Infinidat may be just seven years old, but it is already considered a disruptor in the storage industry offshore.
The Israeli company marked its arrival in New Zealand last week with an executive roundtable on Waiheke Island, featuring founder and storage technology icon Moshe Yanai.
Locally, the first Infinidat Infinibox has been lit up to serve infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers at Spectrum in Auckland. Right now, Infinidat describes Spectrum as its only “active” local partner.
Spectrum chief technology officer Anton Aalders told Reseller News that the provider supplies a lot of subscription services to customers, including cloud and IaaS.
The unit was delivered before Christmas and the first customer, a yet to be named government client, is coming on board.
“We’re using the Infinidat platform as high-end, high performance storage as a service that customers can consume,” Aalders said.
“It’s the top performance tier effectively, given the fact its performance metrics and guarantees around performance and availability are pretty much unheard of in this industry.”
Spectrum has previously cited MetService, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health as core government clients and Auckland Council in local government, with the partner also selling and installing Infinidat units.
Infinidat’s point of difference is that it provide high-performance storage at a much cheaper price through the way the vendor mixes disk and solid state media and manages that through software.
Flash memory is very expensive, but makes up only about five per cent of capacity in the box being used only as and when needed.
"You need another revolution, mainly because of data and analytics,” Infinidat founder and CEO Moshe Yanai told Reseller News. "This is our architecture. I think like EMC took the market and IBM, we are going to take the market for the next 30 years.
"It’s very hard to catch us because you need huge investment."
Goldman Sachs invested $95 million in Infinidat six months ago, valuing the company at US$1.6 billlion.
While Yanai, who led the development of EMC’s Symmetrix storage products in the 1990s, has since founded and sold another company, he said he is in Infinidat for the long-haul.
"The reason why we established this company is a strategic one,” he said. “The company that I sold was tactical.
"This answers a great need, like when I came to EMC. I think we are too expensive for someone to buy us and a huge difference between Nutanix, Pure Storage and others is that we are profitable."
So why does Infinidat need Goldman Sachs?
Yanai said that’s because Infinidat wants to expand sales beyond its US customer core.
"We want the rest of the world," Yanai said. "Each country has its own language and so forth and you need to spend a lot of money on sales and support."
Second, Goldman Sachs is very good evidence that Infinidat is a serious industry player.
According to Mark Brown, Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) general manager of Infinidat, telecommunications, service providers and managed service providers are the primary targets for local sales.
Brown said Infinidat has a distribution model through Independent Data Solutions (IDS) that provides trained pre-sales resources in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and New Zealand.
“They are a really technical company," he explained. "They’ve got deep storage expertise and a lot of mainframe people working for them as well. We’re going out to the partner channel through their ecosystem."
In the US there is a mixed direct and channel model, with 80 per cent of sales going through the channel and direct sales to very large companies.
Brown said New Zealand will be 100 per cent channel, as is the broader Asia Pacific and Japan region.
A number of the people at the Waiheke event, he said, had also been to a Spectrum executive visit to Infinidat in the US last year.
“Probably half the prospects were storage prospects on Spectrum’s platform," he said. "Anton is very insistent in where he wants to take his business and we are supportive of that."
In looking ahead, Brown sees strong prospects with several potential local clients but in enterprise sales it’s not a six to 12 week sales cycle, “it’s six to 12 months”.
“Support is a big question that comes up all the time,” he added. "We’ve got a global support model in place. Every box we put on the ground is connected to our level-3 support centres. It’s managed 7x24.”
Local break-fix resources are also in place.