Company: WhipTail Technologies
Headquarters: Summit, N.J.
Technology Sector: Storage
Key Product: WhipTail WT1536HA and 3072HA solid-state storage appliances
Year Founded: 2008
Number of Channel Partners: 6 in the U.S.
Ideal Channel Partner: Enterprise-focused solution provider
Why You Should Care: Solid-state storage is just starting to take off as a market, making this a good time jump in.
The Lowdown: WhipTail Technologies is an unusual storage vendor in that it is a spin-off from a traditional solution provider.
The Summit, N.J.-based company produces storage arrays featuring industry-standard components and two types of solid-state storage technologies, said CTO James Candelaria.
The first is NAND Flash memory, which Candelaria said is a non-volatile technology which features an excellent read performance and the lowest power requirements of potential memory types.
Therefore, WhipTail pairs it with DRAM memory, which is used as an intelligent buffer to hold data in memory until there is an opportunity to write it to the NAND Flash, Candelaria said. Data in the DRAM is flushed to NAND memory when full, or at the most every half-second, he said.
"This allows WhipTail to get the best write speeds out of our NAND Flash," he said.
That speed is about 750 Mbytes per second sustained over a 10-Gbit Ethernet connection while cutting power costs by up to 90 percent compared to conventional storage, Candelaria said.
As a spin-off from a profitable solution provider, WhipTail is committed to building channel relationships. The company in March hired a channel manager, and has already signed up five solution providers, including its parent company, TheAdmins.
WhipTail already offers a basic deal registration program which still requires faxing in the required data, but which rewards partners with an extra 10 points of margin, said CEO Ed Rebholz. The company also offers market development funds equaling 2 percent of the products' suggested retail price, and it is also running a demand generation program for partners.
Rebholz said his company's partners need not worry about channel conflict from its relationship with TheAdmins.
"We're gonna be fair," he said. "People who know us know we deal fairly with competitors and partners. There's enough business up here in the Northeast."
Looking forward, WhipTail plans to add in-line data deduplication, which eliminates duplicate bytes of data before being stored in order to reduce capacity requirements and help further mitigate the cost of the solid-state storage.
The company is also already showing its storage in use with virtual desktop PCs configured using Citrix XenServer, Candelaria said. Administrators can allocate 128 Mbytes of memory per virtual memory, not the 512 MBytes to 1 Gbyte of memory traditionally allocated. As a result, he said he expects customers to be able to configure between 60 and 70 virtual desktops per 1U server vs. 30 desktops per server with traditional hardware.