Edge HCI specialist StorMagic adds Dell EMC to list of strategic partners

The new partnership with Dell EMC joins existing ones with Cisco and Lenovo – and will be joined later this spring with another StorMagic partnership with another big server vendor.

Brain Grainger, StorMagic’s CRO

Bristol U.K.-based hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] vendor StorMagic has announced a new strategic partnership with Dell EMC, which will make StorMagic’s software-defined storage product eligible to be sold by both the Dell EMC direct sales force, as well as Dell EMC channel partners.

“One of our main strategies for significant growth is building the relationships with the Tier One vendors,” said Brain Grainger, StorMagic’s Chief Revenue Officer. “It’s not very typical that someone just comes across us, unless it’s a renewal. With Dell EMC, we have been meeting in the channel for 6-12 months, and we have a lot of joint customers. But until this point, we have had a purely meet in the channel strategy. Dell EMC’s own salespeople had no ability to quote or sell our product.”

Joint referenceable customers with Dell EMC garnered through the meet in the channel approach include: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol; CITA; GRG Public Resources; The University of Oxford; Humberto Delgado Airport; ITsjefen AS; Maho Group; Ontex; The Security Center of Iceland; TDK Europe, and Fitesa Germany GmbH

“This new announcement is with the Software and Peripherals [S&P] group within Dell EMC, so we are now officially in their S&P price book,” Grainger said. “Dell EMC reps can quote it. They can sell our software independently or in a joint solution. So it’s a pretty big deal for us.”

Now, StorMagic and Dell EMC making several joint reference architectures available that can be sold both by Dell EMC’s direct force and by partners. The reference architectures cover a variety of small medium and large configurations between the StorMagic software and Dell EMC PowerEdge Servers. There is no branding, as there is for example with the Dell EMC XC series and its Nutanix software.

“It’s not an OEM relationship,” Grainger said. “For us, visibility is important, as well as Dell EMC being able to sell our product.”

While Dell EMC sells a broad range of HCI solutions, Grainger said that they haven’t had anything like StorMagic in the past.

“Dell EMC has been in HCI for a long time, but they have had a hole in their solution to the market,” he stated. “A lot of people feel that Nutanix and StorMagic are fierce competitors, so that we would overlap with them at Dell. But Nutanix does a fantastic job at the data centre level for deployments with large numbers of PB and lots of cores. We stay away from the main data centre. That’s not our business. We are the edge. Most times they are overkill at the edge.”

Grainger said that StorMagic is ideally suited for these two-server edge deployments, which don’t have a lot of data and compute requirements.

“Three and four server clusters are overkill here,” he maintained. “Yet while each individual deployment is small, these can be huge in terms of the number of units. One of the largest big box home improvement stories in the world is a customer.”

Grainger indicated that StorMagic is particularly strong in three verticals: Retail, with some deployments being 5000 locations and up, manufacturing, and public sector.

“Public sector is very strong for us,” he said. “School systems are a great market for us, and include the Dallas and Houston school districts. Law enforcement is also big.”

The addition of Dell EMC as a strategic partner further increases StorMagic’s go-to-market relationships with server vendors, which also includes Cisco and Lenovo.

“My main strategy is to build very deep relationships with the tier one server companies,” Grainger said. “That’s where the major growth is. We were just at Lenovo’s worldwide kickoff in Raleigh, which has a big focus on the edge.”

Another big strategic partnership, an OEM relationship, is slated to be launched within the next 60 days.

“That will leave only one major server vendor with which we are not partnered,” Grainger noted.