2011 Need To Know: Storage Vendors

Storage Vendors Present Ample Opportunities for Solution Providers

Being asked to list 25 storage vendors that all solution providers need to know is an unfair proposition. With infinite possibilities, how does one decide? The storage business is probably the most channel-friendly part of the IT industry, with perhaps a couple of thousand vendors that either work exclusively or in large part through the channel.

Because there is not enough room to list 2,000 storage vendors solution providers should know, the following list was designed to provide a mix of vendors that represent different parts of the storage industry. We’ve also included the channel chiefs at each of these vendors to help point you in the right direction.


Channel Chief: Terry Wise

Any company that can store 262 billion customer objects by late 2010 is definitely a storage company to know. Amazon’s S3 storage cloud proves that storage clouds can be and are being built.


Channel Chief: Barbara Spicek

Brocade proved it could lessen its dependency on Fibre Channel with a strong move into Ethernet and wireless networking and in the process remain a force for building storage networks.


Channel Chief: David Roberts

CA, which seemed to be flirting with relative obscurity for several years, recently rebuilt its ARCserve brand, and the technology behind it, making it once again an important data protection vendor.


Channel Chief: Edison Peres

A latecomer to the storage networking game, Cisco has led the way in defining the new data center infrastructure as a unified combination of storage, server and IP networking resources.


Channel Chief: Mark Conley

CommVault is so focused on data protection that it has become the vendor of choice for VARs looking to bring their customers an alternative to the primary storage suppliers out there.


Channel Chief: Gregory Davis

Dell has made a couple of shrewd storage-related acquisitions, including EqualLogic and Compellent, that has turned it into a storage powerhouse and a serious channel contender to boot.


Channel Chief: Gregg Ambulos

The king of enterprise storage, EMC recently set its sights on dominating the small business storage market and on quickly expanding its channel base to make that domination happen.


Channel Chief: Shaun Walsh

Emulex is a key supplier of Fibre Channel over Ethernet interface cards for legacy Fibre Channel customers and a top supplier of 10-GbE NICs for high-speed iSCSI SANs.


Channel Chief: Brendan Kinkade

FalconStor offers a platform that combines deduplication, continuous data protection and network storage—all WAN-optimized for disaster recovery and replication.


Channel Chief: Stephen DiFranco

HP is making waves with storage, server and networking technologies for building data center infrastructures and has committed to using them to build clouds.

Hitachi Data Systems

Channel Chief: Mike Walkey

When it comes to virtualizing heterogeneous storage, HDS has the technology behind which almost any enterprise vendor’s storage arrays can be combined into a single pool.


Channel Chief: Rich Hume

IBM’s strong server business makes for an equally strong storage business, with such capabilities as high availability, virtualization, scale-out NAS, and enterprise-class disk and tape arrays.


Channel Chief: Steve Dallman

Intel chips probably power more storage devices than any other and have helped storage vendors bring enterprise-class features to the midrange. It also has become an early SSD leader.


Channel Chief: Jenni Flinders

Trying to protect all of the data created by Microsoft applications such as Exchange, PowerPoint and SharePoint is a full-time job, making Microsoft expertise key to handling storage.


Channel Chief: Julie Parrish

NetApp made NAS the important market it has become and is the pioneer of unified storage, which combines NAS and SAN capabilities and connectivity in a single storage appliance.


Channel Chief: Lee Finck

The king of entry-level rackmount and desktop NAS appliances, Netgear has probably enabled more small businesses and SOHOs to take advantage of NAS than any other company.


Channel Chief: Walter Palhetas

Nexsan is a leader in bringing reliable, high-capacity storage to the SMB masses, having pioneered the use of low-cost disk storage to replace higher-end storage more than a decade ago.


Channel Chief: Alex Mei

OCZ has helped boost the nascent SSD market with a wide range of SSDs, including 1.8-, 2.5- and 3.5-inch form factors, as well as models for embedded and portable markets.


Channel Chief: Judson Althoff

Oracle inherited a fading storage business with its acquisition of Sun and is now closely tying that storage to its servers and ubiquitous enterprise applications in appliance-like offerings.


Channel Chief: Jim Rothstein

Connecting storage networks is certainly QLogic’s specialty, with interface cards, switches and routers for InfiniBand, Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet and Ethernet networks.


Channel Chief: John Vossoughi

Seagate is one of the two main hard drive vendors, along with Western Digital, and has been the company in the enterprise market the longest. Seagate has the widest range of drives available, including self-encrypting models.


Channel Chief: Scott Stetzer

STEC provided the SSDs used by EMC, which was the first storage array vendor in the industry to make SSDs an option in its storage arrays. STEC today supports a wide range of OEM storage vendors.


Channel Chief: Randall Cochran

Symantec is the largest independent developer of data protection and security software, and its Backup Exec and NetBackup storage applications and suites are common solution provider staples.

Western Digital

Channel Chief: Phay Lam

Western Digital in 2010 for the first time beat rival Seagate in terms of hard drives shipped. Western Digital’s March announcement that it planned to buy Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has served to solidify its lead in the space.


Channel Chief: Mark Glasgow

Xiotech has taken an innovative approach to storage arrays with its Intelligent Storage Element technology, which features redundant hard drives, controllers and power in a sealed canister for reliability.