Zmanda: Open Source Backup for Government VARs?
Zmanda is the latest open source company to catch Uncle Sam’s attention. Specifically, Zmanda’s open source backup and restore applications are now part of the Synnex GSA (General Services Agreement) schedule — which makes it significantly easier for VARs to offer Zmanda to government agencies. Here’s the scoop.
According to the Open Source Channel Alliance (founded by Red Hat and Synnex):
Zmanda is now on the SYNNEX GSA schedule. Open Source Continues to Move Forward as the Preferred Software Solution for Goverment. Zmanda open source software products, including Amanda Enterprise, Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL, and Zmanda Cloud Backup provide easy-to-use solutions for the critical backup and recovery requirements of government.
More Than Hype
Sure, the paragraph above is filled with some marketing claims. But the central message is accurate: Landing on a GSA schedule is significant news for Zmanda (an Open Source 50 company) and the open source movement.
According to Fedmarket.com, which tracks the government market:
GSA schedules are the favored purchasing mechanism for most federal buyers and an ideal sales and closing vehicle for vendors. Large federal contractors can have GSA schedule sales exceeding $ 100 million annually. To be an approved supplier under a GSA schedule, the vendor must go through an arduous application process.
Plenty of open source companies are pushing deeper into the government vertical. Earlier this month, Alfresco Software, the open source content management company, earned U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) 5015.02 standard certification.
The approved DoD software stack included Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the MySQL database, Zimbra email, Apache Tomcat web server and Mozilla Firefox web browser.
Zmanda and many other open source companies moving into the government market are privately held. So it’s difficult to say exactly how well Zmanda is performing.
Meanwhile, The VAR Guy realizes plenty of VARs remain fiercely loyal to traditional backup and restore solutions from folks like Symantec Backup Exec, and emerging online backup offerings from market disrupters like Intronis.