Cloud infrastructure vendor Stratoscale has announced the availability of Version 2 of its Stratoscale Symphony software. The new software enhances their partner opportunities in several ways. It adds an orchestration engine that connect to any existing storage arrays, to allow storage arrays to be bundled into the sale, or to sell non-disruptively into an existing storage environment. For partners engaged in managed services, remote management capability has been added. Backup and disaster recovery capabilities have been introduced as well. Finally, support for smaller footprints has been added, to make Stratoscale more attractive in ROBO and SMB use cases. Stratoscale believes the new software will significantly expand their presence to a significantly broader spectrum of use cases beyond the test/dev and service provider markets, where they have been strongest to date.
“This is all about the channel for us,” said Ariel Maislos, Stratoscale’s CEO. “We have added a lot of capabilities to make cloud infrastructure more accessible to the channel community.
Stratoscale, which leverages a single software stack across the cloud, initially positioned themselves as a hyper-converged player. They soon changed their focus, in the belief that hyper-converged had become associated with hardware and storage, to emphasize how their software transforms cloud computing in the data centre by making it easy to deploy, manage and scale cloud infrastructure.
One enhancement adds the ability to co-sell with existing storage.
“A lot of the hyper-converged play has been about storage displacement,” Maislos said. “Now, however, we have added an orchestration engine that can connect to any existing storage array, which is built into the product. This allows you to create an infrastructure combining a storage array side by side with servers, and fully virtualized.”
For partners, who are Stratoscale’s sole route to market, this has several advantages.
“It adds the ability to participate jointly with the storage array in cloud structure rollouts for partners who lead with storage,” Maislos said. “Partners can sell into an existing array, or can put together a bundle with any storage vendor they like. It’s a very easy bundle to upsell for the channel.”
Set-up time has been reduced significantly with this version of the software.
“The first version of the software took one to two days to set up,” Maislos stated. “That has now been reduced to a few hours. That’s very helpful from a channel perspective, because it helps move to an out of the box transactional model, which makes partners more money.”
Added capabilities for full backup and Disaster Recovery have been built into the product.
“This was a top request from customers,” Maislos said. “For partners, it provides an incremental sale over time capability, and a great upselling opportunity.”
Symphony V2 also adds the ability to do remote management.
“This plays into the theme of customers moving to managed services model, and supports partners participating in managed services opportunities,” Maislos said.
“We have also added support for smaller footprints,” he indicated. “Cloud infrastructure is all about scale, but this scale is often created by small deployments which grow over time. The minimum footprint was four servers in Version 1. Now, it’s one server. This will expand ROBO and SMB opportunities, and allows us to open new use cases there.”
Maislos said that Stratoscale has sold best in two verticals so far — dev/test environments and service providers looking to set up clouds.
“We believe the new capabilities of the software will expand this to additional use cases, including deployment of enterprise private clouds,” he said. “This will allow partners focused on different verticals and use cases to be able to participate in the opportunity.”
Mike Richards, Stratoscale’s Director of Channels, said that Stratoscale’s technology allows partners to bring a private cloud environment to their customers, instead of being disintermediated by the public cloud.
“Traditional IT now has a huge problem, in being compared against Amazon, not itself,” he said. “This could mean IT people will be selling used cars if everyone just moves to the cloud. We can try to prevent that from happening, with a private cloud environment which is competitive with Amazon.”
Richards stressed the added flexibility Version 2 provides is a major plus for partners.
“We are very anti-appliance,” he said. “They belong in kitchens, not in data centres. We want partners to be able to pitch whatever hardware they think is appropriate for the end user. With Stratoscale, they have flexibility at both the server layer and the storage layer. They can continue to work with all their favorite vendors.”
Finally, Richards noted that a U.S. distribution with Ingram Micro which was formally announced in April has now been extended to Canada.
“The paperwork has been done,” he said. “Stratoscale is now open for business in Canada through Ingram Micro.”