Acer Computer will sell Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Thunder family of storage products to its reseller channel under an agreement between both companies.
The arrangement would see Acer make a play in the entry to mid-level SAN market and would bring HDS into the Windows server market, the companies said. HDS also has existing reselling arrangements with HP and Sun Microsystems in the high-end Unix market.
Richard Johns, business manager for the enterprise solutions group at HDS, said Acer entered the storage market 18 months ago and has had some success selling into the SMB market.
He said the arrangement gives Acer partners access to products that they haven't had access to before. Around 30 key Acer partners will sell the platform, he said. He added that he expected the Acer channel to do 'extremely well' from this arrangement.
While Acer has claimed some early success in the storage market, the company is yet to feature on analyst IDC's radar screen. 'We don't even track them -– their low-end NAS products are not even on the radar screen,' said Graham Penn, director, AP storage research at IDC Australia.
Acer was trying to move into the mid-range storage market as a result of the HDS deal, an area where 'everyone's competing like a dog,' Penn said. However, HDS 'gives them [Acer] outsourced R&D plus a known brand and critical mass,' he said.
The mid-level storage market was a market where there are more players in than the market needs, he said and HDS was trying to overcome that by using the Acer channel, he said.
'I would expect Acer to sell through a limited number of resellers -– maybe into the government market and maybe one or two of their corporate accounts,' he said.
'It's not just a box sell, they've got to understand the requirement, implement it and [provide] ongoing support,' he added.
Penn claimed that many of Acer's low-end resellers are going to struggle to sell the HDS products due to their box moving mentality.
However, 'some of Acer's resellers will do very well where they have a customer base that needs this product. 'Some [Acer] channel partners would welcome the ability to compete with other [storage] vendors in the marketplace,' he said.
He added that if they are selling competing storage solutions, they may be reluctant to spend time and money training on a competing platform.