NetApp heads into SMB with Lan 1

Storage vendor, Network Appliance (NetApp), is making its first foray into the local SMB market via a new distribution deal with Lan 1.

The Sydney-based distributor will be sole supplier of NetApp's StoreVault line. Its all-in-one IP storage array, the S500, supports iSCSI, network-attached and fibre channel. It scales to 6TB. First launched in the US in June, it retails for $8900 and is being sold exclusively through the channel. StoreVault is a wholly owned NetApp subsidiary.

"Lan 1 is a value-added distributor fully specialised in the SMB market, which is an important focus for us," NetApp marketing and alliances director, Mark Heers, said. "We think we're complementary to a number of its solutions today. There's also no competitive factor in the sense that Lan 1 won't heavily promote our biggest competitors."

The new agreement would have no bearing on NetApp's recent distribution deal with Avnet, Heers said.

"Avnet is targeting the mid-tier and enterprise market, while Lan 1 will be our SMB go-to-market," he said. "They're very different users, which is why distribution has to be different."

Lan 1's vendor stable includes D-Link, Iomega, Adaptec and Raritan. Managing director, Daniel Lee, said it had not previously explored the iSCSI/SAN marketplace.

"The disk-to-disk market is replacing a lot of the traditional tape market. Bringing on StoreVault will enhance the product offerings we have for this space," he said.

The StoreVault IP storage array was an easy-to-use IP storage solution which slotted straight into a Windows environment, Lan 1 technical director, John Hamill, said.

It would launch the vendor's SMB channel program early next year, Lee said. The distributor would also offer training and lead generation.

Heers said NetApp would release associated products for the S500 next year, including its disaster recovery application, Replicator.

"We expect there will solution selling around this product," he said. "A lot of the SMB market is sold to today by way of broader bundles, such as Web solutions. Storage is another component like networking, servers or even software."