Electronic data discovery is an interesting topic for the IT space. Rooted in the legal world, discovery refers to the process of searching an organization’s documents for information pertinent to a pending trial or lawsuit. Historically, it’s involved a small army of paralegals descending on a company and spending days or weeks (or longer) combing file cabinets and boxed records for letters, communications, etc., that lawyers need to prepare for a case. Continued »
We know there’s a lot of interest out there in the idea of cloud storage services, but what does it take to actually launch them?
To help answer that question, I had a conversation with ParaScale CEO Sajai Krishnan, former GM of NetApp’s StoreVault business unit, a few days ago about the company’s cloud storage software. It’s one of a handful of companies (other companies in this space include Bycast, Mezeo and Caringo) that sell software that can be used as the platform for a cloud storage service.
As Krishnan explains it, MSPs and resellers can set up “high-touch” cloud storage services pretty cheaply, charging 40 to 50 cents per gigabyte per month, in exchange for reliable (backed up and redundant via your data centers/colocation facilities) file storage over a fast network. Compare that to the 15 cents a gigabyte per month for Amazon S3, with that traffic running over and data living on the anonymous Internet. Continued »
A down economy may force you to do something you’ll be glad you did, like sell services. If you’re only talking about professional services tied to hardware and software sales — and running into prospects who don’t have the budget they used to, you may be walking away disappointed. Capital expenditures are the first to go when companies tighten the belt.
Not to worry. Instead, sell them a service. Continued »
Here’s a new approach: Show your customers how they can spend less money with you. Now, before you dismiss this idea and hit the Back button, read on a little. Your customers have less money than they did a year or two ago. They really DO need to spend less on infrastructure, on power, on headcount, on everything. The problem is that whenever they tell a VAR they can’t afford something, most think it’s either a negotiating ploy to get the price down or that they’re not talking to a person that’s high enough in the organization. Continued »
Last week, SearchStorage.com ran a story written by my colleague Beth Pariseau about Dataram’s new caching appliance, XcelaSAN. The appliance sits between a Fibre Channel switch and a storage array, using flash and DRAM memory to speed performance. The company is targeting midsize businesses and departments within larger companies that have revenue tied to application performance.
I talked to one of Dataram’s resellers (they currently have five and are recruiting more): Scott Hansen, sales manager for the enterprise solutions group at Melillo Consulting, based in Somerset, N.J. Hansen said that the XcelaSAN makes more sense for midrange arrays – EMC’s Clariion or HP’s EVA, for example – than a high-end one. Continued »
Despite the fact that overallocation of storage capacity is extremely wasteful, it’s still a common practice. Storage managers use it to eliminate the complex and time-consuming task of expanding storage for certain OSes and applications. An alternative to this approach is thin provisioning. As I explained in my last Tech Refresh blog post, thin provisioning allows a larger amount of storage space to be virtually allocated to a server than is physically assigned. The storage space is physically assigned only as it is actually used.
Thin provisioning addresses the basic pain point of unused and wasted capacity and, for many, enables a fundamental benefit of shared storage — using only what you need and having more available for growth.
Selling thin provisioning products is a good play for VARs because it’s a disruptive technology. Continued »
As a VAR, you’ve got to keep up with technology, for sure. But you also have to be aware of what you’re taking on, from a technical perspective. As vendors sometimes are not aware, each new product represents a real commitment for you in sales engineer training, sales training and eventually installation (and sometimes, tech support), should you decide to really focus on that product.
That said, bringing new products in the door for your customers can be a big part of your value as a value-added reseller. With that in mind, I’m going to launch a new series of blog posts titled “Tech Refresh,” in which I’ll focus on a technology that you may not be selling but that you should probably consider. Continued »
As I mentioned in my previous entry, manufacturers selling integration services isn’t new. They’ve all sold some form of services from the beginning — be it installation of their own products or integration of their products with complementary products from other manufacturer partners. Often these services were resold by a VAR partner or sold in conjunction with a VAR’s professional services engagement to put in another piece of equipment.
VARs can and should play the “independence card” when competing with a manufacturer in a deal. But there also may be an opportunity here. Continued »
Recently, another large (three-initial) storage hardware manufacturer announced it’s going to start selling services. What does that mean for VARs whose focus is to offer service-based engagements? Continued »
Originally, VMware supported only Fibre Channel as a shared storage protocol. With VMware 3.x, iSCSI and NFS were added. Now users have (even) more decisions to consider when choosing a storage technology for their virtual environments.
That’s your cue. As the options increase, so does your customer’s need for your services. Continued »