When it comes to storage the small-to-medium (SMB) business market has always been a bruising Battle Royale between such heavyweights as EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and NetApp did battle with a small army of smaller vendors such as FalconStor, Netgear and Drobo.
But in recent months there have been two developments that could significantly alter the channel landscape in the SMB storage space. The first is the long-expected parting of the ways of Dell and EMC. Following Dell’s acquisition of EqualLogic and Compellent, it’s pretty clear that reselling EMC equipment was no longer a viable business option for Dell. That move, however, comes at a sensitive time for EMC, which is in the process of trying to transition many SMB customers from its Clarion systems to recently launched VNX series for the midmarket.
Of course, turmoil creates a lot of opportunity for not just the better known vendors in the SMB space. Nexsan just announced that it has signed its 10,000 customer, which shows some momentum for a new E60 platform that provides up to 180TB in a 4u rack.
Nexsan CTO Gary Watson says the SMB market has always been about providing the most amount of storage in the smallest amount of footprint at the best price possible. In addition, he notes that a lot of channel partners are not excited about attempts by larger vendors such as Dell and HP to roll up storage and server sales inside a unified platform. They still prefer to deploy server and storage technologies separately in order to be able to better leverage the best-of-breed technologies that are available at any given moment in time.
It’s still too early to say which vendors will come out on top. But with the rise of virtualization in the SMB space, now is a time of great storage transition that many solution providers would be well-advised to pay close attention to before lining up with any one vendor too closely.Tags: server, Drobo, Netgear, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, VNX, NetApp, Clarion, EMC, Nexsan, solution providers, channel, Storage