Here's a tip for the integrators and VARs who follow Tips and Tricks. The rising popularity of iSCSI solutions in the technology market's "sweet spot," small to medium businesses, offers VARs and integrators an opportunity to expand their offerings in a sound technology direction. An iSCSI infrastructure can help customers with crippling budget problems as well as growing performance needs. iSCSI is not an incidental technology; quantitative analysis from International Data Corporation shows that it is one of the fastest-growing areas of the storage market, reaching $5.1 billion by the year 2010.
In truth, VARs would be well advised to bring home the economic message when promoting iSCSI as an architectural solution. VARs can save customers thousands of dollars per host. Customers must appreciate the return on investment that the VAR is passing on to them. Indeed, an ROI sell based on the unique topology of the customer makes a telling argument where budget dollars are few and operational needs are many.
iSCSI is a natural product recommendation where storage consolidation is part of the customer's IT goals. Integrators' customers often have satellite facilities housing significant volumes of mission-critical and business-critical information. Many of these remote offices isolate their data on a server-based or direct-attached island of storage. iSCSI represents a stellar solution for those SMBs wanting to transition to a network storage architecture and focus data and storage management in one controllable venue.
Manpower and budget constraints limit the type and number of off-site IT experts available to manage backups, storage capacity plans and throughput issues in situ. The presence of a part-time backup administrator is a rare event. Much more frequently, that kind of expertise can be found only in the data center. But VARs who are serious partners with their customers can ease the expertise burden by providingpre-sale consulting and post-sale infrastructure support, both as value adds to an iSCSI sell.