Avnet Adds LeftHand to Storage Rolls

The deal stands to benefit VARs building storage solutions on HP and IBM servers.

Tech distributor Avnet is bolstering its storage lineup with the addition this week of iSCSI storage area network products from LeftHand Networks, of Boulder, Colo.

The agreement calls for Avnet to distribute LeftHands full line of products—including its own appliance as well as its SAN/iQ storage clustering software—as part of Avnets growing storage practice. The LeftHand products are aimed at resellers building SANs and developing virtualization and consolidation solutions based around Hewlett-Packard and IBM x86 servers, according to Avnet officials in Phoenix.

"The deal between Avnet and LeftHand networks offers our VARs an opportunity to deliver technology that leverages the HP and IBM servers that they are already selling," said Mario Arjona, Avnets partner relationship manager for new business development. "LeftHands technology is focused on optimizing and simplifying storage for midmarket and enterprise customers, which is an area of strength for our partners."

Arjona added that the LeftHand solution can be provided to their existing accounts as a part of an overall consolidation strategy that includes additional hardware, software and services.

According to Jeff Bawol, Avnets senior vice president for enterprise software and storage, combining enterprise-class x86 servers with LeftHands SAN/iQ storage clustering software will allow VARs to build highly virtualized, easy-to-deploy SANs for their end users. The resulting iSCSI SANs are scalable and boast high availability, and they can be centrally managed for added efficiency and reliability, Bawol said.

Arjona added that, "LeftHands open approach means VARs can build enterprise-class storage solutions based on their customers choice of hardware."


LeftHand upgrades SAN/iQ. Click here to read more.

The Avnet-LeftHand partnership positions the pair well in a hot area for solution providers. "There has been explosive growth in the iSCSI market over the past year, as evidenced by industry reports," said Arjona, who noted IDC figures showing the iSCSI SAN market growing by 144 percent, to $746 million last year. The market is expected to grow to some $5 billion by 2010, according to IDC. Avnets storage practice specialists will provide systems integration work for LeftHands iSCSI SAN appliance and x86 servers. Additional services will include Avnets Consolidation Impact Assessment Services to help partners assess users IT environments, provide total cost of ownership analysis, and recommend appropriate solutions and services.

Partners can then work with Avnet to design, architect and implement a complete storage virtualization and consolidation strategy.

"The VARs gaining the most benefit from LeftHands technology will be those with strategic alliances with VMware, Microsoft, HP and IBM," said a LeftHand Networks spokesperson. "Because our product requires some services at install, service capable VARs will benefit from our solutions as well."


Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.