Network storage vendor Infortrend has launched an attack on the mid-tier and enterprise storage market and plans to ride the wave of demand for virtualised scale-out architecture.
After unveiling its new SAN storage system, Enterprise Scalable Virtualised Architecture (ESVA), at Heathrow T5, the vendor is targeting the high end of the mid-market where it expects to run into the likes of IBM, EMC and HP.
The event saw the vendor unveil a number of channel incentives to entice new
resellers and position itself as an alternative in the already crowded market
The Taiwanese RAID specialist is traditionally known for its SME-focused EnStor products.
Infortrend’s new offering incorporates storage virtualisation, thin provisioning, distributed load balancing, array-based snapshots and replication.
The range is designed to enable businesses to add more storage applications by scaling out their storage, instead of replacing systems with higher capacity models and scaling up, which can work out to be costly for the customer.
Scaling the heights
‘Scaling out’, or scaling horizontally as it is also known, involves adding more nodes to a system, for example adding a new computer to a distributed software application.
The opposite, scaling up or vertically scaling, means adding resources to a single node in a system. This typically involves adding CPUs or memory to a single computer.
Richard Cox, vice president of research at Gartner, said the analyst predicts scale-out architecture will be a prevalent form of infrastructure in the enterprise by 2012.
“Scale out is not a new concept, but used in storage it increases capacity and performance,” he said. “Businesses can start with a small number of nodes and scale out, but reduce cost at the same time.
“Virtualisation allows you to pool information and manage it from one pane of glass, perfect for a company that requires a large pool of data under one space.”
Infortrend said it opted for scale-out architecture as scaling up systems usually require fork-lift upgrades and downtime caused by the need to migrate data or load balance. This causes service disruption and additional overheads.
The vendor has unveiled three new fibre-channel ESVA systems: the F20, F40 and F60, which will be available from early July. Two new iSCSI models, the E20 and E60, will be launched soon after.
Infortrend has also announced round-the-clock support for partners through a global service centre, which will be based in Basingstoke.
With plans to recruit and build a new channel for the ESVA range, Jon Ashley, director of marketing at Infortrend, said: “The channel can take advantage of our support if they want. They do not have to support the customer directly; we will do it for them. If they want to offer the support themselves we will back them up.
“An ESVA VIP programme has been put in place with Authorised, Silver and Gold levels. Partners will receive benefits such as account management, lead generation, mail shots, and deal registration to name but a few.”
A finance option will soon be available through a third-party company, added Ashley.
Dedication is what you need
The vendor has also invested in dedicated sales and marketing resources to help channel partners understand the benefits of the ESVA portfolio.
“Partners will receive exclusive information through a partner web portal, which will support resellers with developing and winning Infortrend business. We are arming our resellers with the right support, sales and technology,” said Ashley.
David Galton Fenzi, group sales director at Infortrend’s first ESVA pan-European distributor, Zycko, said the vendor is a good fit alongside Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) in its stable: “With Infortrend we can now target the SME and upper mid-market or enterprise and with HDS we cover the high end. This neat fit makes things easier and simpler for integrators working with us.
“Some integrators that are focusing on new markets do not really know what they want, so we can help with bundles. The ESVA is a good move as it adds more productivity to the vendor’s portfolio and allows us to cover all areas of the market.”
Galton Fenzi said that although the concept is not new the architecture that Infortrend has chosen for the ESVA suits the requirements of enterprises today.
“The architecture of the ESVA is tipped to be the leader of the pack as companies’ data continues to grow at a rapid pace,” he added. “Businesses need an easy way of continuously building out their data.”
The ESVA line-up differs from the offerings of vendors such as EMC by including data services embedded in the controller, rather than hosted on servers.
Michael Schnapp, chief technology officer of Infortrend, claimed that ESVA represents a “massive milestone” in Infortrend’s strategy.
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