Geeks-Turned-iSCSI-Vendor Turn To Channel

DSG Storage, a London, Ontario-based integrator of NAS and iSCSI appliances, just hired a sales manager to target small solution providers looking for a low-cost storage alternative, said Barron Mertens, CEO.

DSG's storage appliances combine an industry-standard server built by a local custom system builder with software from Norfolk, Va.-based Wasabi Systems. Wasabi produces a drive-on-module device that plugs into a server's IDE slot and automatically configures the server as a NAS and/or iSCSI storage appliance when the server is booted up.

DSG had been selling the appliances direct to customers over the Web, as well as direct to the clients of the consultants who formed the company, but needs the channel to grow, said Mertens.

"As a bunch of consultants and storage geeks, we search hard for the best components," Mertens said. "However, most people don't. And we also realize that the people really in the know about storage are in the channel. So we realized that the channel is the best way to sell. We also realized that web sales keeps a lot of people busy selling a low number of products."

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DSG, whose first storage solution provider happens to be the custom system builder who builds the servers for DSG, is in the process of signing up its first solution providers in the U.S., Mertens said.

Solution providers can expect margins of 15 percent to 25 percent on storage appliances that are sold with a three-year warranty and maintenance agreement and which comes with free shipping.

DSG is also considering a solution provider training program, Mertens said, "but our stuff is so simple we have most users up and running in 10 minutes over the phone."

DSG was started in 2004 as an alter ego for a group of consultants who were doing other things at the time, Mertens said.

"We're not a large company," he said. "We all have other jobs. We're a group of people with a common philosophy. We got together over a beer one day and started bitching about storage. We couldn't find any good iSCSI appliances. So we did some research. At our second beer gathering, we realized we could form a company."