Having built a successful channel at EqualLogic, and therefore given at least some of the credit for equipping Dell with its first legitimate channel program when it bought the iSCSI storage vendor, Rich Shea knows a thing or two about the partner ecosystem. Currently GreenBytes’ (www.getgreenbytes.com) vice president of worldwide sales, he says the channel is absolutely critical to his company’s success in the data storage market.

“There’s no way we can achieve the level of growth, customer acquisition and brand building without leveraging the channel partnerships,” Shea said. So the company, which opened its doors in 2007 and is based in Ashaway, R.I., is channel only, and recruiting partners, especially those newly acquired by Dell EqualLogic and EMC Data Domain. “We’re actively recruiting former partners of mine from EqualLogic that aren’t happy with the acquisition… (and Data Domain) that feel alienated.”

GreenBytes, which currently has around 60 partners, is looking for solution providers that have experience in either primary storage or in backup and deduplication, says Shea. “We’re going to trusted business advisors, showing them the capabilities and price points, the partner program, the high levels of margins (registered deals make almost 35% more versus non-registered).” The formula is simple, he says: create the deal and get rewarded!

Recognizing that not all partners are created equal, the company has created a collaborative “sell-with” channel model. It’s all about the customer experience, and GreenBytes will provide as little or as much support as a partner needs to ensure a satisfied customer. You can’t take a one-size fits all approach, he says. “If a partner isn’t experienced, then it will be GreenBytes that will be doing the heavy lifting,” says Shea.

At the end of March the company rolled out an SMB addition to its GB-X Series of high-performance, energy-efficient inline deduplication data storage appliances. A four terabyte SSD accelerated SAN and NAS appliance, the GB-1000 features a highly competitive price point while delivering real-time deduplication and restore performance, especially in virtualized environments where efficiencies of disk can reach 50 or 60 to 1, says Shea.

The GB-1000 specs include: 1U chassis with 6GB RAM; 8 drive slots with 2.5″ 500GB drives for 4TB total capacity; can scale from 4TB via enhanced disk drive densities; and ingest and restore rate starting at 150MB/s = 0.54TB/hr. The GB-X series also includes the GB-2000 and GB-4000 series platforms that permit real-time, on-the-fly deduplication of file blocks as they are stored, expanding the scope of applications into primary storage, as well as backup.

GreenBytes has a great channel story, insists Shea. We have a series of high-performance inline deduplicating appliances that are fantastic in the traditional dedupe market when positioned against solutions from Data Domain, providing “higher scalability, higher levels of performance at significantly reduced costs.”  Even better, he expects inline deduplication to become the standard within the next few years, giving his company a head start on the competition. But the icing on the cake is that while its strength is in deduplication, GreenBytes’ appliances also fit very well into the traditional storage space. “We have a very utilitarian storage device that just happens to perform inline deduplication at the file level.”

Targeted at SMBs , branch offices and remote locations, the  GB-1000 is an ideal solution for anybody looking to squeeze more out of their resources, he says. GreenBytes’ products have a “high wow factor” so it’s out getting in front of partners and customers as much as possible, and this activity is already paying dividends in the pipeline and deal closings, says Shea.

Looking ahead, he’s bullish about the opportunities. “With the economy still getting back on its feet, the marketplace is looking for efficiencies anywhere they can get it,” He expects smart companies to adopt smart technologies.

“We can be 3, 4 or 5x more efficient than the device we’re replacing.” That’s a pretty compelling value proposition in any economy, he says.