Fujitsu, OnStor Take Swipe At NetApp

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Fujitsu inks agreement to resell OnStor's Bobcat NAS Gateway, pitting the vendor against market leader Network Appliance.

Network Appliance might want to prepare for a brawl.  Fujitsu's strategic alliance with OnStor, announced today, will allow the vendor to sell OnStor's Bobcat NAS Gateway with its own Eternus storage products.

Fujitsu and OnStor say the partnership will help wean customers from the pricey licensing and lengthy contracts of market leaders NetApp and EMC without sacrificing performance.

Cracking that market is no trivial feat, however. Analysts say the two market leaders have the midmarket and enterprise NAS and iSCSI SAN space mostly locked up.  An IDC report from the first quarter 2008 reports that, in the NAS market, EMC leads with 41.2 percent revenue share followed by Network Appliance with a 28.3 percent share. Net App continues to lead the iSCSI SAN market with 19.6 percent market share, followed by EMC with 17.4 percent, according to IDC.

But given VARs disdain for EMC and NetApp's notoriously high licensing fees and restrictive, long term contracts, the space may be ripe for competition. 

One Maryland-based NetApp VAR,  who asked not to be identified, says both NetApp and EMC products hit customers like an addiction -- it 's simple to implement and integrate entire solutions, but once they're in  place, the software license fees are exorbitant and it is difficult move customers off of the entrenched technology.

According to Dave Egan, senior vice president of storage at Fujitsu, the OnStor agreement creates an alternative for customers and also stakes a serious claim for more North American marketshare for Fujitsu independent of its existing global reseller agreement with NetApp. 

"This is a major strategic move for us to grow our market share in North America.  As that grows, our NetApp relationship won't go away, but we won't be marketing or relying on it as heavily," says Egan.

Egan says reselling the same products as NetApp in North America was problematic, and created friction for both Fujitsu and smaller NetApp channel partners.  With the new agreement, Fujitsu becomes OnStor's largest North American reseller, says Tom Gallivan, senior vice president of worldwide sales at OnStor.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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