VARs play super sleuth and put a user’s storage network under the microscope

Avnet Hall-Mark has launched a new service for VARs catering to the network storage marketplace.

The service, dubbed network storage advisor, lets resellers analyze and make recommendations for improving a user’s storage network.

Storage consultants and architects can recommend strategies

for small, medium and large storage enterprises.

The service, which gives resellers an automated tool to gather information about a customer’s storage network, is the first in a series of services to be rolled out by the company, says Ray Fischer, senior vice-president of network storage services.

The service also includes training and support to automate the front-end data collection of a storage assessment.

“”It’s really about enabling the VAR to perform end user services. The significance of it is that it decreases the time it takes to do storage assessments and gives the reseller the ability to touch more customers because of its automation.””

The service helps resellers do automated assessments of a user’s storage capacity and usage at a fraction of the cost of doing traditional assessments, says Fischer.

He says this type of tool is needed because performing storage assesments are often cost prohibitive for many organizations.

“”Doing storage assessments is often not affordable to the Canadian market. It’s pretty expensive; they could range anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000, but we could drop that down to somewhere in the $10,000 to $20,000 range.””

The service also saves resellers a good chunk of time, he says. And while it all depends on the size of the customer, he adds, “”if you’re looking at the middle market in Canada, you could probably shrink it. A manual collection, which could range anywhere from two to four weeks, down to one to two days.””

Ideally, he says the service helps put an end to time-consuming manual assessments which normally require the reseller to interview the end user’s employees and collect information.

From the data resellers collect, “”you can launch into a total cost of ownership, a migration, it can help you design a new application that’s coming in — it’s really the automation of what’s traditionally done today through manual intervention or customer interview.””

Specifically, the tool gives VARs the ability to collect information on used and unused disk space, total disk capacity, unallocated disk space, the number of monitored servers by operating system, and storage utilization by application with user information, he says.

Now that the decision support tool is out, Avnet is on the lookout for resellers who have a storage practice.

Avnet wants VARs who provide an assess, design, implement and manage methodology; and any reseller that has a services business, but would like to move into a storage focus; as well as any Hall-Mark partner in Canada.

The tool supports most operating systems including: IBM AIX, Windows, Linux, Novell Netware, Sun Solaris, HP-UX.

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