Accelerating Storage Mirroring

NetEx plans to build an indirect channel this year based on the proposition that resellers will want to boost their customers’ IP-based storage networks.

The Minneapolis-based StorageTek spinoff has been a direct seller for the most part, especially when it came to the company’s legacy products inherited a half-dozen years ago. NetEx’s HyperPowered IP, which debuted in November, is a different animal. Robert MacIntyre, NetEx’s vice president of business development and marketing, said he sees a role for partners in selling the product, which accelerates TCP applications via long-haul IP networks.

NetEx believes resellers can better target the storage administrators likely to purchase HyperPowered IP—or Hyper IP for short. The company now pursues resellers on a worldwide basis, having signed a few deals already in Europe and Asia/Pacific. This year, the U.S. will be a particular focus of the company’s channel-building activities, MacIntyre said.

“We’ve challenged our sales reps to go and … sign the largest resellers possible that work directly with the storage vendors,” MacIntyre said. Those vendor ties are important since Hyper IP generally piggybacks off of other components of a storage solution. MacIntyre cited the example of British Petroleum, which has purchased 11 Hyper IP units.

Hyper IP may be used to accelerate such applications as EMC‘s SRDF/Adaptive Copy, Network Appliance Inc.‘s SnapMirror and SnapVault, and NSI Software‘s Double-Take among other supported products. In addition, Oracle Corp. may soon test Hyper IP in conjunction with Oracle’s Data Guard disaster recovery solution.

“The pull is the application,” MacIntyre said.

And the pull for resellers is the ability to address customers’ business continuity challenges in the IP world.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents to a NetEx survey of IT managers cited Ethernet TCP/IP as the preferred transport business continuity/disaster recovery. But 65 percent said that their business continuity wide-area network throughput needs weren’t always being met. A similar portion observed that business continuity needs were growing faster than bandwidth could keep up.

That’s where NetEx’s accelerator steps in.

“The results were pretty clear that they want to use Ethernet and use existing IP infrastructure and avoid the cost of having separate, specialized networks,” MacIntyre said. He said he believes the survey validates the market NetEx now pursues.

The company’s task this year is to convince resellers of the same.

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