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SGI broadens storage channel strategy

Zentra is the first partner as SGI looks to sign resellers who specialize in storage solutionsrn



SGI has recruited Zentra Computer Technologies to be its first Canadian partner in an expanded channel program that targets storage-centric VARs.

Claude Morel, SGI’s Canadian channel sales director, said the company wants to recruit up to 15 resellers in major cities to add to its roster of

solution providers and integrators.

He stressed SGI is seeking quality over quantity as it expands its channel.

“”We’re not looking for a high number of resellers or partners, but we’re looking for the right ones,”” he said.

According to Morel, SGI is looking for certain criterion in prospective channel partners: They have to specialize in storage solutions and be established in the Linux server environment.

As well, SGI is looking for partners with experienced sales and marketing departments to maximize value for the company’s SGIR Infinite-Storage solutions.

Storage specialists

Morel said the channel program isn’t new. Rather, SGI wants to expand its reach using resellers who specialize in storage solutions.

“”It’s not really a new channel program,”” he said. “”Before, our channels were much more oriented towards industries. We had channels for media, manufacturing, and channels for the five specific industries that SGI is well-positioned in.

“”Now we’re looking for channels that are more product-oriented across industry.””

CFXS attractive

Morel noted that the move is being driven at the corporate level.

“”We’ve engaged new people who have the horizontal expertise in storage and Linux,”” he said. “”We have added new people to help us work with partners that are working in horizontal business. We have a special emphasis put at the high corporate level for channels.””

Morel said Zentra president Scott Wagner approached him two years ago with an interest in SGI’s CXFS application. CFXS is an extension of SGI XFS and gives multiple computers direct access to shared file systems, which means all computers in a shared file system can access the same file at once. At the time, CFXS use was restricted to customers using SGI storage devices, but it has since been opened up.

CFXS is a tool that will enable Zentra to attract new clients and better serve its current customers, Morel said.

“”Within (its) installed base they can offer file sharing capability, which makes them stronger within their installed base,”” Morel said.

“”It also helps them get to new markets. SGI is very strong in certain markets, for example media and entertainment. Since we’re strong in that market, it opens up some new doors for Zentra.””

Clusters

Wagner expects the cluster file systems technology to benefit a wide-range of clients, noting the technology is only offered by select companies.

“”Clustered file systems give you a big boost in I/O performance and there’s some particular sectors that need type of performance,”” he said. “”There’s a limited number of players in that market. (SGI) happen to be one of the ones that have played the longest in that area.””