Startup Astute Networks Inc. this week is rolling out its first formal partner program for its ViSX VM Storage Appliance, which uses flash-based storage to accelerate performance for virtual server and desktop environments.
VARs can join the AstuteNet Partner Program as Advantage Partners. All sales are indirect and handled through Astute Networks' distribution partners, which currently include Tech Data Corp. and Promark Technology Inc. Astute offers a 40% discount to its distribution partners, and says its VAR Advantage Partners should expect as much as a 30% discount on pricing.
Len Rosenthal, Astute Networks' senior vice president of marketing, said that through the use of an application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC that the company calls the Data Pump Engine, a ViSX device can improve performance by as much as 10 times, compared with other Ethernet-based storage devices. The ViSX device speeds performance by offloading the storage and network protocol processing, he said.
Vice President of Sales Steve Kucker said the key benefits of the ViSX device for resellers is quick deployment within an existing storage system. "We don't walk in and rip and replace," he said. "We don't do the forklift upgrade. We don't do the refresh of technology."
Astute Networks' reseller partners find that important, Kucker said, because it doesn't jeopardize their relationships with other storage vendors. "A lot of [VARs] are very focused today on their HP relationships or EMC relationships," he said. "We don't want to [degrade] that relationship and maybe take MDF [market development funds] from them or take services from them. [We say], 'Hey, we have a product that doesn't directly compete against [your other partners].'"
Kucker said that San Diego-based Astute is currently recruiting partners from the ranks of VMware's and other large vendors' national premier partners lists, with help from Tech Data and Promark. The company is looking to attract VARs with hands-on application skills, experience in the virtualization market and a strong storage practice, he said.
The AstuteNet Partner Program includes deal registration, marketing support, sales and technical training, a partner portal, MDF incentives, evaluation ViSX devices, a try-and-buy program and more.