Augie Gonzalez, director of product marketing for DataCore Software, a storage virtualization specialist, hears cloud computing concerns regularly from MSPs and their SMB customers. In order to address those concerns, DataCore has been busy promoting hybrid cloud solutions that, in theory, deliver the best of both worlds to channel partners and their small business customers.
"MSPs see a lot of resistance from customers who are used to using on-premise solutions," said Gonzalez."They are paranoid about turning over their servers and not seeing [their infrastructure]. They want guidance and direction."
With those market realities in mind, DataCore's bread and butter is helping partners like External IT and Host.net build hybrid cloud environments for their SMB end users. "Our clients are resellers who have created a disaster recovery offering or co-location. Their end users are SMBs."
Moreover, DataCore promotes virtualization solutions that allow MSPs to dissolve hard-wire ties between hardware and software. DataCore was founded 13 year ago, but it's business really changed about 4 years ago when when VMWare and Microsoft Hyper-V brought storage virtualization to the small business level.
"Storage virtualization was viewed as highly sophisticated, over-the-top and only for big businesses," Gonazalez said. "Small businesses didn't understand it. They started to relate to it because of VMWare and Microsoft Hyper-V." The small business revelation allowed DataCore to build reseller partnerships with companies that could sell to small businesses.
Today, DataCore sells its storage virtualization software completely through resellers. It can be deployed in two ways:
- Companies can use the cloud as a backup platform in case their on-premise data is lost. The on-premise information is constantly synchronized with the cloud backup environment. Gonzalez referred to it as, "a live, steady environment in their data center." This is how MSPs can deploy DataCore's storage virtualization solution when they're in the same region as their clients.
- MSPs can use DataCore's storage virtualization solution to create a remote disaster recovery site for their clients. These clients don't want their backup to be near to them because they're usually in areas where storms can hit and their data can be damaged or lost.
"The healthcare issue is being able to run business continuity. They can't have downtime. So they use DataCore for a non-disruptive, constantly refreshed environment."
Admittedly, DataCore competes in a fiercely contested market. Dozens of on-premise and cloud storage companies are competing for the hearts and minds of MSPs. And a large number of those vendors offer hybrid cloud storage solutions. We'll be watching to see how DataCore strives to maintain differentiation in a crowded market.
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