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VirtualNet IronApp expand partnership

Virtual Iron and NetApp Storevault storage are expanding their partnership. In this latest development, StoreVault has been certified for Virtual Iron’s server virtualization software.

This is actually mildly exciting news for CIOs. The partnership should free up storage space, help implement storage virtualization and improve data protection. The consolidation and virtualization will cut down on power and cooling costs, while beefed-up data protection is never anything to sneeze at. If IT flexibility is your thing, StoreVault says this partnership has it in spades.

In your mandatory take-it-for-what-it’s-worth PR quote, Sajai Krishnan, general manager of the StoreVault division, says: “Midmarket customers are looking to server and storage virtualization for the same reason as large enterprises – to reduce data center complexity and increase IT flexibility.”

And David Roden, director of technology for the law firm Goodell DeVries Leech and Dann LPP – and pleased NetApp and Virtual Iron customer – says, “The fit between Virtual Iron and StoreVault is about as close to pure plug and play as it gets.”

A quick call to Tim Walsh, director of corporate marketing with Virtual Iron, revealed that plug and play doesn’t mean channel-less. ”Both products are sold through our channel partners, and we feel there is a lot of value in buying both products together,” Walsh said. ”The packaged solution reduces complexity for midmarket businesses.”

But if the products’ plug and play-i-ness is being stressed to CIOs, will there be a lot of return business to the channel pro who sold them the solution? Or will the purchase – and possibly installation services – be the last time those chicanerous salesmen are called to the site?

-Brian

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Sure, they sell it through the channel, but just reselling products doesn't really make much money for partners. Partners rake in the dough with advanced services, and merely filling the "plug" component of a plug-and-play device isn't likely to demand much of a premium from customers.
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Does that mean that as vendors make their products easier to use for customers to use, channel partners are starting to get cut out of the loop? CIOs in the midmarket are likely to have some kind of a staff working for them who could likely handle any issue that crops up down the road with a product. Are NetApp and Virtual Iron tossing scraps from the table to the channel who are increasingly becoming one hit wonders with customers? Or are there still legitimate needs for CIOs to contract with VARs et al?
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Agreed. At SearchStorageChannel.com, we did a roundup of best practices for bundling storage and server virtualization services. Hopefully some of those ideas will show you the money a little faster.
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Vendors will never make their on-premise products so easy to use that the channel gets squeezed out. There will always be advanced, specific IT needs that a general midmarket IT staff can't handle. The trend towards Software as Service is more of a threat to squeeze out VARs, especially because they're competing for the same midmarket audience.
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