Cloud backup provider Zetta.net lowers barriers to entry

Zetta.net has revamped its partner program with a much lower minimum capacity requirement, multi-tenant partner portal and deal registration.

Cloud data protection vendor Zetta.net this week rolled out enhancements to its partner program for MSPs and VARs, including a revamped pricing structure, a multi-tenant partner portal, deal registration, a new return on investment tool, a performance/bandwidth tool and training programs.

Gary Sevounts, vice president of marketing for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, described Zetta.net as an "enterprise-grade" hybrid cloud software platform, in which data is stored both locally at the customer site, as well as in the Zetta.net cloud, but without the use of proprietary hardware to act as a gateway.

Zetta.net's ZettaMirror software installs on application servers, file servers, desktops and laptops at the value-added resellers (VARs) or managed service provider's (MSPs) customer's site. Sevounts said data backed up from a server is replicated directly to the cloud. Unlike cloud storage gateways, there is no local cache between the application server and the cloud. To avoid latency in recovering large or frequently used data, a second copy of SQL database and operating system (Windows system state) data is also replicated from the application server to a local target chosen by the customer or Zetta.net partner.

Sevounts said that Zetta.net should hold appeal for VARs and MSPs because "they don't have to deal with an appliance. They don't have to drive to their customers to install it or reinstall it or fix it. They can do the installation and management from their office remotely without spending money on the travel or also on hardware."

A starting package from Zetta.net has 500 GB of storage and 24/7, 365-day technical support. The ZettaMirror software is provided with an unlimited license. End-user pricing starts at $225 per month, with 20% of that fee going to the VAR or MSP. There's also a lower-entry QuickStart MSP program that enables a partner to bring in a customer at a lower minimum capacity, 100 GB. QuickStart pricing starts at $35 a month for the partner.

Art Ledbetter, director of channels, said some of Zetta.net's partners have suggested they could sell the service at a higher price in the lower range, which, he said, would allow them to beef up their margins beyond 20%.

He also stressed the new partner program's relaxed requirements compared with the old program. Under the old partner program, VARs and MSPs were expected to sell 2 TB per engagement.

"Our agreement with partners [is] very lightweight. We didn't want to create a lot of barriers to come on board with us," he said. Ledbetter said there is a 2 TB minimum yearly commitment for its VAR and MSP partners, but indicated that if a partner doesn't meet the commitment at the end of the year, it would not be liable for the cost of the capacity.

Ledbetter said Zetta is focusing on front-end sales support with VARs and MSPs, with regional sales reps assigned to Zetta.net partners to help as they begin the partner program and to strategize on deals. According to Ledbetter, Zetta.net's internal sales staff members are incented to support partners the same way they would be if the deal were handled directly through Zetta.net.

Among the enhancements to Zetta's partner program, Ledbetter explained that the new multi-tenant partner portal enables VARs and MSPs to see critical information about each of their customer's data protection operations from a single login.

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