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New play in old game

01 Jul 12

Silver Peak Systems is widening its focus to include data centre specialists, as virtual appliances make WAN optimisation more affordable, the company tells The Channel.

Resellers playing in the growth virtualisation and data centre markets will be key targets for WAN optimisation vendor Silver Peak Systems and its newly-signed distributor Ingram Micro, as the companies try to drive virtual WAN optimisation appliances to a larger market.

Wayne Neich, Silver Peak Systems regional director Oceania, says while its partners have traditionally been in the networking space, the new distribution deal with Ingram Micro — which will distribute Silver Peak across Asia Pacific — will see an increased focus on new partner opportunities with resellers who operate within the data centre arena.

Recent times have seen a ‘massive’ push by Silver Peak to virtualised appliances, rather than physical appliances, and the company says New Zealand’s highly distributed IT environments and inherent lower-quality WAN connectivity, make the country ‘a critical region for WAN optimisation’.

“We need to work with people already involved in virtualisation and we certainly see with Ingram Micro and their involvement with VMware that they are the right party for us,” Neich says. Silver Peak will be working with Ingram Micro to identify and target partners who are active in the virtualisation space already.

New conversations

Neich says Silver Peak’s virtualised offerings enable companies which have previously looked at WAN optimisation but ruled it out because of the cost to have a second look — and buy.

“At the highest level, only the richest organisations could afford WAN optimisation in the past. You had to buy the dedicated hardware platform which cost a lot of money to buy and then around 22% to 24% per annum to maintain. It was a very expensive solution,” Neich says. “And for those who still want that, Silver Peak does offer it. But more and more we find companies want, and need, WAN optimisation, but can’t justify the large cost.

“Enabling customers to buy a perpetual license to our software or buy yearly subscriptions to WAN optimisation, cuts the cost dramatically,” he says.

“Everyone [resellers] have sold storage to, everyone they’ve sold VMware to or Citrix XenServer to... you can now go back and assess the need for customers to optimise that environment,” Neich says. “And the thing is, most customers have looked at WAN optimisation but decided it was too expensive. Now resellers have a way of doing it at a much lower cost point.”

Neich says as well as data centres, companies with branch offices around New Zealand will be prime targets for the offering.

“Where customers have a main data centre and a back-up centre, linked, partners can go back to the customer and implement Silver Peak WAN optimisation appliances on those VMware servers and use it to optimise communication between the two data centres,” Neich says. “But they can also go to customers to help optimise branch infrastructure — optimising traffic from the data centre out to the branch, for example. There are numerous ways to use it. If customers have servers out at branches with a hypervisor on them, they can load Silver Peak on and optimise traffic. There is a lot of potential for resellers to upsell.”

Distie moves

Neich says until now Silver Peak has been servicing its New Zealand partner base out of Sydney, via another distributor which has no New Zealand on-the-ground capabilities.

“So this takes us from having a little presence to a substantial presence amongst the New Zealand channel,” he says.

Neich says a major reason behind Ingram Micro’s selection as a distribution partner was ‘their move into high quality integration-type business’ and support of partners who want to put a complete package together for clients.

Ingram Micro New Zealand has an integration lab and will have Silver Peak virtualised WAN optimisation running in the lab for partners to be able to use in testing, integration and so on.

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