TechPlus and MPA charge up console management

TechPlus and MPA charge up console management

TechPlus and MPA are looking to bring console server management to the masses under newly announced distribution agreements with Opengear.

The partnerships are part of a string of arrangements being struck by the US-based vendor worldwide.

TechPlus managing director, Paul Kern, said the products would complement its existing range of networking and infrastructure management gear.

It also carried a range of similar products from Pearl Systems, he said. More importantly however, the distributor would use the new range to promote the technology to a wider base of resellers, Kern said.

One of the problems faced by console management distributors was the inability to break out of the large enterprise bracket due to its bulky price tag.

"Resellers weren't prepared to try and understand the technology because the price point put it in a niche area," Kern said. Opengear had an edge because it was significantly cheaper, according to Kern, who said an 8-port Opengear model retailed for $695 excluding tax, while a 16-port version was available for $1195. Its top of the line 48-port product cost $2195.

A comparable 8-port product from Pearl had an RRP of $2632, Kern said.

"These products are significantly cheaper, which should open a huge amount of doors that were shut to us before," he said. "We are not looking for niche - we are looking at it as a commodity, mass merchant product.

"The market is ready for a product like this at this price break."

MPA Systems managing director, Guy Goodman, said the pricing would help to place console servers as an integral part of site management and a standard addition to server purchases.

TechPlus would initially target its existing higher-end integrators, and then introduce training for value-added resellers to boost take-up of the products, Kern said.

"If systems integrators can understand [the technology], they will make it a standard part of their solution," he said. "It won't be something we have to sell every time."

Opengear is the brainchild of former Snapgear founders, Bob Waldie and Tony Merenda. Its flagship console management server hardware is based on an open source platform. Although the company is based in the US, its development and engineer team are located in Australia. Waldie said the decision to elect TechPlus and MPA as distribution partners was prompted by similar relationships he had held with them during his time at Snapgear.

"We decided to work with distributors that we knew personally for comfort and confidence," he said. "We don't have anything to do with support as we don't have a lot of infrastructure people. We're relying on these guys to guide us."

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