Network Appliance (NetApp) has recently announced new agreements with Cisco systems and Veritas to combine their talents into a unified storage offering.
NetApp marketing and alliances manager Harry Christian said the objective of the cooperative research between the three vendors was designed to help customers better meet their storage needs.
“Users want to be able to get their hands on composite solutions from a single source, or cooperating sources, rather than have to shop around multiple and sometimes competitive sources,” he said.
According to Christian, the “best of breed” unified storage system was one in which “there is truly no distinction between NAS, SAN, embedded, direct-connect, whatever”.
“It's an offering where the distinction is totally invisible to the user. An offering that takes away the pain of managing different types of storage in a mixed environment,” he said.
Other benefits of the alliances with Cisco and Veritas were compatibility and scalability, he said.
Christian told ARN the arrangement means business as usual for existing distributors.
“We are not planning any changes to the NetApp channel,” he said.
However, there may be a need for further training for Network Appliance channel partners, Christian said.
“In some cases yes, in other cases no.
“Of course, when we are selling direct and working in direct-sell situations together with our partners, the question doesn't arise,” he said.
While NetApp boasts of prior relationships with both Cisco and Veritas, Christian said the recent announcement strengthens each of the alliances.
“This is an evolving thing,” he said.
NetApp revealed its latest agreements with Cisco and Veritas on the same day.
Commenting on the simultaneous announcements, Christian said it was as much “a coincidence as anything else”.
He added NetApp’s partnering process was not part of a broader plan, but a response to “the way the market demands vendors to go”.
“You will see more similar announcements coming through,” he said.
Christian described NetApp’s current array of storage partners as “almost too numerous to list”. Key partners include Microsoft, IBM, Legato, Oracle, Quantum-AFL, RealNetworks, Rational, Openwave, Landmark, Cisco, Veritas, FileNet and Documentum.