Reldata, which has a new CEO in Steven Murphy (recently of Plasmon), is abandoning its hybrid distribution model and will rely only on channel partners to sell its unified storage systems. Lanie Kruger, channel/business development director, said that the company has found that it’s more cost-effective to sell to its target customers – midmarket IT organizations — through its channel partners rather than via an internal sales force. Continued »
I recently read Beth Pariseau’s excellent report on the EMC/Cisco/VMware Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) alliance, and I’m not sure what to make of this news. On one hand, it’s always a little disconcerting when the biggest players get together and form an even bigger player, especially when their objective is to provide integration — something most storage VARs rely on to stay in business. But this may not be all bad for VARs. Continued »
In Storage magazine’s Purchasing Intentions survey of hundreds of storage buyers, file virtualization made the list of the top 10 techs that respondents said are on their list of current projects. More than 50% of respondents said they have already implemented or evaluated file virtualization this year or have plans to do so.
File virtualization, like block storage virtualization, abstracts the users from the physical storage by inserting a logical layer between clients and file servers. Continued »
Storage magazine’s most recent Purchasing Intentions survey, which I mentioned in my last post, showed increased interest in storage virtualization, even though it still lags behind server virtualization in most shops. Survey respondents cited difficulty and expense as the main reasons for its slower adoption. For VARs, these are magic words, as complexity drives demand for integration and discourages end users from the do-it-yourself path. Likewise, concerns about expense mean users should be open to alternative solutions that can save money over their existing disk solution.
According to the survey, 61% of respondents have virtualized some of their block storage, and 18% have all their block storage virtualized. Continued »
Storage Fusion, a U.K.-based startup with roots in storage analytics, has an SRM SaaS offering that VARs and MSPs may be interested in. The company’s master plan is to have a thousand customers for its flat-rate Storage Resource Analysis product in two years. SRA can either be hosted by MSPs in their data center, or VARs and integrators can resell the services provided by another hosting company. (Storage Fusion doesn’t host the software itself.)
The results from Storage magazine’s most recent Purchasing Intentions survey brings up a couple things that should interest storage VARs. While there is still a recession on and budgets are certainly tight, opportunities are there. As an example, the average storage budget allocation is broken out as follows:
39% Disk hardware
13% Maintenance fees
12% Storage software [including backup software]
8% Storage network hardware
7% Professional services
7% Removable media [tapes] Continued »
As a VAR, don’t you hate it when you uncover a great prospect for a primary disk solution that you sell, only to find out one of the other (many) authorized VARs in your geographic region already has it registered? Ever been on the phone from your car trying to get ahold of your disk vendor’s rep so you can register a deal, when you just left a meeting with a great prospect?
Or, how about when you have the registration and one of these bozos decides to take the deal at zero margin, to “get a foothold” in the account? Continued »
Cloud storage services provider Nirvanix rolled out a channel partner program this week. The company has a direct sales force that concentrates on the Fortune 100, but Geoff Tudor, co-founder and senior vice president of strategy and business development, sees significant demand in the SME market, which he defines as companies with 500 to 2,000 employees. (The company has an account registration program in place so VARs with existing relationships in the Fortune 100 can continue to sell into those companies.) Continued »
In the last post, I went into a conversation I had with some IT folks in attendance at SNW about what was missing from their SNW experience. They basically said that in the current budget climate they were more interested in ways to NOT buy more infrastructure and wait out the economy for the next couple years.
Postponing disk purchases is a great way to do this, if they can find a way to get more storage space on their existing disk drives. Last time we looked at several tools that can help find unused storage space in your infrastructure. Now we’re going to look at getting more performance without buying more spindles. Continued »
While at SNW a few weeks ago, I spent some quality time with several IT professionals from two Phoenix-area municipalities. The discussion turned to how they liked the show and what they thought of the products and technology they were seeing. “Are you getting info on products that you need?” I asked. They made it clear that while there were certainly some interesting seminars and presentations, they weren’t seeing everything they needed.
In this climate of budget cuts or zero budget growth, what would help them is to see products that improve storage efficiency: those that can enable them to extend the useful life of existing storage infrastructure a couple more years. Since a big driver for storage purchases is running out of capacity, finding a way to increase effective capacity on existing arrays could postpone storage purchases.
We joked about how this topic was decidedly unsexy and not likely to get much attention from manufacturers. Here’s where the smart storage VAR could step in. By taking these concerns to heart and finding some alternatives, you could solve an immediate issue for them and capture a customer for the long term.
As we explained in a recent article “Doing more with less moneya few well-spent dollars can give an IT organization the ability to postpone a bigger storage purchase. Real-time tools that identify over-allocated LUNs or VMDK files could “find” a lot of free space. ” Tek-Tools, Logic Monitor and Akorri all have products in this space. Another solution from DynamicOps can establish an automated process for creating new VMs and allocating resources efficiently from the get-go.
Another way to achieve the same objective is provided by Storwize. The company’s solution gives you in-line data reduction of 65% or more for primary and secondary storage via NFS and CIFS. Using the “penny saved is a penny earned” rationale, putting this appliance in front of a NAS can increase available storage right away, without buying more disk. And, when a storage upgrade is eventually purchased, the Storwize appliance can increase that capacity as well.
The point is that even though your customers may not have much budget now, they do have needs. If you can get creative and show them solutions that provide some relief and improve their storage efficiency, at a reasonable price point, you can demonstrate your value as a supplier that understands their pain.
In our next post we’ll look at another driver for storage purchases, performance upgrades, and some alternatives to throwing disk at the problem.