European MSP Embraces Zmanda Open Source Backup

European MSP Embraces Zmanda Open Source Backup

VeePee, an MSP in Paris, is taking an alternative route into the managed storage market. Indeed, the managed services provider has embraced Zmanda, the open source backup and restore platform. Not by coincidence, Zmanda is working to further expand its partner channel, which includes VARs and MSPs. Here's the update.

According to a prepared statement from VeePee, the company embraced Amanda Enterprise and Zmanda Recovery Manager because the solutions offered "ease of use, centralized administration, superior performance, and flexible open source architecture (s)." Moreover, VeePee found the annual subscription and pricing model to be "very attractive, as it matches well with the elastic nature of VeePee's infrastructure, which may see a sudden spurt of activity at any time."

No doubt, more and more backup and recovery software providers are reaching out to MSPs. Plus, numerous online backup specialists are building MSP partner programs. For Zmanda, that means heightened competition. But CEO Chander Kant sounds upbeat.

"We have been working with MSPs for a while now," said Kant. "Lot of MSPs come to us because of our low-cost open-source based offerings. As I mentioned to you last time we met, we will be releasing a MSP focused marketing/business program soon. Today MSPs buy from us like a regular customer, but we provide them tools and techniques on how to setup the configuration for multiple customers, billing etc. Of course, you will be the first to hear when the formal MSP program is released."

I've never been known to turn down a scoop... So I look forward to the MSP partner program details.

I also asked Kant if Zmanda planned to build any cloud storage or online backup services for channel partners to leverage. Kant politely declined to get into those details, but in the case of VeePee, Kant said, the MSP is hosting and managing their customers' infrastructure. Read between the lines and it sounds like Kant is mulling some cloud moves...

Meanwhile, roughly 25 percent of Zmanda's sales involve resellers and integrators. "We are  actively working with resellers -- especially in focused vertical or geographic areas," Kant said. "With us, [the] big opportunity for partners is services offerings around Zmanda's software. Partners can create high-margin customized backup solutions based on our software."

Still, there's no doubting the backup market is fiercely competitive. A case in point: More than 50 percent of top MSPs already offer some form of managed storage to their customers, according to preliminary MSPmentor 100 survey results (the survey closes December 17, 2010). Can Zmanda grab a bigger piece of that pie? We'll be watching.

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