CompTIA Breakaway: Cloud Vendors on Parade

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Are you looking for the newest technology that could make the difference in your cloud computing practice? Here's a quick look at some of the vendors and technologies showcased at the CompTIA Breakaway event in Washington D.C., from disruptive full-stack networking-to-server operating systems to a Google Apps, Microsoft Sharepoint alternative from a vendor offering 50 percent margins.

Managed services and cloud computing took center stage at the CompTIA Breakaway conference in Washington DC this week, as standing-room-only cloud seminars attracted hundreds of IT solution providers and vendors took advantage of the opportunity to talk about their cloud wares. Here’s a look at some of the vendors and products at the event. 


This white label cloud-based backup and recovery provider which works exclusively with the channel has partnerships with PSA and RMM technology companies. The company provides the channel with a customer success program that includes 60-day onboarding training. Fees are charged on a per Gig basis, and partners set their own prices.  Billing data can be exported to their PSAs. The company claims 30 second hold times for support for its partners and 2,400 partners.

Zenith Infotech

Zenith Infotech unveiled a new "frequent flyer" program, awarding points to its 5,600 MSP partners for sales that they can later redeem for more services and technology. "They can even buy miles – it’s more or less a loyalty program," Maurice Saluan, senior vice president of sales, told Channel Insider.  Zenith Infotech also adjusted its business continuity pricing, offering back up for about 4 cents a Gig, Saluan said. The solution has seen particular success in verticals such as healthcare and retail which are bound to compliance regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and PCI (Payment Card Industry).

Saluan also teased taking Zenith Infotech’s Virtual Box solution to also support competitive hypervisors such as VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V.  The private cloud solution, introduced by the company in January, already claims 1,300 partners.  About 900 have the solution under a 90 day evaluation and 400 partners are in production mode currently.

Zenith Infotech is also introducing a network audit tool to its remote monitoring and management solution to provide MSPs with an assessment of the devices on the network. The company is also working on a PC backup solution, due to hit in Q4.


Spun off from solution provider ExternalIT, OS33 offers fully hosted IT-as-a-service offerings for MSP partners. In addition to the dashboard which allows MSPs to spin up any number of well-known server offering such as Sharepoint and email, OS33 also offers Webtop, a web-based desktop software browser based solution that provides a desktop experience for users on any browser. The company is also working on a native client for iPad.  OS33 partners with Savvis for co-location. It offer 24-hour support and managed backup. The company currently has 40 partners and 100,000 end points and is actively recruiting new partners with an eye to mature MSP companies. The bar starts at 300 end-users. Data centers are based in Santa Clara, Calif., New Jersey and Kansas.

Calyptix Security 

Providing a multipurpose all-in-one firewall that acts as router, firewall, intrusion detection and email filter, Calyptix offers a device that starts at $999 through its 250 partners and does 80 to 90 percent of its sales through the channel. "We are handing VARs a security toolbox," he told Channel Insider. "Normally they are handed a single product." The greatest challenge is the education gap in the SMB market as business owners see one solution for $100 and another for $1,000 and don’t know the difference. The company provides training to its partners, which include MSPs


The maker of chips for PCs was at CompTIA in force this year, talking about what it is doing to address the challenges of a more mobile workforce (think battery life and a more graphical mobile experience) as well as talk about its business models. AMD launched its first line of APUs at the beginning of 2011, Accelerated Graphics Technology, which puts the x86 processor and the graphics processing unit on a single chip, improving both battery life and performance.  The technology provides a fuller experience on netbook-like devices.  Tablets are planned by Acer and NSI.


Providing business email, document management, calendar, contact management, project management and intranet/extranet, all based in the cloud, HyperOffice is on a VAR/MSP recruitment initiative, looking for a few well-established partners in both North America and overseas, according to Andrew Brown, the company’s new Director of Channel Sales. Competitive with offerings from Microsoft and Google Apps, President Farzin Arsanjani told Channel Insider that end-user pricing and ROI beats Microsoft and is competitive with Google Apps. But more significantly for partners, in a time when Microsoft and Google are driving down the margins on cloud sales, HyperOffice is offering a 50 percent margin, on the first year and in subsequent years. "It’s a true partnership," Brown said. The solution is configurable and extensible. Partners can add value through integrations and building their own applications. Clients are also available for iPhone, Android and other mobile platforms.


ClearCenter was on the CompTIA exhibit floor, showcasing ClearBOX 100 line of all-in-one appliances for SMBs, which fill out its line of products for hybrid service providers. The company’s technology marries together the operating system for the entire stack, displacing the need for Microsoft Server or networking OSes. It also incorporates security technology including intrusion detection and prevention, firewall, antimalware, and content filtration, among others. Other products include the ClearOS Enterprise, a network, gateway and server OS designed to runs on standard x86 hardware. ClearCenter has a deep partnership with Intel, but is disruptive to companies such as Microsoft and Cisco, which would rather you buy their individual offerings and integrate them yourself. CEO Michael Proper, who has also founded IT service provider companies and IT financing companies, was recently appointed to serve as chair of the CompTIA Cloud/SaaS Community.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com