NetApp has brought its separate low-end StoreVault product range in-house, as a standard NetApp S family product available to its worldwide resellers.
StoreVault is a low-end NetApp storage array packaged for small and medium enterprises and remote and branch offices (ROBO). It is positioned under the FAS 2000 low-end array for departments and ROBO applications. StoreVault runs a reduced functionality version of NetApp's OS - Data ONTAP Lite so to speak - and stores up to 12TB of data on 12 SATA drives. The FAS 2000 stores up to 68TB on a mix of SAS, Fibre Channel and SATA drives.
StoreVault was channel and geography limited. It was sold outside the NetApp mainstream of VIP authorised resellers through distributors such as Hammer in the UK, and thus on to Hammer's resellers. NetApp's authorised VIP gold and platinum resellers couldn't sell StoreVault and they were supplied through different distributors - Bell Micro for example in the UK. StoreVault was also only available in the USA, UK and Australia.
Renamed as the S family, it is now available world-wide through NetApp's main VIP channel. Existing StoreVault resellers can apply to join NetApp's VIP program at the entry Silver level and sell the S family and FAS 2000 line. Existing Star, Gold and Platinum VIP resellers can sell the entire NetApp line.
Arrangements with existing StoreVault distributors, such as Hammer in the UK, continue. Arrow and Avnet in the US who distributed StoreVault will now distribute the S family. That means there will be, for a time at least, three classes of S family reseller: The non-VIP S family reseller, the VIP Silver reseller, and the full-range Star, Gold and Platinum VIP resellers.
NetApp has increased the number of partners purchasing through distribution. In Q1 FY'09, US distributors Arrow and Avnet were 20 per cent of total revenue and the channel as a whole produced 64 percent of NetApp's revenues.
Logic might suggest that the separate StoreVault distribution channel might wither away, not that NetApp is saying this at all. There is no suggestion that these changes, which started around August time, were anything to do with the departure of NetApp's world-wide channel boss, Leonard Iventosch.