Symantec Post-Bennett: VARs Concerned About The Storage Business

Hitachi Data Systems in February inked an agreement to resell Symantec's storage software and backup appliance. However, HDS executives told CRN the relationship is temporary while the company looks to build its own software capabilities.

Meyer said Symantec works with all the major storage hardware vendors, and the fact that it is not tied to a single vendor is a plus. "For the channel, Symantec is in partners' revenue stream whatever their hardware vendor, even if it's Symantec," he said.
 Symantec's firing of Bennett was a shock, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and Symantec partner.

"Steve (Bennett) came in, readied everyone to become a services companies, got the sales team aligned, and not this," Woodall told CRN. "It surprised everybody I know."

Symantec's storage business has changed -- and not for the better -- since Symantec acquired Veritas, said Don James, CEO of Bear Data Solutions, a San Francisco-based solution provider and Symantec partner. "They haven't came out with any dynamic product updates in the last couple years," he said.

James said Bear Data's Symantec sales have fallen 80 percent over the last couple years despite fast growth of the solution provider's overall business. "CommVault has stepped up for us," he said. "And a lot of disk-to-disk solutions out there have lessened the need for Symantec software."

Symantec seems to be using licenses to attach to other vendors' backup appliances to spur the use of its own NetBackup disk-based backup appliances, another solution provider told CRN, speaking on condition he not be named.

The solution provider, which sells Symantec's NetBackup and Backup Exec solutions, said Symantec is using the "Symantec tax" to force customers from buying competing appliances from vendors including Quantum, Exagrid, or EMC's Data Domain.

For example, a customer which buys a 16-TB Quantum DXI appliance may need a 10-TB Symantec license to let it write to the appliance, the solution provider said.

NEXT: Should Symantec Break Into Two Companies?