Avaya is teaming with EMC and VMware on Collaboration Pods to speed cloud
deployments for enterprises and cloud service providers. The technology, Avaya Collaboration Pod for Avaya Aura Virtualized Environments, is a new model for deploying real-time virtualized communication and collaboration applications.
With its just introduced solution, the company is offering a full stack, plug and play communications and collaboration platform that reduces deployment time from days or months to hours. The Collaboration Pods cut or eliminate long planning cycles, extensive cabling, integration testing and optimization phases, Avaya said.
"Avaya Collaboration Pods are already proving their value to enterprises and cloud service providers who are accelerating time to service, reducing data center complexity and improving application availability," said Marc Randall, senior vice president and general manager of Avaya Networking. "Working with EMC and VMware, this turnkey deployment model for Avaya Aura continues Avaya's strategy to provide high performance communications and collaboration applications that are easy to deploy, use and manage from data center to desktop and mobile devices."
A Powerful Partnership
The company is making its Collaboration Pods available in flexible configurations to match the capacity, services and reliability requirements of the customer's business. Each Collaboration Pod comes equipped with: Avaya Aura Virtualized Environment and Pod Orchestration Suite software pre-loaded as virtual appliances and VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0 compliant compute servers deployed in a High Availability Cluster.
Anton Prenneis, a technology evangelist for OEM Solutions at EMC, said embedding the company's VNX unified storage and information management products within the Avaya Collaboration Pod gives enterprises and service providers "simpler, more integrated and easy-to-deploy communications solutions which will no longer require separate set-up and configuration of SANs to store, manage, protect and analyze the valuable information found in collaboration sessions."
The pod also includes EMC's VNX 5300 unified storage array; Avaya's VSP 7000 with its Distributed Top of Rack capability to interconnect multiple Collaboration Pods and/or external server racks; and Avaya G450 Gateway for Digital Signal Processing/PSTN connectivity.
The company is also offering options to add the Avaya Aura Messaging Server and the Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise. And the collaboration software provider also introduced the Pod Orchestration Suite, which aims to simplify ongoing operations through a single interface for managing all Pod components.
"By combining Avaya Aura core reliability with the high availability features of VMware vSphere, Avaya is creating a turnkey UC platform that enables enterprises and service providers to quickly and easily deploy virtualized applications to reduce cost and complexity," said Parag Patel, vice president, Global Strategic Alliances at VMware.
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, said the collaboration makes sense for all three companies.
"What I think customers look for when deploying cloud infrastructure are pre-configured, pre-integrated, pre-tested solutions," Kerravala told us. "That's very much the way Oracle goes to market with Exadata or Cisco with UCS."
Avaya for some time has been working to strike a partnership with EMC and VMware. Kerravala said most customers deploying a cloud pod want to use VMware's virtual infrastructure and EMC, so it makes sense to have a formal partnership among the three companies.
"I know some people looked at this partnership as a slap against Cisco, but I don't think this had much to do with Cisco. When you look at what's in it for EMC and VMware, Avaya does have the largest share of business handsets. They have about a quarter of the market," Kerravala said. "VMware and EMC can't only partner with Cisco, so I don't look at it as a slap in Cisco's face as much as a validation for what Avaya is doing."
The Avaya Collaboration Pods are now available in the US, Canada and European Union countries. Avaya Companies can also select the Avaya Aura Virtualized Environment software-only model or the traditional, appliance model.