Avnet’s (AVT) Technology Solutions (ATS) unit has signed a distribution agreement with Nimble Storage, maker of flash-optimized hybrid storage solutions.

Under terms of the agreement, Avnet gains access to Nimble’s entire portfolio of hybrid storage arrays, and, in exchange, Nimble will be able to take advantage of Avnet’s network of channel partners to expand the reach of its SmartStack converged infrastructure solution. For now, the deal is confined to Avnet’s channel partners in North America, but the vendor said it wants to expand the agreement to other geographic regions.

Kristin Carnes, Nimble Channel sales director, said the Avnet deal shows the storage vendor’s commitment to the channel.

“This distribution agreement with Avnet is a clear indicator of Nimble’s commitment to being a channel-centric company,” she said. “We are striving to provide our partner ecosystem with the flexibility needed to meet end user demands, and the go-to-market programs and training required to drive increased profitability from selling and deploying Nimble storage solutions.”

Nimble’s SmartStack is a series of pre-validated reference architectures constructed in concert with vendors such as Cisco Systems (CSCO), Citrix (CTXS), CommVault (CVLT), Microsoft (MSFT) and VMware (VMW). The idea is to minimize the challenges associated with deploying application, server, hypervisor, networking and storage components as an integrated solution.

The SmartStack solutions, aimed at midmarket customers, are positioned as cost effective, best-of-breed flash optimized storage, the company noted. Nimble first offered its SmartStack integrated solution in October 2012 with a VMware and Cisco platform certified by both companies.

Nimble said it will back Avnet’s sales, field sales, technical and product marketing support of its storage solutions supplied through the distributor’s supplier business acceleration group, with training and demand generation programs of its own. The vendor will offer channel partners expanded quote and configuration services, access to a dedicated team for onboarding, enablement and support, financial services options, and configuring and testing validation for SmartStack solutions.

“Adding Nimble Storage solutions to our portfolio for Connected and Secured Solutions is a great benefit to our solution provider partners,” said Scott Look, ATS Connected and Secured Solutions vice president and general manager. “Our solution-based distribution model provides Nimble partners and their customers with an opportunity to improve business performance with innovative storage solutions.”