Arbor Networks Inks Tech Data Distribution Deal

Arbor Networks is expanding its reach with the signature of a North American distribution agreement with Tech Data Tuesday, a deal that promises the security firm access to new markets for its distributed denial of service [DDoS] security technologies with a bevy of specialized solution providers.

Arbor Networks, which specializes in DDoS attack prevention and detection technologies, will offer its Pravail Availability Protection System, (Pravail APS) through Tech Data in the U.S. and Canada, according to the distribution agreement.

Specifically, Arbor’s Pravail APS is an on-premise device that protects Internet data center edge against threats to availability, including application-layer DDoS attacks.

Arbor executives said the deal bodes well for the Chelmsford, Mass.-based security firm by opening up access to Tech Data’s reseller base of more than 60,000 solution providers.

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Bill Lipsin, vice president of partners and alliances at Arbor Networks, said the Tech Data partnership will allow the company to selectively choose specialized partners who will be integral in the company’s channel expansion as the company embarks on building the foundations of a channel program.

’What we have to have in order to get access to the market as efficiently as possible are the right channel partners to talk to the customers,’ Lipsin said. ’We want to make sure that with Tech Data we could hand pick a select group of security VARs.’

Above all, executives said the company will go for ’quality rather than quantity,’ in their selection process while ensuring that they don’t over-saturate any given market. ’We’re picking those organizations that can provide value but at the same time not having so many VARs out there that everyone is fighting for the same deals,’ Lipsin said.

Greg Myers, vice president of marketing for Tech Data Canada, said that in particular, Tech Data and Arbor Networks were going after partners invested in data center security and cloud computing technologies. Ideally, the Pravail APS product would be targeted toward specific vertical markets that are particularly susceptible to DDoS attacks, such as airlines, financial services and the oil and gas industry, among others.

’I don’t see this as a place for a broad based sales organization,’ Myers said, adding that Tech Data aimed to ’identify resellers who are investing in skill and certifications that will assist them in being a successful cloud builder in the market place.’

Specialized VARs -- that "truly understand what DDoS is’ -- would then offer Arbor Network’s DDoS technologies as part of a more comprehensive security portfolio, executives said.

’They already have a lot of the building blocks. This is the missing piece that provides a stronger blanket for these customers,’ Lipsin said. ’If you think about it from a VAR’s perspective, here’s a chance for them to enhance their offering for a complete security audit.’

Myers said that the partnership with Arbor gave the global distributor a means to expand its footprint with an ’adjacent technology’ and delve into new product categories not currently incorporated into its portfolio. Subsequently, the DDoS tool would give Tech Data partners a means to round out their security portfolio and address a growing security threat, he said.

’This is our first play in DDoS marketplace, which lines up exceptionally well with our security and networking plays,’ Myers said. ’This isn’t a broad brush kind of play. I would say it becomes more of a niche when you engage the partners who are focusing on the right end user opportunity.’

Next: Tech Data Partnership Part Of Bigger Arbor Networks Channel Push

Meanwhile, executives say that the Tech Data partnership is part of a bigger channel push by Arbor Networks that aims to create a comprehensive channel program. In addition to crucial distribution partnerships, Arbor’s channel program will comprise a deal registration program and earned backend rebates -- both of which are already in the works -- as well as new certifications, which will solidly be in place around January, Myers said.

And the need for tools protecting against DDoS attacks seems to be on the rise. According to Arbor’s sixth annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, 49 percent of those who have deployed HTTP Web services and domain name system (DNS) within their cloud data centers experienced significant firewall or IPS failure as a direct result of a DDoS attack.

Executives said that Arbor Networks has experienced strong growth as more DDoS attacks have been prominently featured in mainstream news headlines. In recent months, global hacker collectives such as Anonymous and LulzSec have brought DDoS into the limelight with attacks against MasterCard , PayPal and a slew of government Web sites.

’It’s yet another level of deterrence and another level of notification against these threats, which have become broadly publicized,’ Myers said. ’The timing is fortuitous. Network managers understand the risk they’re confronted with and understand the technologies needed to defend against those risks.’

Security products that offer added protection against DDoS attacks can be the missing piece in a comprehensive security offering, Lipsin echoed, adding that educating customers about the prevalence of DDoS threats could also provide numerous consulting opportunities for solution providers.

’The VARs can take a leadership position and help educate their customers about the shortcomings in their network,’ Lipsin said. ’When you buy insurance, you think you have everything you need, until you say ’oh my gosh, I didn’t have that piece in my insurance clause.’ DDoS can be somewhat similar.’