DDN Brings 'Big Data' To Storage Channel

William Cox, who this month started as the new vice president of worldwide channels for Chatsworth, Calif.-based DDN, said the widespread adoption of technology to handle "big data" is a solid opportunity for his company to expand to a wider range of solution providers than it reached in the past.

"Big data" is data which scales to multiple petabytes of capacity and is created or collected, is stored, and is collaborative in real time. Big data typically consists of unstructured data, which includes audio and video files, photographs, and other data which is not easy to handle using traditional database management tools.

DDN has been managing big data for 13 years using such channels as three large OEMs, several tier-one high performance computing vendors, and vertical integrators, Cox said.

"However, we really haven't had offerings in the traditional IT channel," he said. "But with the boom in unstructured data and the restructuring going on among storage vendors, we are getting new interest from the channel."

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About 80 percent of data is unstructured, and that part of the storage market is growing faster than ever thanks to the amount of data generated by social networking, Cox said.

"Ten years ago, this wasn't a play for the traditional channel," he said. "Now all of a sudden the traditional IT business is waking up to the need."

Prior to DDN, Cox was a vice president of channel sales for the Americas for Quantum, and worked with sales at Plasmon and ADIC.

Dave Donald, president and founder of Keeper Technology, a Leesburg, Va.-based solution provider which deals mainly in the Federal government market, said he has been working with DDN for about four years and has found it to be one of the most responsive storage vendors in the market.

"As a smallish company, it turns on a dime to respond to customer needs," Donald said. "Customers wait to the last minute to make changes to their solutions. DDN is great at handling last-minute requests."

Donald said he has known Cox for well over 10 years as Cox moved through a couple of storage vendors.

"Cox has a lot of experience working on the manufacturer side in both the hardware and software," he said. "He really understands resellers. A lot of people in the channel don't know what motivates partners. But Bill really gets it."

DDN is also introducing a new version of its flagship storage array. The company's new Storage Fusion Architecture (SFA) 10K-X, was last week enhanced with a 40-percent increase in the read and write cache speed, while density was increased to up to 1.8 petabytes in a single rack, Cox said.

The SFA 10K-X is also now certified by VMware to work in virtualized environments, he said.

Customers with existing SFA 10K arrays will receive a free software update for the new capabilities, Cox said.