100% indirect software-defined storage vendor Gridstore is building a European channel, single tier in the UK, using distribution in DACH. With a core technology in its appliances built around Hyper-V, it will aim to bring in the Microsoft Gold Systems partners in the region, says CEO George Symons. This is what it has already done in the US, where it has ten resellers. “When we ask partners what other strong Hyper-V solutions they have in their portfolio, they have to say 'none'.” So he sees a chance to follow the expanding use of Hyper-V, which is thought to be taking market share from VMware.
The appliances are aimed at the mid-market, where he thinks Hyper-V will eventually dominate because of its price points and ease of use in a Microsoft environment. It looks like Service Providers might be the largest individual group of potential customers.
Gridstore has just named Andy Hill to run its EMEA operations, and he has been talking to prospective partners. Formerly EVP of EMEA sales for Nexsan (acquired by Imation), where he was responsible for establishing a 100% channel model, he knows the storage partner market. He is targeting smaller specialists in storage who are also strong in Hyper-V. And they have to be right – no 80-20 model where the 20% do most of the business, he says. Expect around a dozen in the UK, perhaps a few more in Germany, and plans for the Nordics are still being made.
There is plenty of market to go after; the main competition would seem to be from Nimble, and also some aspects of EMC and NetApp, even some Dell EqualLogic. Talking to IT Europa, George Symons says that the service providers using open source and standardised drives are not in his sights. Those looking for a technology solution able to provide discrimination between various apps, and looking for easy-to-manage, cost effective, scalable answers based on Hyper-V will be the buyers, and probably in the SMB sector, adds Andy Hill. Target verticals are new Hyper-V environments and customers migrating from VMware, and specifically Public Sector, education, health, local government and the all important Service Providers