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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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February 8, 2011 |

Drobo Expands Partner Program and Introduces New Products for SMBs

The new SMB storage products, built on a consumer product, are designed for simplicity and flexible storage. By Elaine J. Hom

By Elaine J. Hom

Drobo, a storage provider, has both expanded its partner program and also introduced a new line of storage products for SMBs based on its consumer storage line. The new products, built on Drobo’s consumer use product, are designed to be as simple as possible with flexible storage options.

The new reseller program, Drobo Business Premier, is geared towards resellers in the 250 seats or less space. According to Ezra Hookano, VP of worldwide sales at Drobo, the new product line sweet spot will be 100-250 seats, but can also translate to individual departments at larger enterprises.

“Storage should be simple,” says Kevin Epstein, VP of marketing at Drobo. According to Epstein, the two biggest issues with buying storage is knowing how much storage to buy and whether to buy an expensive fast performing storage or a slower more cost-efficient storage. With hot-swapping, automatic data-aware tiering, and the ability to allocate storage to various applications, Epstein says that the Drobo line addresses these issues.

The products being introduced to market are:

  • 8-bay file sharing Drobo with remote backup
  • 8-bay SAN (iSCSI-attached) Drobo
  • 12-bay SAN (iSCSI-attached) Drobo with redundancy features, support for thin provisioning and deprovisioning and data-aware tiering technology†

“Usually, you would only find thin provisioning at $30,000 or higher,” says Epstein. “But you can take a Drobo and put drives in it and have a fully running system for a couple of thousand dollars.” This capability opens the lines for resellers looking to break into virtualization for SMBs but at a lower cost. Resellers who partner with the larger virtualization vendors often only had the option of a box that costs tens of thousands of dollars to support virtualization, and most SMBs just aren’t willing to pay that. But Drobo pledges the same virtualization functionality at a much lower cost for customers.

†Drobo Business Premier partners can offer these products that are certified for Microsoft Exchange, VMware, Citrix, and Symantec environments. Drobo has pledged its devotion to the community, including co-marketing assistance, deal registration, sales training, and lead generation.

“We’re going for more than channel neutral,” says Epstein. “We have to franchise, we are committed to the success of our VARs. We would rather spend two hours training and educating with our VARs than two hours selling, because in the long run, we’ll both be more successful.”

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