Data storage tips for SMBs: Top five reseller tips

The data storage technologies identified in this collection of top five tips can help you bring value and storage efficiency to smaller businesses.

To succeed as a data storage reseller, integrator or consultant in the small and midsized business (SMB) market, you have to think of yourself as a trusted storage advisor. Your goal should not be to simply sell SMBs the least expensive technologies, but to identify storage products and tools that will most likely address their specific storage management issues, availability concerns or ongoing storage growth needs. The following top five data storage tips on describe the advantages of bringing particular data storage technologies to smaller businesses and offer how-to advice for helping both you and your SMB clients develop storage strategies.

TIP #1----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Choosing a Fibre Channel array or iSCSI SAN storage for SMBs

It isn't possible to say exactly which type of storage area network (SAN) will meet each of your customer's requirements, as needs will differ subtly from customer to customer. However, a few general guidelines exist to make the decision easier. For instance, you probably want to consider choosing Fibre Channel over iSCSI for SANs in customer shops where availability, performance and reliability are paramount: A SAN supporting a mission-critical transaction processing system will be more suited to Fibre Channel. Get additional advice in this tip from storage networking expert Chris Evans.

TIP 2 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Selling iSCSI SAN storage or Fibre Channel arrays to SMBs

When it comes to selling a SAN to an SMB the question of iSCSI storage systems vs. Fibre Channel (FC) arrays is sure to come up. This tip outlines differences to keep in mind when choosing a SAN for an SMB, including cost, networking technology, bandwidth differences, performance differences and hard-disk interfaces.

TIP 3 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clustered storage is changing SMB channel conversations

Current generations of storage products often force sales reps to ask customers probing technical questions. How much capacity are you going to need? Do you want enough capacity for just this year or enough for the next three years? What size and speed disk drives do you need? Have you considered what size LUNs you want to present to your severs? Answering any of these questions could delay the sales process weeks or months. Offering clustered storage products and services changes the nature of customer conversations. Find out how in this tip by storage expert Jerome Wendt.

TIP 4 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Data lifecycle management (DLM) services for SMBs

"Quick and easy" and "data lifecycle management" are phrases you don't commonly find used together. But maturing new technologies and enhanced feature functionality are making it possible for VARs to bring new DLM products and services to their clients.

TIP 5 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Storage virtualization technology for the SMB

Data and storage management is one tough aspect of server virtualization deployments. Many organizations find meeting backup window requirements following a server virtualization-based consolidation project to be difficult. The difficulty usually stems from CPU, storage and network I/O contention, since servers that previously sent backup data over dedicated hardware now have to use shared physical devices for backup I/O. Storage resellers can alleviate backup and data protection problems that are frequent with new server virtualization deployments by bundling storage virtualization and server virtualization as a single complementary solution, to be discussed further in an upcoming tip by Chris Wolf.

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