RainStor Taps MSPs For Big Data Management

Big data-oriented ISVs have begun to emerge, adding another layer on a developing software stack and opening opportunities for service providers. A case in point: RainStor, a software vendor with offices in San Francisco and the United Kingdom, specializing in big data management.

Rainstor is looking to partner with MSPs and help them bring the benefits of big data services to end-customers. Here's how.

RainStor’s database technology comes in two editions: Big Data Retention and Big Data Analytics on Hadoop. The technology’s data compression aims to shrink storage requirements and ease bandwidth constraints. Ramon Chen, RainStor’s vice president, product management and alliances, said the company’s offerings lend themselves to a hosted/cloud deployment. And, indeed, RainStor’s work with MSPs hinges on giving them the ability to offer the technology as a cloud-based service.

Chen pointed to the case of partner Informatica Corp., which uses RainStor’s database to offer a data archiving service in the cloud. In general,  MSPs can tap RainStor to create a big data archiving service and then complement that service with more traditional cloud-based services such as email or document archiving, Chen noted.

In addition, Chen said he believes RainStor’s technology can put MSPs in a position to help customers dealing with aging software. He said a business shutting down an old application may still want to keep the data available, but prefer to send it off-premise and have users access it remotely.

Compression offers MSPs another opportunity, according to Chen. He said RainStor offers compression rates of 20:1 to 40:1. As a consequence, MSPs can charge customers by the amount of source data, while storing a much smaller amount.

“The actual physical disk space is a fraction of what they are actually billing out for, so their margin is improved,” Chen said.

Training and consulting services represent yet another revenue opportunity for MSPs. RainStor educates its partners on how to use its database and can also provide consulting services to support MSP projects. “We do any integration necessary if the partner is embedding it [RainStor’s database] in a particular suite of applications or an environment where they are leveraging the product in a more integrated fashion,” Chen said.

Will other companies in the big data space build channel relationships?  It’s certainly one way for ISVs to get their software embedded in solutions. This market segment is still unfolding, however, and the MSP’s role has yet to solidify. It will be interesting to see whether big data can eventually support a broad base of MSP partners.

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