Channel Upstart Unveils Program For Storage VARs In Virtual Environments

The Burlington, Mass.-based company's main product is Acronis True Image, a software application that takes a hot snapshot of a running system, including system information and data, to enable fast recovery of both physical and virtual servers, said Ed Harnish, vice president of marketing.

Acronis has worked with the channel for several years, but never had a formal program to specifically target solution providers that create demand, said Eric Dougherty, director of channel sales for the company.

It is targeting solution providers with disaster recovery and business continuity experience, as well as those working in virtual environments, Dougherty said. "Our software allows customers to move from a physical environment to a virtual environment," he said. "We offer business continuity solutions for virtual environments."

Acronis True Image comes in a desktop version which customers can download directly, as well as enterprise versions available through solution providers. The Enterprise Server and Server for Windows versions allow customers to create an exact server disk image over a network and backup and restore individual files and databases. They also allow the recovery of crashed servers, as well as instant bare metal restores. Bare metal restore applications provide fast, disk-based recovery for enterprise servers, workstations,or desktops by restoring the operating system and the data in case of a complete system failure.

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The Universal Restore option allows restoration of a downed server to a completely different hardware or virtual server platform.

Jim Steinlage, president of Choice Solutions, an Overland Park, Kan.-based solution provider that works with both Citrix and VMware, said his company has worked with Acronis for the past four to five months and found its technology to complement the VMware virtual server environments.

"From a data replication point of view, Acronis has a simple way of doing things," Steinlage said. "For instance, we brought it to a large insurance company that is using it for their disaster recovery plan, allowing them to replicate data to another facility. It's a very legit, very viable, way to do disaster recovery."

Under the company's new Acronis Authorized Solution Provider Program, solution providers can sign up at the fulfillment level, at the silver level with a commitment to sell $50,000 worth of Acronis products yearly, or at the gold level by committing to sell $250,000 yearly and having at least one certified technician in each location.

In return, they qualify for improved discounts, access to priority technical support and not-for-resale licenses, certifications, joint marketing, lead referrals, and deal registration, depending on their level, Dougherty said.

About half of Acronis' revenue comes from the channel, but the company hopes to expand that to about 80 percent by early next year, he said. The company had been reaching solution providers directly or through LifeBoat Distribution, a Shrewsbury, N.J.-based value-added distributor, but just recently signed Tech Data as well, Dougherty said.