Alternative Technology offers Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support

Alternative Technology, a value-added distributor (VAD) with its headquarters based in Englewood, Colo., and a Canadian office in Mississauga, Ont., announced this week that it has expanded its Oracle offerings to now include the vendor’s Unbreakable Linux Support program.

As an independent subsidiary of Arrow Electronics , which purchased the company two years ago, Tom Zorn, executive vice-president at Alternative Technology, said it was roughly last year November that the VAD really partnered up with Oracle. Now, extending on its distribution agreement, Alternative Technology is now making available to its channel partners Oracle’s high support program for Linux.

“As an Oracle partner, we want to provide the maximum amount of their offerings as we can to our partners,” Zorn said. “If we could offer higher Linux support for the server base and to the Oracle partner base that would be great for both of us.”

Through the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support program, partners can offer their customers global support for Linux that is fully compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The program is made up of three different levels of support for Linux that include network, basic and premier levels. At the network level, software and updates are included to help support the Linux platform. At the basic level, end-users receive 24×7 global support with Linux server lifecycle management and cluster software. And at the premier level, end-users receive the same 24×7 support, Linux server lifecycle management and cluster software, and they also receive premier backports and Oracle lifetime support. Pricing for Linux support is calculated on a per-system basis.

Zorn said the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support offering will work well across pretty much any industry vertical that’s using Linux.

“Linux was adopted into the enterprise and mid-market level and many different flavours of Linux were being adopted because it’s freeware,” he said. “Linux deployments are getting more complex with more clustering and various flavours. Oracle is bringing structure by offering enterprises and mid-market businesses a one-stop Linux support package.”

Alternative Technology currently has relations with several hundred channel partners, Zorn said, and a goal for the company moving forward is to improve its Canadian coverage. In Canada, Zorn said it took the VAD a bit of time before it was able to establish itself as a trusted advisor to dealers here. Now though, he says Canada is a rapidly growing area for the distributor, especially in as virtualization and security, two spaces quickly taking flight. One of the biggest challenges it has had, Zorn said, is in that Alternative Technology doesn’t want to overload its value-added reseller (VAR) partners.

“We’re upgrading our overall Linux program,” Zorn said. “We have engineering support and help desk services and educational support that we’re working on now with vendors like Oracle. We’re trying to get a more measured approach to be able to go to our partners to ask them if they have customers with specific pain points.”

Overall, now that Alternative Technology is selling Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support, Zorn says the VAD will be making a push to any partners who are in the Linux space today. Looking ahead into 2009, he said the VAD will also be going after markets in the storage and disaster recovery spaces as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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