VAR Sells A $70,000 CDP Solution To A Beverage Wholesaler
While some VARs ponder the potential for CDP (continuous data protection), this VAR is making money installing CDP solutions now.
CDP is one of the hottest buzzwords in the data storage industry. However, ask VARs how to make money selling CDP, and many will have more questions than answers. That is not the case with OH-based Chi (pronounced Ky) Corporation. Chi is a storage networking solutions provider that is already making money deploying CDP solutions.
One of the company’s recent CDP wins was at the House of LaRose, an exclusive wholesale distributor of Anheuser-Busch products based in Brecksville, OH. House of LaRose sells, merchandises, markets, and delivers approximately 12 million cases of beer a year. In December of 2004, House of LaRose merged its two midsized facilities into a 300,000-square-foot distribution center. The distribution of 40,000 to 60,000 cases of beverages per night is controlled by warehouse management software residing on an Oracle 10g database.
Integrated Servers Provide CDP Sales Opportunities
The challenge for House of LaRose was that all of the company’s file servers work in conjunction (a cluster). In this cluster, each file server is completely dependent upon the others in the cluster. If one server goes down, productivity comes to a halt. According to John Thome, VP of Chi Corporation, “The intertwined systems presented a challenge because if there’s a computer failure anywhere, the whole system can stop functioning. That could be catastrophic, resulting in the need to reinstall the entire system and its many components and restore the backup data from tape — a process that could take days.”
House of LaRose got a wake-up call on New Year’s Eve, when the motherboard on the Novell NetWare system went down, costing the company thousands of dollars worth of lost productivity and lost business. This incident illustrated the company’s need to have a data protection/disaster recovery solution to guard it against future losses.
Enter Chi Corporation and FalconStor, a vendor that specializes in continuous data protection software. House of LaRose decided to enhance its data protection, setting up a DR (disaster recovery) site for replication. FalconStor’s IPStor CDP solution stood out from the rest based on features such as ongoing replication and protection, granular recovery of mission-critical databases, messaging data, and files. It also provides bare metal (complete recovery of entire disk drives) in the event of hardware or software failures and site-level disasters.
Chi performed the project in two phases. The first phase of the project involved the installation of one FalconStor IPStor appliance, FalconStor FileSafe, and DiskSafe software. Phase two added another IPStor appliance at the DR location and involved connecting the two, providing a real-time CDP solution. The estimated cost of the project was $70,000.
Work With Your Customers To Budget For CDP Now
This project taught Chi a lot about future sales opportunities in CDP and that customers are budgeting for CDP now. Although CDP accounts for only a small part of Chi’s overall revenue, the House of LaRose project has generated much customer interest in storage and CDP solutions. According to Thome, “Not many of our customers are implementing CDP yet, but they are now starting to budget for it.” Having the reference of a successful $70,000 CDP installation adds legitimacy to Chi’s CDP sales efforts. It should also serve as an inspiration to other VARs looking to add CDP to their line cards.