NetApp, Microsoft To Bring Services To Channel

The moves are the latest by NetApp as part of the cloud computing strategy the company unveiled last August, said Wally MacDermid, director of ITaaS (IT-as-a-Service) solutions marketing for the storage vendor.

It also follows the introduction last month of the NetApp Partner Program for Service Providers as a way to help service providers connect with the company's solution providers.

NetApp unveiled the new Microsoft relationship and professional services at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, held this week in Washington, D.C.

NetApp and Microsoft are working together to leverage the Microsoft Dynamic Data Center Toolkit for Hosters in order to make it easier for services providers to offer cloud-based, enterprise-class data protection to SMBs, MacDermid said.

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The two companies want to give service providers the ability to offer disaster recovery and data protection to SMBs and make it possible for SMBs to fail-over their private cloud to a public cloud, MacDermid said.

"Most companies have the same mission-critical applications and data requirements, but not everybody can afford an enterprise-class solution," he said.

As a result, NetApp solution providers can now build an on-premise storage and data protection solution and then partner with a service provider to tie that solution to an external cloud, MacDermid said.

"We believe that NetApp is the only storage vendor to take service providers' offerings to the end user via both direct and indirect sales channels," he said. "We don't compete with our service providers customers."

NetApp's channel partners also now have access to new professional services offerings in conjunction with Microsoft for implementing Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint.

NetApp also unveiled new design guides to help service providers build services based on NetApp's storage architecture for Exchange, SharePoint, storage, desktop, and infrastructure, MacDermid said.

"The guidelines let service providers build services with our architecture faster than if they do it themselves," he said. "We're also giving our VARs guidance on how to get a customer up and running with these services faster."