Arrow, Artisan Team On Cloud-Based Data Protection For NetApp Storage

Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider Artisan Infrastructure, together with Arrow Electronics, this week is unveiling a cloud-based data protection offering for NetApp customers.

The service, which will be available to solution providers via Arrow's ArrowSphere cloud services marketplace, is targeted primarily at hardware-focused solution providers that have yet to develop a strong cloud storage business, said John Austin, cloud services practice manager at Arrow, Englewood, Colo.

"These are the partners who are struggling for the most part to figure out how to get into the cloud and subscription business," Austin said. "We want to help them keep their on-premise sales while increasing their cloud and online business."

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Artisan, which provides IaaS through the channel only, is working with Arrow and NetApp to level the playing field between solution providers and large cloud services providers, said Brian Hierholzer, CEO of Austin, Texas-based Artisan.

"We help VARs compete with the Hewlett-Packards and the Rackspaces," Hierholzer said. "We are working with Arrow to help VARs stay viable as customers move to cloud services."

Solution providers partnering with NetApp and Arrow can now leverage Artisan's cloud storage to provide customers with data protection via the same NetApp tools they already use, Hierholzer said.

"We offer a hybrid service," he said. "Customers' on-premise NetApp Filers can be mirrored using the same native NetApp tools like SnapMirror, which storage administrators are already using.

"We provide full control, security and visibility of the cloud Filers," he said. "We even provide a command line interface. It's the same as if customers have another box sitting on-premise. If you talk to NetApp administrators, they'll say they prefer to use NetApp tools."

The Artisan-Arrow partnership helps customers who do not have the resources or who need to build their own remote data protection infrastructures, said Douglas Potter, NetApp-focused national sales engineer at Insight Enterprises, a Tempe, Ariz.-based solution provider and NetApp and Arrow partner.

NEXT: How NetApp, Arrow And Artisan Infrastructure Work Together

On the technology side, there are two types of customers, Potter said. The first, he said, includes large enterprises with their own engineers and architects who prefer to keep everything in house and can afford to invest in their own secondary disaster recovery site.

"And there are smaller companies where duplicating a $100,000 storage array at a second site is not a viable solution," he said. "With this new solution, we can offer customers second-site disaster recovery without the need to purchase new infrastructure or hire the needed technology gurus."

Furthermore, Potter said, having a remote disaster recovery site is also often not an option. "We're working with Arrow to provide a prebuilt infrastructure that carves out a chunk of a Filer somewhere else that can be offered on an op-ex basis for customers looking to keep their capital investments down," he said.

Artisan is the industry's only wholesale provider of IaaS, according to Hierholzer.

"Other providers may have some channel partners, but we're the only pure-play with zero retail," he said. "We are 100 percent solution-neutral. We build no value-added services like Desktop-as-a-Service, or VoIP or PaaS. We let partners add that value."

Arrow and Artisan are offering the cloud-based data protection service for NetApp storage environments with a 90-day free trial with up to 1 TB of data, Hierholzer said.

"It is an unlimited offer in that a solution provider could come to Arrow and say, 'We have 100 trials we'd like to do at 1 TB each,' and we will stand them up," he said.

Artisan currently provides the NetApp data protection service only through Arrow, Hierholzer said. NetApp is the company's preferred storage vendor for its cloud services offerings.