SanDisk Brings SSDs To Channel, Intros New Models, ASUS Transformer Partnership

Flash storage and SSD developer SanDisk on Monday introduced a formal channel program aimed at bringing its SSDs to a broader base of solution provider partners.

Milpitas, Calif.-based SanDisk also used this week's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to introduce new SSDs and to brag about one of its SSDs being chosen to be a part of the ASUS Transformer Book, a notebook PC with a detachable tablet.

SanDisk's new SanDisk for Business channel program is targeting what has historically been an underserved part of the business market, said Cliff Sun, the company's director of product marketing.

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"SanDisk in the past focused on the OEM and retail markets, but not on the VAR and DMR [direct market retailer] markets," Sun said. "So we have brought in a new channel executive to focus on this business and are now taking our OEM products to the channel."

Those products include SanDisk's full range of SATA, SAS and PCIe SSDs, Sun said.

The adoption of SSDs by channel partners will grow as customers better understand the benefits of the technology even as the industry develops other high-speed storage technology including PCIe flash-based adaptors and appliances and all-flash storage arrays, Sun said.

"We're aware of the disruptive technologies out there," he said. "If they take off, it will still take time for customers to adopt them. We won't ignore these other technologies. But we believe SSDs are a big growth market."

While it has been producing flash-based storage components for several years, SanDisk's 2011 acquisition of Pliant Technology gave it advanced SAS and PCIe SSD technology, helping the company conclude OEM deals with nine of the top 10 PC vendors and three of the top seven storage vendors, Sun said.

Ken Oberman, SanDisk's vice president of business channel sales, four months ago joined the company to kick start its channel business.

The company's new channel program offers such planks as deal registration, co-branded marketing materials, training and certification, joint business planning, and a partner logo, with partners able to join at one of two different levels of benefits depending on commitment to the vendor, Oberman said.

NEXT: SanDisk Intros New SSDs, Unveils Partnership With ASUS Transformer

On the product side, SanDisk on Monday introduced the SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD, a new SATA model with up to 530 MB per second sequential read and up to t 445 MB per second sequential write speeds. A 64-GB model lists for $74.99, a 128-GB model lists for $109.99 and a 256-GB model lists for $219.

Also new is the SanDisk X110 SSD, which targets notebook and tablet PC markets with a low-height, 2.5-inch SATA form factor.

SanDisk also partnered with ASUS on the design of that company's ASUS Transformer, billed as the world's first notebook PC with a detachable screen that serves as a touch screen tablet PC. Sun said the ASUS Transformer incorporates a SanDisk U100 SSD in the screen to work with the device in both the notebook and tablet modes.