgiving dinner).

Today’s sessions will explore the realm of possibilities and probabilities in the data center space as told by Avnet and Cisco, along with a special session by Avnet and NetApp on FlexPod (is there impending news, perhaps?). My panel will bring together two Cisco and two Avnet folks to discuss data center and it’s relationship with cloud, vertical markets, services and the ever-important channel. Should make for a lively discussion.

As I lace up my running shoes a million questions are racing through my mind (pun only partially intended). It’s gonna be a busy day. The data center has never before looked so sexy. Stay tuned.

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