WAFS Makes Waves

Broomfield, Colo.-based McData this week is rolling out a comprehensive line of WAFS-related hardware, software and services to its channel partners.

And San Jose, Calif.-based Brocade Communications Systems, which last week acquired NuView, a developer of enterprise file data management software with WAFS applicability, plans this week to introduce its first channel program to cover both the new technology and its core Fibre Channel switch products.

WAFS lets businesses store and manage data at a central data center while making it available to remote offices at LAN speed. Appliances in the data center and the remote offices provide high-speed gateways to the data.

The moves come as bandwidth costs fall and enterprises focus on data outside the data center, said Raj Das, vice president of the advanced products group at McData. “Analysts vary, but they estimate 50 percent to 75 percent of data sits outside the data center,” Das said.

Sponsored post

It’s an estimate that Joe Kadlec buys. Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider, said his company is seeing a lot of momentum to consolidate data.

“WAFS is very important,” he said. “We are getting into accounts with discussions about new technology, and one of their latent pain points is remote office data.”

Kadlec said a key benefit of WAFS technology is ROI. For many clients, replicating data from a local office to a central data center and then to a disaster-recovery center can be expensive and difficult to implement.

“I can put in a WAFS solution for as little as under $50,000,” he said. “Or I can put in a traditional high-end solution for $350,000. It depends on customer requirements.”

McData’s new Remote Office Consolidation line includes a number of technologies from which solution providers can mix and match to build WAFS solutions for customers, Das said.

These include the new SpectraNet Wide-Area Data Services Accelerator appliances, which sit in the data center and in remote offices to build the high-speed data pipeline between them. Also new from McData is the SpectraNet Replicator for Exchange for backing up and restoring Microsoft Exchange data.

Brocade, meanwhile, is introducing its new Alliance Partner Network, finally uniting its SAN and file services technology under a single channel umbrella, said Tony Craythorne, worldwide channel sales manager for the vendor.

The move comes as Brocade continues to add to its file services and WAFS technology, including the NuView acquisition, Craythorne said.

“Now that we have a sales and marketing team, we can drive to add value and generate new opportunities for our partners,” he said.