Datera rides HPE partnership to high triple digit growth

Startup Datera has placed a big bet on HPE as it expands its business , and the results so far indicate it is paying off.

Rich Pappas, Datera’s VP of Business Development

LAS VEGAS –  Earlier this year data services platform startup Datera hitched their offering to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, announcing a strategic partnership. They also announced they would join the HPE  Complete program, which validates strategic vendor partner designs and takes them to market with HPE and its channel through  joint solutions. Datera, which brought its platform to GA in February 2017, has now reported 400 per cent growth in Q1, which was almost entirely generated through the HPE partnership. The company sat own with ChannelBuzz at the recent HPE Discover event here to talk more about their strategy and  the role of HPE in it.

Datera’s platform provides a scale-out software driven solution for high-performance applications, that provides the high performance of flash storage arrays on a software-driven platform, at a much lower cost than competing offerings.

“We compete at with high level storage arrays as well as traditional SaaS vendors,” said Rich Pappas, Datera’s VP of Business Development. “Customers want a cloud-like experience. Once you make the transition to the agility of a cloud, a storage array doesn’t even come into mind. That’s where we come into play, with high-performance software defined storage that handles scale or block.” It’s designed for the high-performance scale out storage needs of Global 2000 companies who want to consolidate existing storage arrays, power existing virtual machine-based applications, and adopt cloud-native technologies like containers with Kubernetes orchestration.

Pappas said that while the company wasn’t completely focused on HPE, it does take the lion’s share of its attention.

“It’s not a 100 per cent focus, but the focus of our executives at this point, when we are trying to get this behemoth off the ground, is on HPE,” Pappas said. “Cohesity did much the same when they started, and then they broadened out, and I imagine that like them we will follow the same path. Right now, HPE is running us ragged. We have POCs going on left and right.”

“The 400 per cent growth year over year that we announced is based on pipeline, and most of it is HPE,” said Bill Borsari, Director of Systems Engineering at Datera.

“We get a purchase order from HPE, but the vast majority of deals have had a reseller involved, and it’s all fulfilled through a channel partner,” Borsari noted. “HPE Complete also has a disciplined program for the reseller, so we know what we are working with, and how they can help us. The fact that HPE channel partners can sell it is a reason that we did this. It’s daunting for a small company to train and educate al these partners.”

Datera announced the 3.3 version of their Data Services Platform shortly before the Discover event.

“Version 3.3 added dedupe, which at this stage is table stakes, so it’s very important,” Borsari said. “What’s significant is that we can dedupe at a very small level of granularity but can maintain compression at large levels. The result is that it actually got faster with dedupe for systems customers we already have in the field. That’s one of the fun parts of being a scale-out technology.

“We also added a lot of user interface improvements,” Borsari continued.  In addition, Datera’s qualified server options with HPE have been expanded, to now include HPE’s composable ProLiant DL platform and the introduction of new solution bundles available from HPE that combine Datera’s software, HPE ProLiant Servers and StoreFabric M-Series Switches from Mellanox Technologies.

“Our existing customer base benefits for free from the new release and the new dedupe,” Borsari said.

One of HPE’s big announcements at Discover was their pledge to make everything they sell available as a service by 2022. For a company like Datera that makes software that goes on HPE hardware on-prem, that might seem like worrisome news, but Pappas said that this is not the case.

“I see the HPE as-a-Service initiative as a positive,” Pappas said. “It provides a cloud- like experience – pay as you go, But customers may want the same kind of operation on premises as well, and we enable that. In addition, a lot of traditional enterprises still like the OPEX model.”

Pappas also indicated that Datera is already jointly working with HPE GreenLake, which provides the consumption-based as-a-service capability.

“We have a large deal where GreenLake was in the mix with us, with what I can describe as a large pharmaceutical, he said.

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