Australian integrator, GlobalStorage, will launch a storage hosting service for small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the next six months.
It is currently discussing a partnership with datacentre provider, Datacom, to offer replication services for companies with 10-400 staff. Services will include disaster recovery, server hosting, as well as complete environment replication.
Technical director at GlobalStorage, David Duncan, said high costs had inhibited SMEs from outsourcing their storage needs. He claimed SMEs had not been able to effectively establish and manage their own storage environments because SAN deployments were too expensive and skill intensive.
A typical datacentre approach was also unattainable because the set up was for one-to-one replication; a service that enterprises were willing to pay for but smaller companies could not afford.
New virtualisation technology made storage hosting services much more cost-effective, Duncan said, by providing SMEs with access to shared storage services. This spread the cost but not at the expense of performance.
The new GlobalStorage service is based on technology from VMWare and DataCore.
"We can still give people their own dedicated virtual server but because that server is virtualised they are sharing infrastructure but not sharing applications or compromising performance or security," he said.
Existing GlobalStorage customers are piloting the new offering now. Duncan expected 50 customers to use the storage hosting facility within the first six months.
Ultimately, the majority of GlobalStorage revenue would be annuity-based, moving away from the storage infrastructure sales the integrator has relied on in the past, he said.
Although Alphawest and Dimension Data already provide similar services, Duncan anticipated its focus on the smaller end of town would prove successful.
"We are offering enterprise scale architecture to businesses without them having to spend capex to get it," he said.
GlobalStorage also recently signed a customer onto its new DataCore portfolio of virtual storage products and is in discussions with two larger customers, including ING New Zealand.