AWS Introduces New Storage Competency For Channel Partners

Amazon Web Services introduced a new competency Wednesday for consulting partners who are helping enterprise customers store a large amount of data in the public cloud.

The latest AWS badge accredits partners that have demonstrated "deep domain and consulting expertise" leveraging a variety of cloud storage solutions across four primary use cases: primary storage, archiving, backup and recovery, and business continuity, Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, said in a blog post.

"Organizations are asking for help managing the exploding volume, increasing cost and expanding complexity of data storage," Barr said. "Customers use AWS to address data storage problems with application development, backup and recovery, tape replacement, archive and compliance requirements, and datacenter shutdowns."

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Solutions to those data challenges can take advantage of Amazon's object, block or file storage offerings, he said.

Amazon introduced a storage competency for third-party technology partners in 2014 to certify their products. The consulting version helps customers identify solution providers with expertise in architectural best practices and implementing many of those third-party solutions.

Barr noted the challenge posed by storage demands in modern data-intensive environments.

"Solutions designed for specific environments may span multiple services, requiring phased migrations and tightly managed transitions to keep businesses up and running," he said.

The first seven partners to earn the competency are Ahead, CorpInfo Services, Datapipe, HCL Technologies, Infiniti Consulting Group, Proact IT and REAN Cloud.

David Lucky, director of product management at Datapipe, an MSP headquartered in Jersey City, NJ., said earning the storage competency proved a rigorous process—probably even more rigorous than for other AWS competencies.

Datapipe had to thoroughly demonstrate its ability to implement best practices in designing storage infrastructure across the four primary use cases and provide examples of executing those skills in prior engagements with customers.

While storage and compute "are the main pillars" of cloud, Lucky said, the fact that AWS introduced the competency only now shows that a resource so fundamental to computing is getting a lot more complicated and nuanced.

Beyond the marketing and market differentiation that comes with earning a new badge, he said, the process forged a closer relationship between Datapipe and AWS. Amazon is more likely to select an accredited storage partner when it comes to beta testing new products in that area, and give more credence to those partners' requirements when developing new products, Lucky added.