Coraid partners have been tossed a "lifeline" over the supply of replacement hardware, as the embattled storage vendor "continues to explore all options" for the future of the company.
CRN understands that in the six weeks after funding issues forced Coraid to "significantly reduce the size of the company", the vendor has not been fulfilling orders to its UK partners.
But now Oriium, which is one of Coraid's distribution partners in the UK, will be able to ship replacement hardware – mainly storage arrays and interface cards, but also commodity hard drives, and offer support on an ad-hoc basis.
When approached, Oriium founder Chris Kiaie said the decision was prompted after partners told him they were unable to contact Coraid with requests for hardware replacements or with software support issues.
Kiaie said Oriium did not make the decision to take on Coraid's complete hardware inventory, in case the demand was not that high for it, but instead has come to an arrangement with a Coraid OEM partner – which Kiaie declined to name – to have access to elements of the hardware portfolio, if and when it is requested by partners from now on.
Kiaie said: "Some customers had very little exposure, so they appreciate another option but will risk hardware failure in the event the hardware is used in a low-risk environment. Other customers had significant investments so are very interested and have approached our partners to purchase zero-hour equipment, advanced swap-out hardware. A number of partners are also placing orders while they can take advantage of the current stock."
Meanwhile, in a statement sent to CRN, Coraid chief executive Dave Kresse said there has been "no recent significant change in status".
"Coraid continues to explore all options for maximising value," he added.
Jason Dance, managing director of Big Technology, another distribution partner of Coraid, said he can see why Oriium has made its agreement for inventory access to Coraid kit.
"I feel sorry for the end user and I can see why Oriium has stepped in because they have end users who have bought the kit and it is going to be really important for them to make sure they look after their customers."
Dance said Big Technology has had no communication from Coraid in the past few weeks and would not know where to get replacement hardware from. He added that Coraid was never a major partner for the big data-focused distributor and its current situation will not greatly affect the distributor.
One Coraid partner said the Oriium move is "good for the longevity of the products" and provides "a bit of light in an otherwise gloomy situation".
But he added that unless Coraid is in a position to start manufacturing again, it is only a short-term solution.
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