Avnet, Inc.'s North American Data Center Stands the Test of Time; Celebrates 25thAnniversary
Data center evolves to support substantial technology advancements and business growth
PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Avnet, Inc. (NYS: AVT) , a leading global technology distributor, celebrated the 25th anniversary of its main North American data center in October. Since opening in 1987, the award-winning data center has played a critical role in supporting Avnet's global business in more than 70 countries. This milestone recognizes Avnet's continuous ability to adapt and manage its information technology (IT) infrastructure to meet growing and dynamic business needs, as well as use technology innovations to increase the company's operational efficiency.
Over the past 25 years, the data center's capabilities have been scaled to support the company's growth from $1.5 billion in annual sales and 9,500 employees in 1987, to $25.7 billion in revenues and more than 17,000 employees worldwide today. The data center has also undergone significant growth during this time too. In 1987, approximately 25 employees worked at the data center; the facility housed approximately five servers; data storage was calculated in gigabytes; and the data center was cooled with a series of pipes pumping water throughout the building. Today, the data center is operated by approximately 100 employees and houses approximately 1,700 servers, manages approximately one petabyte in data storage and is cooled by the first air-side economizer in the Southwest. This air conditioning system uses outside air from the Sonoran Desert and special low voltage motors and compressors to provide an energy efficient way to maintain the low temperatures needed.
"The data center has not only supported Avnet's business and geographic growth, but it has helped to accelerate it by increasing operational efficiencies and employee productivity," said Steve Phillips, senior vice president and CIO, Avnet, Inc. "The data center has been at the heart of technology innovations that have created a foundation for our global business and connected our employees with customers and suppliers worldwide. It's amazing to think that less than 25 years ago the data center team was focused on the mainstream introduction of personal computers for employees. Today, the team is providing our employees with anytime, anywhere connectivity with smartphones, laptops and tablets through Avnet's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. While it's impossible to predict how technology will evolve in the next 25 years, Avnet's data center and IT team will be ready, if not a step ahead, of what is to come."
There have been hundreds of transformations within Avnet's data center over the last quarter of a century. Most notably, the data center team began an IT initiative in 2005 to reduce Avnet's environmental impact under the leadership of Brad Kenney, vice president of enterprise infrastructure for Avnet, Inc. As a part of this initiative, the team implemented a wide variety of both innovative and practical projects that have improved the power efficiency of Avnet's data center operations. These projects included a new data storage management system, virtualization, a system hibernation script, green lighting, physical improvements, and video conferencing. As a direct result of this initiative, Avnet has saved millions of dollars and avoided a multi-million dollar power build out to the data center.
Avnet's data center and its team have been recognized with multiple awards. These include the CIO 100, Phoenix Business Journal CIO Award, Computerworld Top 12 Green-IT Organization, Best Practices in Storage Award from SNW, Best Practices in Green IT Award from Computerworld, and Best Practices Award in Enterprise Data Warehousing from The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI).
View Avnet's 25th anniversary data center infographic: http://avnet.me/17308
Read about Avnet's approach to IT on the Behind the Firewall blog: http://blogging.avnet.com/weblog/cioinsights/
Learn more about Avnet's perspective on the IT market through its Tech Trends video series: http://www.avnetondemand.com/
Follow Avnet on Twitter: @AvnetComms
Avnet, Inc. (NYS: AVT) , a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology serving customers globally. Avnet accelerates its partners' success by connecting the world's leading technology suppliers with a broad base of customers by providing cost-effective, value-added services and solutions. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, Avnet generated revenue of $25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.avnet.com.
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