29 January 2015 by Laura Luo - -
Enterprise storage-as-a-service vendor Zadara Storage has lined up IT reseller Futong to sell its technology and solutions in the People’s Republic of China.
The two parties entered plan to stimulate China’s domestic enterprise software-defined storage market, and jointly rolled out Zadara's virtual private storage a(VPSA) product in China.
Zadara says its VPSA cuts up-front and long-term costs, and makes customers more agile, while addressing data security concerns.
Keeping customers apart
“We designed our product such that operators are able to ensure the highest levels of security for each of their customers, protecting them not only from external threats, but also, uniquely, keeping every customer perfectly insulated from all other customers residing within the same service provider or facility,” said Noam Shendar (pictured), VP of business development of Zadara.
Zadara's VPSA products will be aimed at internet companies, telcos, government applications, data centers and private enterprises. The vendor already has customers signed, but is not ready to disclose their names.
“The Chinese domestic market is ready for software-defined storage and has already shown a preference for the economic and agility benefits that it delivers. In Futong we have the right complement, given their technical ability and market reach,” said Zadara Storage CEO, Nelson Nahum.
This is Zadara’s first move into the Chinese market. Noam Shendar told Datacenter Dynamics that this was a prudent decision made by his company.
"We decided to expand into China due to a combination of factors. First, cloud is beginning to explode in China, thanks to investments by the telcos (China Unicom/Telecom/Mobile) and the Internet companies (Alibaba/Tencent/Sina). Second, China is highly receptive to Software Defined Storage, due to its flexibility and cost benefits,” he explained.
However, it may not be easy to capture the Chinese market. One of the immediate challenges to be addressed is to enhance its brand awareness. “Our challenges revolve around establishing a brand and gaining the confidence of buyers who until now have not heard of us,” said Shendar.
This is where Futong comes in. Futong is IBM's largest distributor in China, and carries products by storage vendors EMC and NetApp, as well as software vendors Oracle, SAP and VMware. In recent years, Futong has transformed itself into a technology vendor and solutions provider, focusing on enterprise-class IT products and services.
“Futong has access to a broad range of clients, and has a number of innovative go-to-market approaches, including a data center joint venture. This latter JV is particularly interesting because it demonstrates Futong's business model flexibility, encompassing both the traditional, capital-expenditure (CapEx) model and the as-a-Service business model,” Shendar told us.
Till now, Futong has built a large sales, support, marketing and technical team dedicated to Zadara, and has invested in a testing and prototyping lab at its Beijing headquarters. Zadara, for its part, has invested in training materials, marketing materials, Chinese localization of the product, frequent trips to China for training and customer meeting, and hardware certification.