VMware launches storage certification program

VMware Inc., recently announced its Storage Virtualization Certification Program, a program designed to offer its storage virtualization partners greater market opportunities and to also provide its customers with more options when it comes to choosing a VMware partner and solution.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtual infrastructure vendor launched the program to help partners certify their storage virtualization devices that work with VMware’s virtualization platform, ESX Server. Parag Patel, vice-president of alliances at VMware, says the certification program was created to meet the demand and interest seen from companies that are using VMware technologies to standardize their IT environments.

“We’ve got a lot of demand which is why we’re rolling this program out now,” Patel said. “Customers want hardware and software vendors to test their products for interoperability, to make sure they operate well and in all functional areas of their IT environment, such as with servers and storage.”

In response to this, Patel says VMware has created a certification test for partners to test and run their products on. After testing is completed, the results are reviewed and once all of the requirements are met, VMware lists the product in its Compatibility Guide, located on its website and updated weekly.

“A lot of vendors jumped on this opportunity because we help make sure their technology works and it’s certified and validated,” Patel said. “We are also setting up two independent labs that will run the tests on both our and our vendor’s behalf to make sure their technology is compatible with ours. If there’s a problem, the lab works with the vendor and product until it passes.”

Patel says the compatibility guide is a way for the company to offer its customers more choice when it comes to deciding which virtualization technology to deploy in their VMware infrastructure.

“We want to give choice and flexibility to our customers to make our company more attractive to them,” Patel said.

While he says the current number of VMware storage virtualization partners is only a handful since it’s such a specialized space and technology, he remains optimistic that VMware will add new vendors and devices with the launch of its Storage Virtualization Certification Program.

It’s the second certification program VMware has launched since its Hardware Certification Program, which launched seven years ago. The new program is currently open to its Global and Premier-level Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program members and will soon be available to its Select-level TAP members as well.

“It’s great for our channel because they can now sell VMware products much more easily,” Patel said. “There’s more potential for them to sell to the market now because partners can and should look at all deployments to see what they can virtualize. We’re enabling our channel to sell VMware to more customers through all different kinds of environments.”

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Maxine Cheung
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