Avnet offers VARs CapacityNow through IaaS program

Tony Vottima Avnet

Tony Vottima, Avnet's HP solutions group chief

Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions has introduced CapacityNow, an infrastructure-as-a-service play for the distributor’s HP VARs in the U.S. and Canada.

Under the program, solution providers can offer customers blade servers and storage on a per-use basis, allowing customers to build out infrastructure that are built to meet peek demand, but priced at average demand with extra capacity being paid for as needed. CapacityNow will be available in both cloud-based and on-premise versions, making it a unique infrastructure as a service pitch for solution providers, said Tony Vottima, senior vice president and general manager of Avnet Technology Solutions’ Americas HP solutions group.

“It gives the end user the chance to purchase equipment without making a capital investment,” Vottima said. “In the debate of ‘do I put it on prem or do I go to the cloud,’ it fits right into the middle and allows them to acquire usage and capacity.”

Vottima said CapacityNow fits nicely into each of the verticals Avnet focuses on with its SolutionsPath family of offerings – retail, finance, healthcare, energy, and government. Especially government, where Vottima said the company is seeing a great deal of interest because of the ability to acquire computing assets without committing to multi-year budgets.

“Each industry has a unique reason for why this fits with them,” Vottima said, whether those reasons are for data security and ownership, availability or budgetary reasons. Through SolutionsPath, Avnet will provide sector-specific education and training, Vottima said.

While the idea of infrastructure as a service is nothing new, Vottima said that the ability to have the infrastructure on-site and have the buffer built in, but to only pay for it on a utility basis, combined with tight management and services from Avnet or solutions providers to keep things optimized amounts to a unique offering.

And for VARs, it looks like a product sale – partners get their money on the hardware sold on a capacity basis right away, while the distributor handles financing of the equipment and monthly usage fees for the gear.

In the beginning, it will largely be Avnet providing the monitoring and management services behind the capacity-on-demand offering, but resellers will soon be taking the lead on that while Avnet will be focused on providing the service for resellers who choose not to take it on themselves, part of the distributor’s strategy of “backfilling” solution providers’ own services capabilities.

It’s from resellers taking advantage of the opportunity to provide the management and monitoring of these IaaS deployments that CapacityNow will ultimately get scalability, Vottima suggested. While Avnet itself might have limitations on how many customers it can support with such proactive services, as partners get involved “it scales just because of the nature of the channel,” Vottima suggested.