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5 Channel Ops: Arrow, Ingram, Synnex Add New Products, AT&T Sets Security Confab Date

Lorna GareyYou may have noticed a trend of security vendors banding together in a variety of alliances, ecosystems and possibly even coalitions. While this is, in part, to take on the 800-pound gorilla that’s crashed their space, that’s not whole story.

Cisco is now the top security vendor by revenue and market share as a result of its “security everywhere” strategy of acquiring and integrating an array of best-of-breed (or close to) point products. However, that has not stopped it from joining select other federations, which are popping up like dandelions.

This week, CyberArk launched the latest such group, the C3 Alliance, aimed at bringing together “enterprise software, IT security and services providers to build on the power of privileged account security to better protect customers from cyber threats.” Members include Check Point, FireEye, IBM, Intel Security, RSA, Palo Alto and others. We also reported this week that network security provider WatchGuard Technologies has introduced its Technology Partner Program, branded under its WatchGuardONE Partner Ecosystem. Again, the program is aimed at recognizing and supporting technology companies that integrate their products with WatchGuard’s network security services. Ryan Orsi, WatchGuard’s director of strategic alliances, told us that WatchGuardONE currently includes 15 companies with more than 16 technology integrations.

So what gives?

“These companies realized they cannot be everything to all customers,” says Michael A. Davis, CTO of CounterTack and a Channel Partners contributor. “Best of breed is here to stay, except for SMBs, because the ‘API for everything’ mindset makes it much easier to tie products together than ever before. Furthermore, threat intelligence is driving the integration of data feeds between products. The IDS is smarter if it has endpoint knowledge of what OS and processes are running, for example.”

CounterTack, which mines big data for endpoint protection, is part of the extensive Blue Coat TAP ecosystem, which also includes AlienVault, CA, HP, Exabeam, Gemalto Trend Micro — and Cisco. Meanwhile, Intel Security (McAfee) has its own lengthy Innovation Alliance Partner Directory, with Aruba, Blue Coat, Securonix, TrapX , VMware AirWatch and many more. (I’ll be reporting from the Intel Security Partner summit in a few weeks.)

Splunk is, seemingly, everywhere.

Cisco has some top-notch technologies as part of its security platform — Davis calls out FireAMP and ThreatGrid — and they’re improved by integration with the Snort IDS/IPS. However, IT pros tend to be wary of going all-in on one vendor, especially when their companies have legacy, but still effective, security products in place around. The rise of “SIEM 2.0″ products that can analyze massive amounts of log data is a wild card as well, says Davis.

My take is partners win either way. If you’re in the Cisco camp, you get integration. If you prefer to mix and match, you get integration, as long as you stay within one clique. Agree? Disagree? Let me know, either in comments or direct.

NFV Learning Lab

Telecom professionals and solutions architects who want to learn what’s involved with managing and maintaining an NFV environment can now get some hands-on experience without a big time, money or manpower investment. GigaSpaces Technologies’ new NFV Lab offers on-demand access to a learning space configured with a private OpenStack environment, Cloudify TOSCA-based orchestration and the Clearwater open source vIMS virtualized network function.

GigaSpaces points out that telecoms are embracing NFV to control the cost of network plant expansion and speed the pace of launching new services. Lab users receive training from GigaSpaces, including on-boarding and a short online training session that includes the use of Clearwater, Cloudify and the OpenStack environment. GigaSpaces engineers can also monitor each user’s experience in the NFV Lab and provide feedback and suggestions. My take on why the channel needs to pay attention to NFV is here.

Arrow, Guidance Sign Distribution Deal

Following its “Channel First” program launch in July and a January announcement of new channel sales and global sales leadership teams, Guidance Software announced this week a distribution deal with Arrow Electronics; it also sells through Westcon and immixGroup. Guidance’s Encase software is a longtime leader in forensics and e-discovery, tasks that few customers have the capacity to perform in-house. Most would prefer to turn to trusted local advisers, and enabling those providers is the aim of new updates in the Guidance Software Global Partner Program.

Under the new agreement, Arrow’s enterprise computing solutions business will distribute Guidance Software’s digital investigation, e-discovery and endpoint security products.

“Guidance Software has been a leader in the forensic security market for many years and continues to bring new value to its customers,” said Russell Zientek, vice president of Arrow’s cybersecurity group, in a statement. “We are looking forward to helping them expand their footprint through our extensive network of solution providers. By leveraging Arrow’s ability to deliver scale and reach, we hope to jointly capitalize on both this fast-growing channel opportunity and the high market demand for security products.”

For its part, Scott Skidmore, vice president, global channel at Guidance, says his company is looking to distribution partnerships to scale within the partner community, maximize partner growth and profitability, and improve internal efficiencies around partner management, deal flow and sales execution.

Guidance Software products are available for purchase through Arrow effective immediately.

As I previously discussed, the EnCase eDiscovery and Enterprise tools could be a smart addition for security-focused partners. In particular, e-discovery, the process of gathering, preserving and processing electronically stored information for legal or compliance reasons, is a lucrative and growing business. Getting a practice started requires an investment in tools and training, but Radicati Group predicts revenues for e-discovery services will grow from over $1.6 billion in 2014 to more than $3.8 billion by 2018.

Ingram Adds Panasas Storage

In other distributor news, storage provider Panasas announced this week a broadened relationship with Ingram Micro. Under the agreement, Ingram Micro will distribute the ActiveStor line of scale-out NAS systems, which are tuned for large, unstructured data sets. Panasas says the devices are ideal for precision medicine, computer-aided engineering, media rendering and other storage-intensive use cases.

“As large unstructured data sets proliferate, Panasas’ performance storage combined with enterprise manageability and reliability offers a solution businesses need and channel partners can easily monetize and manage,” said Scott Zahl, Ingram Micro’s VP of advanced solutions. “We are pleased to welcome Panasas to our growing portfolio of data center-focused vendors in the U.S.”

ActiveStor systems start below $50,000 for a 66 TB deployment and can be scaled out to more than 20 petabytes, with 200 GBps of performance. The arrays run Panasas’ PanFS storage OS and support DirectFlow, NFS and CIFS protocols and RAID 6+.

PLUS: Here’s one I missed last week. Synnex has inked a North American distribution agreement with Docker. The distributor says it sees demand in the public sector market for more agile applications; that bodes well for Docker’s container technology, which makes applications highly portable. Synnex is also offering Docker to its network of commercial resellers.

BitTitan Teases Dashboard Tweaks

Cloud-services enablement provider BitTitan, which was named Microsoft’s Partner of the Month for April (congrats), this week previewed changes coming next week to its MSPComplete and MigrationWiz dashboards. Both products are aimed at helping IT providers sell cloud services, then on-board and serve customers. The company says the changes will make it easier to track and manage accounts.

Partners will now need to create and select a customer before creating a MigrationWiz project and will be able to add users from MSPComplete to each project, rather than importing them every time. If you use these products and notice a difference in the dashboards, check out the tutorials BitTitan will offer starting next week.

Bits & Bytes

Google Debuts Exchange Support: Google announced this week that the Android Gmail app is getting an update to support Microsoft Exchange email, contacts and calendars on any Android device.

Comcast Certifies VoIP Phones: Zultys announced this week the interoperability certification of its MX IP Phone Systems with Comcast Business’ SIP Trunk Solution. “Many of our customers and channel partners have requested that we work with Comcast, so I’m pleased that we have gained this certification,” said Steve Francis, chief sales and marketing officer for Zultys. “Partnership with Comcast expands our ability to reach a larger portion of the business community, both SMB and enterprise.”

AT&T Cyber Confab: AT&T has set Oct. 24 as the opening day for its annual Cybersecurity Conference. Registration opens this summer, but if you’re interested, mark your calendars now and check www.att.com/securityconference to view 2015 conference highlights and presentation content.

Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.


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