Corporate reseller Data#3 and IBM have opened a storage networking centre for proof-of concept trials in Sydney.
The new purpose-built IBM TotalStorage Solution Centre at Data#3's data centre in North Sydney would be the first in Australia, Data#3 said in a statement.
Customers would be able to design, test and install customised storage offerings at the facility prior to purchase. The centre would also provide real-time storage configuration and tuning, Data#3 said.
Data#3 promised to invest $1 million into the centre over three years. The money would be used to run IBM-supplied TotalStorage hardware and software and employ storage specialists to manage the centre, Data#3 said.
IBM business partners have opened a total of 140 TotalStorage Solution Centres worldwide. Big Blue has claimed that about 80 percent of customers that use such facilities end up deploying the package tested, Data#3 said.
Data#3 has won an IBM Storage Business Partner of the Year prize for the past two years.
John Grant, managing director at Data#3, said the centre was the only one in Australia based on combined resources of two technology 'leaders'.
"[Also], the storage specialists will assist with the transfer and development of knowledge to customers in emerging areas such as storage virtualisation," Grant said.
Clients often needed to learn how to manage storage infrastructure, Grant said.
Brian Hamel, Asia-Pacific vice-president of IBM storage, said that businesses could save millions by improving application availability.
"A recent customer study by IBM suggested businesses with mid-size to large SANs could save, on average, more than half a million dollars in the first year through improved disk utilisation and administrator productivity," Hamel said.