Data Protection Technology Vendor Launches New Channel Program


Arsenal Digital Solutions this week is launching a new multi-tiered channel program aimed at expanding the channel for its on-line managed data protection technology.

The new program is designed to move its techology beyond its name-brand telecom carrier partners to smaller solution providers.

Arsenal's ViaRemote architecture, based on software developed by Avamar, which last November was acquired by EMC, allows on-line data backup and recovery with data de-duplication, and includes options for data-at-rest encryption, bare metal recovery, and enhanced multiple copies of data, said Brian Reagan, chief marketing officer for the Cary, NC-based vendor.

De-duplication, also called "de-dupe," removes duplicate information as data is backed up or archived. It can be done on the file level, where duplicate files are replaced with a marker pointing to one copy of the file, and/or at the sub-file or byte level, where duplicate bytes of data are removed, resulting in a significant decrease in storage capacity requirements.

Arsenal's technology also includes near-continuous data protection with the ability to set any number of data recovery points, Reagan said.

With continuous data protection, or CDP, changes to data are backed up immediately or at certain pre-defined intervals to allow users to be able to instantly recover a deleted, corrupted, or modified file. While many applications allow data changes to be captured on-the-fly, others back up the changes at set intervals.

Arsenal's new Armory Program for solution providers looking to add storage as a managed service is aimed at channel partners working with businesses with between 50 users and 2,500 users, Reagan said.

"Arsenal has been a channel-based company from the start," he said. "But our technology has mainly been over-branded by carriers. We spent quite a lot of time and energy to build their services, maybe 12 [months] to 24 months. That's OK for a big company like AT&T. Our new channel program has been built on the lessons we learned in building individual programs for large customers."

Rather than recruiting 1,000 solution providers, of which maybe 50 are productive, Reagan said Arsenal is focusing on recruiting partners with disaster recovery and professional services offerings over which they can add a managed on-line data protection service.

"We want to provide VARs with flexibility," he said. "We can let them offer a complete turnkey service, or sell hardware and software with an add-on managed service. VARs can add annuity and revenue streams without disrupting their current business model."

Dick Mulvihil, president of HexiSTOR, a Chicago-based provider of on-line backup services, said his company has been providing on-line backup services to small and midsize businesses. However, in order to reach customers who have global operations, the solution provider started working with Arsenal Digital about six weeks ago, and has found its service to be excellent. "We don't have the ability to reach global customers that they do," Mulvihil said.

As a result, HexiSTOR sells a wide range of Arsenal Digital services, including bare metal recovery, to such customers, while continuing to serve its smaller clients directly, Mulvihil said.

"We sell their on-line backup services using their Internet data centers," he said. "They're managing the network, they own the backup appliances, and manage it end-to-end. Arsenal Digital is also SAS-70 [Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70] compliant, and certain customers require that."

Arsenal's Armory Program has multiple tiers whose benefits are based not only on revenue, but on the amount of sales and technical personnel trained in its technology, Reagan said. The benefits are also based on the setting of business plans, he said.

EMC's acquisition of Avamar last year has resulted in an increase in customer interest in Arsenal's technology, Reagan said. "EMC has raised the profile of Avamar," he said.

Arsenal's new channel program comes a week after the company beefed up its services with ViaRemote, which allows data protection in virtual server environments.

With ViaRemote, an agent is installed in every virtual machine that needs to back up data. Those agents de-dupe the data, and automatically back up changed blocks of data to an Arsenal data center. Customers can also use the technology to back up full images of all virtual machines on a host physical server. It also supports virtual machine backups using VMware's Consolidated Backup technology.