IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Ingram Micro Partners with CenturyLink, HPE, and VMware on Hosted Private Cloud Solution

The new as-a-service offering, which is the first member of Ingram’s hybrid solutions portfolio to run on managed, offsite infrastructure, lets businesses enjoy the benefits of a private cloud infrastructure without shouldering the hardware support costs. By Rich Freeman

Ingram Micro Inc. has added a hosted, consumption-priced private cloud solution for SMBs to its hybrid solutions portfolio.

The new offering, which combines hardware, software, and services from CenturyLink, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and VMware Inc., debuted during the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor’s annual ONE conference, which wrapped up in National Harbor, Md., today.

Built, managed, monitored, and secured by CenturyLink and delivered by Ingram Micro, the system runs on dedicated hyperconverged hardware in a single-tenant environment housed within one of four CenturyLink data centers. That delivery model lets businesses unwilling to use public cloud resources due to security or compliance concerns enjoy the greater control afforded by private clouds without shouldering onsite hardware support costs, according to Karl Connolly, chief technologist for major accounts at Ingram.

“From a cost perspective, it’s much more efficient,” he says, noting that Ingram partners who resell the new system also benefit from having CenturyLink handle hardware support.

“They want to get out of the managing infrastructure game and be able to focus on the business of delivering value,” Connolly says. MSPs can also collect recurring revenue administering the solution’s virtualized infrastructure, as well as the workloads that run on top of it, he adds.

Backed by 99.9 percent uptime SLA from CenturyLink, the system comes with a consolidated management interface, and allows the businesses that use it to add capacity by plugging more hyperconverged servers into their existing environment.

The solution utilizes hyperconverged HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 servers offering integrated compute, storage, and memory. Those devices come with dual, 14-core Intel Scalable processors, eight 32GB RAM modules, four 3.84TB solid-state drives, an 800GB solid-state cache drive, and an HPE 10Gb Ethernet adapter.

VMware’s contribution is its Cloud Foundation solution, which includes pre-integrated implementations of VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX, and VMware vRealize Suite.

Until now, all of the private cloud options in Ingram’s hybrid solutions portfolio have utilized on-premises hardware from vendors like HPE and Dell EMC. The system unveiled this week is the distributor’s first hosted offering. CenturyLink was the ideal company to partner with on the product because it offers cloud infrastructure services in addition to connectivity, according to Ingram Executive Director for Major Accounts John Tonthat.

“[That] really makes their solutions a great deal more unique, because they can bundle the network as well as the compute,” he says. In addition, Connolly notes, CenturyLink resells public cloud infrastructure from providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, and can help businesses turn their private cloud deployment into a hybrid environment with centralized administration through a consolidated interface.

According to Tonthat, CenturyLink is currently the number two provider of network services in the U.S. Ingram is the first distributor it has partnered with on a hosted private cloud offering.

Pre-packaged solutions aimed at meeting customer demand in areas like networking and security are currently on Ingram’s hybrid solutions roadmap. “Not all future hybrid solutions are going to be purely infrastructure as a service,” Tonthat says. “We’re listening to the market, and listening more importantly to our partners.”

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