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Dell is now also offering a public cloud storage service which its top storage competitors cannot answer, Nirvanix's Zivanic said.
EMC, for instance, has Mozy, which is more aimed at consumers and small businesses, as well as its Atmos storage line, which is used by a few large service providers to build the infrastructure for cloud storage, he said. Hewlett-Packard's cloud storage service has file size limits and does not provide for live replicas or for a true global name space, he said.
"If Dell is in the customer site bidding against EMC, NetApp or Hitachi, and the customer asks for storage as a service, those companies can't compete," he said.
Dell is not Nirvanix's first strategic cloud storage partner. The company also has a deal with IBM under which IBM OEMs Nirvanix's technology to build its own enterprise-focused storage cloud offering, he said.
Dell's storage solution provider partners are interested in looking at the Dell Cloud Storage with Nirvanix -- Public Service but have yet to hear about details from the vendor.
Dave Hiechel, president and CEO of Eagle Software, a Salina, Kan.-based solution provider and Dell storage partner, said he has not yet seen the Dell service.
"I've looked at Nirvanix before," Hiechel said. "It's pretty resilient. But not inexpensive."
Eagle Software has been helping customers build private clouds using storage technology from Dell and from Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Nexsan, and it can show a return on investment of 18 months compared to a public cloud for some customers.
Even so, Hiechel said he will look at Dell's new public cloud storage offering. "It's pretty funny to see a storage vendor partner with someone else on a storage cloud," he said.
For CMT, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider that works with Dell but has a closer relationship with NetApp, a Dell-branded public cloud storage offering would be good to have for customers looking specifically for Dell storage technology, said Victor Villegas, the company's vice president of business development and alliances.
"I'll have to take a look at it," Villegas said. "It wouldn't be a disadvantage. It would be just another offering we could do."