Somehow The VAR Guy let this distribution news slip out of his lasso last week. Westcon Group has deepened its relationship with networking company Brocade to put Brocade's virtualization networking solutions into Westcon's LEAP Centers. What does that mean for VARs working with Brocade and Westcon? For starters, training just got easier …

With the "full spectrum" of Brocade's portfolio deployed in Westcon's LEAP "Centers of Excellence," VARs can get hands-on time using Brocade's solutions inside a fully emulated real-world data center environment. Everything from private cloud builds to network virtualization is at their disposal, ensuring VARs are ready for any opportunity that comes their way. Switches, wireless routers, top-of-rack management and more are additionally accessible for any unique tests that VARs would want to perform on the hardware.

Westcon believes this is exactly what VARs are looking for. According to Andrew Warren, VP of Westcon Group …
“While virtualization and cloud computing are certainly top-of-mind for many companies, most have little insight as to how it will actually perform within their infrastructures … partners require a highly interactive, hands-on experience that mirrors their customers’ real-world data center environments. That’s where our LEAP initiative comes in.”
That's a sentiment that was echoed by Symantec regarding opportunities around its tablet DLP announcement. And Westcon stresses the LEAP Centers offer more than an adult playground of networking equipment -- they also provide business planning, along with education on leveraging vendor solution sets, including taking advantage of any enablement opportunities that are available.

But don't take my word for it. If you're interested, check out where there's a LEAP Center near you. While you're at it, check out Brocade's portfolio and partner program, along with Westcon Group's own partner program. As The VAR Guy witness at Interop, the world of network virtualization is ramping up.