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The Ethernet fabric thread

22 Nov 2012

Fully understanding Ethernet fabric can translate into new business and better margins says Graham Schultz, Brocade regional director for ANZ.

As more of the world’s data centres become virtualised, organisations are determined to maximise the benefits that this brings.

To secure these benefits, information technology organisations are turning to virtualisation solutions built around pools of flexible server and storage resources that can meet their dynamic business requirements.

While traditional IT management strategies focused on monitoring and managing hardware components, virtualisation allows organisations to concentrate on the application stack, ensuring  users have access to the tools and information they need, when they need it.

However, to implement a holistic data centre virtualisation strategy, these organisations need a new approach of a unified, end-to-end solution based on a powerful, reliable and scalable IT infrastructure.

Understanding the roadmap

The channel is now in an interesting position where it can work with technology providers and clients to design networks where IT can be harnessed to integrate the existing infrastructures with new solutions.

This creates a dynamic environment that better utilises appropriate data usage and ultimately leads to a more agile business environment.

The positives of virtualisation are becoming more clearly understood by business: improved hardware utilisation, rapid application deployment and increased workload mobility.

The challenges are also becoming more widely understood with many IT managers appreciating the management dilemmas that accompany the virtualised environment.

In an ideal world the channel needs to understand this roadmap to a virtualised environment and the benefits this can bring.

This includes the understanding of open standards infrastructure, the best practices required to ensure that your IT environment made up from applications, networks, computing and associated vendors is inter-operational and how the hard work with upfront planning of the network translates into a fully optimised virtual environment.

Education initiatives to help customers cut through the noise surrounding Ethernet fabrics and outline the benefits this new architecture can deliver in a highly virtualised data centre are underway.

The channel needs to be able to identify whether Ethernet fabric is suitable for specific clients and situations, and the drivers, components and integration tips needed for integrating Ethernet fabric into a traditional environment.

New footprints

Ethernet fabric is an emerging technology that not every organisation is familiar with and partners who are well educated on this topic can adopt the role of trusted adviser on this journey. It is also another opportunity to win new footprints into new accounts or expand existing account footprints.

This added value typically translates into better positive margin outcomes.

To help the customers’ end user and the channel on this final stage of the journey to virtualisation, a fast track certification training programme assists customers and channel partners to fully understand and deploy the solutions.

Based on a free one day course for customers and partners, it would certify all parties on Ethernet fabric technologies, rolling out new opportunities for technology integration and further protecting margins for value channel  partners.

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