By Dave Simpson
—Robert W. Baird & Co. (RW Baird) recently completed its quarterly survey of resellers in the enterprise space. In terms of Q3 revenues, about half of the 36 respondents (representing more than $3 billion in aggregate revenues) were "on plan," while a quarter were below revenue expectations and another quarter were above expectations. About half of the VARs were positive about Q4 prospects, while the rest were neutral.
As for 2008, the majority of the resellers expect revenue growth ranging from 5% to 15%.
Baird also questions VARs about which technologies are hot and, on the storage front, iSCSI and data de-duplication appear to be ramping rapidly. For example, approximately 70% of the resellers are experiencing either "strong" or "modest" gains in their iSCSI business. Network Appliance appears to be leading in the iSCSI channel, with 48% of the resellers citing NetApp as "best positioned." EqualLogic came in second place, with 41% of the VARs citing the company as a leader in iSCSI.
Increased interest in iSCSI is also evident in a spate of recent product announcements (see "Adaptec launches iSCSI arrays," "Dell adds iSCSI disk array," and "LeftHand demos virtual iSCSI SAN"), with dozens more expected at the upcoming Storage Networking World show in Dallas, October 15–18.
According to the Baird survey, about 70% of the VARs are experiencing "strong" or "modest" ramp in data de-duplication products. Data Domain has the mindshare lead with 50% of the resellers, while NetApp is viewed as number two, with 25% of the resellers citing the company as a leader in data de-duplication.
(For more information on data de-duplication, see "ExaGrid doubles de-dupe performance.")
On the server side of the equation, more than 90% of the surveyed VARs sell server virtualization (although virtual servers account for less than 10% of total server shipments). On a related note, VMware netted the top score among resellers in terms of quarterly results, slightly ahead of NetApp and Cisco.