Avnet A/NZ is the first distributor in the region to be accepted into the Microsoft Cloud Operating System Network (COSN).
COSN is a group of Cloud service providers which collaborate with Microsoft to offer technically validated, Cloud-based infrastructure and application solutions.
Avnet Cloud Services business manager, Chris Farrow, said the process took three months of planning and three months intensive build work involving a large team and Microsoft resources.
“It is not like building a normal computing environment where you can go about it anyway you like. What this does is provide a certified platform, separate from Azure, that operates, looks and feels like the Microsoft public Cloud platform,” he added.
“To achieve that and ostensibly run a subset of the software stack from Azure itself requires a great deal of technical implementation and creation of a very specific environment that is explicitly set up to follow some fairly exacting standards, so you can run essentially the same software stack as Azure.”
It is in Microsoft’s interest for these environments to be reliable and deliver the same quality of service available in Azure itself. Thus the vendor committed its own resources to testing and validation throughout the process.
Avnet partners are now able to access Avnet’s implementation of the WAP management portal which will enable the creation and end to end management of complex Cloud environments.
The accreditation elevates the distributor from Gold hosting partner status to membership in the COSN alongside Optus and Melbourne IT.
Farrow explained that the benefit of setting up this private Cloud environment as opposed to simply reselling Azure public Cloud was that it gave resellers more options when setting up customer Cloud environments.
“Azure is sliced and diced in some very specific ways and that fits a lot of general purpose use cases but not all. The purpose of this environment is to compliment not to replace what Azure would otherwise do,” he said.
“A reseller may use this to create a tuned environment to support something that can’t be readily done in Azure, but still connect to it to do all the things Azure is excellent for. It provides an environment with components that may be readily supported on Azure, but others that may be better supported on this platform and allow the whole thing to work in a common way.
Farrow added that partners could split a customer workload across the two platforms in any way and both environments would look and feel the same.