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February 2009

www.crn.co.za

Inside
 EMC anticipates growth in SA P12>>
 Small business storage needs still rising p20>>
 Convergence: networking’s hot topic p29>>

Industry heads share what they


think 2009 has in store p33>>
PUBLISHER’S: NOTE

Hope in the SME


W
hether you call it the SMB or SME space, the small and medium business sector,
regardless of its focus, seems to be a big ray of hope for the IT industry.
During this very negative period where project businesses are being reduced
or suspended until sunnier days, there still seems to be a lot of hope that the
SME/B space will remain vibrant.
While the bigger corporates seem to be adopting a “lets sweat our assets”
approach, the medium and smaller sized guys look poised to do quite a bit of
spending this year.
I have met with many heads of IT companies over the past 30 days and the
one thing that remains constant is their faith in the small and medium-sized
companies as the spenders in 2009.
However, this begs the question as to how much is this space really worth
locally and what if the recovery does not come as quick as most expect it to,
what will we do then?
The good thing is that I have actually spoken to a good number of SME/B
companies and YES, I can confidently say that I am reliably informed that the
space will be spending.
Before anyone pops open any Champaign bottles, the companies did stress
that their spending will be very cautious and that vendors, distis and resellers
should all remain realistically optimistic when they plan to deal with SME/B
companies.
I guess for those that will be lucky enough to have their quotations accepted
there is the blessed 2010 business to look forward to. My only concern is how
many local distis and resellers will actually benefit from all this, I guess we will
have to wait and see.
I assure you I will give the final procurement list a thorough going through
once it is available for public consumption or if it magically lands on my desk
before then.
In addition, it is interesting to see how much focus is being placed on the
SME/B space by companies that previously mostly focused on the large
enterprise and public sector, could this bring about some interesting developments.
Let us wait and see.

Kaunda Chama – editor


Contents
News & Analysis
4 – What’s News

6 – Comings and goings

8 – Demand Generator takes a look at how Bytes SI upgrades


PGP’s systems
10
10 – Hi Five
CRN Contacts:
Editor: 14 – Microsoft partner changes may cause concern

Kaunda Chama
16 – HP advances Adaptive network vision
kaundac@systems.co.za

33 – Cover story: 2009 market outlook. By Kaunda Chama and


Journalists:
Stanley Chishala
Portia Shaba
portias@systems.co.za
16
36 – Ten real cost cutting technologies for 2009. By CRN
Staff, ChannelWeb
Dominic Khuzwayo
dominick@systems.co.za Features
21 – Virtualisation: Virtualisation is a hot topic and
Brand executive: creeping into every layer of the IT stack. Organisations are
Hellen Murahwa investigating the opportunities that exist in virtualising operating
hellenm@systems.co.za systems and applications with an aim of consolidating
infrastructure and driving business alignment. By Dudu Shaba
23
Sub-editor:
25 – Notebooks: The South African notebook market is
Jenny Bastomsky
expected to be resilient in the face of a slowing local and glob-
jennybee@telkomsa.net.co.za
al economy as end-users continue to buy into the benefits of
mobile computing. By Dudu Shaba
Designer:
Spencer van Graan
29 – Networking: The ability to deploy best-of-breed applica-
spencerg@systems.co.za tions directly into the network infrastructure assists networking
vendors to differentiate themselves and helps their customers
Database and subscriptions: achieve even greater returns on their investment in network- 29
Daisy Mulenga ing infrastructure. These applications create a more powerful
daisym@systems.co.za and intelligent network. By Dudu Shaba

copyright notice Product and Technology


CRN Southern Africa is published monthly by
Systems Publishers (Pty) Ltd. The copyright of all
material in this publication is reserved by the proprietors,
39 – McAfee Total Protection 2009 review
except where expressly stated. The publisher, however,
will consider reasonable requests for the use of material
by others on condition that the source and author
of the report are clearly attributed. Due to the nature
of the newspaper print process, Systems Publishers Parting shots
cannot be held responsible for colour variations
in printed advertising. Printed by Ultra Litho.
CRN Southern Africa is a licensee of CMP Media LLC.
40 – Snapshot: Andrew Holden, Bytes Outsource Services
Private Bag X12, Rivonia, 2128
Tel: (011) 234 7008
Fax: (011) 234 7025
Registered with the Audit
Bureau of Circulation
40 – Dilbert 39

2 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


WHAT’S NEWS

IBM and SAP AG join forces CommVault releases Simpana 8


IBM and SAP AG have announced the planned release of their first joint CommVault Systems has announced that Simpana 8, a major new
software product in March. The product named Alloy software was release of its enterprise data management software, is now available.
announced at the annual Lotusphere conference. Alloy software This includes advances in recovery management, data reduction, virtual
combines IBM Lotus Notes software with SAP Business Suite. “We expect server protection and content organisation. Simpana 8 helps companies
the new Alloy software from IBM and SAP to help us drive down IT man- to manage larger amounts of data, scale to accommodate an
agement costs and boost productivity by allowing employees easy access expanding, globally distributed enterprise, and implement cost-saving
to SAP reports, procurement data and product lifecycle management strategies by offering users new snapshot-based data management,
tools directly from their Lotus Notes e-mail,” says Tom Greene, CIO, laptop and desktop protection, remote office data management and
Colgate-Palmolive. advanced copy management features. The new version of Simpana
software continues CommVault’s commitment to delivering comprehensive
data protection, backup and recovery, and information management
Sahara’s latest ImageBook capabilities that enable companies to meet key business challenges and
Sahara Computers has introduced its latest transform their enterprise.
notebook based on Intel Centrino 2 processor
technology to the local market. Sahara believes
the sleek piano-black finished offering will add Konica Minolta SA launches myFAX
immense value to users in the business or corpo- Bidvest Company, Konica Minolta South Africa has launched the myFAX
rate arena. “The mobile professional has the network fax server product in SA. myFAX is designed to meet the needs
benefit of a mobile workstation and multimedia of small-to-mid-sized businesses, and allows users to send and receive
device in one. There is ample storage capacity to faxes from their desktop or browser. “Many organisations are becoming
Gary Naidoo
store and digitally manipulate information and increasingly knowledgeable with high expectations for immediate and
large files,” says Gary Naidoo, deputy MD at Sahara. Key features of personalised service and support,” explains Mohammed Vachiat,
the Sahara ImageBook 15WS include an Intel 2GHz Core 2 Duo product manager at Konica Minolta South Africa. “Expectations are
Mobile Processor, 2GB memory, a built-in 2.0 mega-pixel webcam, a rising and yet organisations are under pressure to do more with the
15-inch TFT LCD display, a 250GB hard-disk drive and a super same or fewer resources. The myFAX solution can assist in finding new
multi-DVD writer. ways to optimise operational efficiency, improve productivity and reduce
costs,” he says.

Microsoft protects Office customers


Microsoft has released a program called Office Genuine Advantage New HD displays
(OGA) notifier. OGA is designed for home and business customers, Packard Bell has updated its Maestro line of high-performance displays
and partners to test their software’s authenticity. OGA notifier is with two new widescreen, full HD models, the 24-inch Maestro 242 Ws
downloaded voluntarily and once installed can tell whether and 22-inch Maestro 222 Ws. “The two new displays are our most
Microsoft Office applications are authentic. “People spend thousands advanced ever,” says Emmanuel Fromont, sales and marketing VP,
of rands on PC hardware, software and services, so it makes Packard Bell. “Not only is their design unique, with their signature seam-
sense to keep it all virus free and up to date,” says Charl Everton, the less edge-to-edge glass enclosure, they also feature the latest LCD tech-
anti-piracy manager at Microsoft SA. “With that in mind, we have seen nologies, including 16:9 full HD, 2-ms response time and 40000:1
an increase in the amount of counterfeit software in the local market,” DCR.” Both Packard Bell Maestro displays have the same thin-case
he adds. design and elegant stand. Behind the seamless glass enclosure, the
glossy, widescreen display provides an immersive viewing experience.

Tarsus announces new 3G


Aspire One Nortel users get bonus
Tarsus Technologies has announced a host of Enterasys Networks SA has announced an unprecedented 100%
interesting upgrades to Acer’s Aspire One range. “trade-in credit” offer to users of Nortel Networks’ switching products
According to Traci Maynard, Acer business should they replace them with the Enterasys equivalent. This limited
unit manager at Tarsus, the upgrades comprise period offer comes in the wake of news that Nortel Networks has filed
the addition of an integrated 3G modem to voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code and
certain of the Windows XP-laden models in the has received approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court for a
range, an increase in hard-disk storage number of motions requesting relief from creditors. Martin May, country
Traci Maynard
capacity to 160GB and the introduction manager for Enterasys Networks SA, has taken advantage of apparent
of two new colours - coral pink and diamond black. Maynard marketplace uncertainty over Nortel’s future – as highlighted in the
says that her team is looking forward to the arrival of the new Aspire global media – to encourage local Nortel customers to look at
One models, since they have been hugely popular with clients of alternative solutions. May says the move will also facilitate free upgrades
every size and in every sector of the market since their launch a couple in future, allowing them to take advantage of imminent innovations in
of months ago. switch technology, particularly in data security.

4 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


WHAT’S NEWS

COMINGS
Avaya appoints head of
EMEA Distribution
& GOINGS
Capital will seek out and make strategic invest-
ments, allowing innovative home-grown tech-
Avaya has appointed Thomas Veit as director of nology companies not just access to our capital
Avaya Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) but also to our technological expertise and
distribution. He will lead the distribution strategy global network,” says Mensah. “The move into
for Avaya’s products and solutions across its Africa illustrates Intel’s view that Africa as an
business and channel partners in EMEA. Veit emerging market will continue to unearth great
brings more than 17 years of experience business opportunities for us” he adds.
Thomas Veit Sam Mensah
and success in building pan-EMEA distribution
Thomas Veit
programmes. Most recently, Veit worked Peter Watt joins Itec
at SonicWALL as senior director, EMEA sales operation & Former Business Connexion (BCX) CEO Peter
emerging markets, where he was responsible for the restructuring Watt has been appointed deputy chairman of
and rationalisation of distribution and reseller channel Itec Distribution, bringing with him extensive
relationships. “Thomas brings a legacy of solid expertise in strategic and leadership skills. “Having been
distribution strategies, and will help Avaya to expand its channel with large public companies most of my life, I
relevance and responsiveness,” says Jeremy Butt, VP, worldwide look forward to helping the management team
Channels, Avaya. of this growing business to achieve its
Peter Watt
objectives and roll-out key projects designed
Intel Capital appoints Sam Mensah to enhance Itec’s market position,” says Watt. His primary function
Intel Capital has appointed Sam Mensah as its director for South at Itec will be the development of business strategy, executive
and sub-Saharan Africa. Mensah has been with Intel Corporation development, and mentoring and assisting in the establishment of
for the past six years, he previously worked in London at Deutsche governance committees. He will also watch over and guide the
Bank and tech consulting firm Gresham Financial Systems. “Intel company’s expansion into the overseas market.

New Manhattan USB Radio HP South Africa managing director, “HP South Africa has always
Manhattan has announced its new USB Internet Radio that receives and been committed to promoting empowerment and ascribes to the
records radio broadcasts on personal computers. Through Internet underlying principles of broad-based black economic empowerment ini-
access and a USB port, the Manhattan USB Internet Radio delivers more tiatives as the key to realising our full potential as a company and as a
than 14 000 radio stations from around the world to desktop and note- business imperative.”
book computers, whether you’re under a palm in Rio or in an Internet
café in Miami. You can connect, listen to and enjoy favourite sports, talk,
music and news broadcasts without subscriptions, user restrictions or Alvarion’s new move
costly upgrades. Its multi-function on-screen control panel provides Alvarion, an international wireless broadband
access to intuitive search, sort, audio controls and settings. pioneer, has launched a new distribution model to
address vertical market requirements and expecta-
tions. The Alvarion distribution strategy currently
HP takes tech to varsities being rolled-out as part of its partner programme,
HP recently announced the successful implementation of the Technology has seen the appointment of Duxbury Networking
for Teaching Grant programme at the University of the Free State. HP’s as the master distributor of Alvarion products in
Higher Education Technology for Teaching Grant initiative creates an southern Africa. Duxbury Networking offers turnkey Graham Duxbury

opportunity for new models of success on campus by integrating mobile wireless solutions to its partners, including feasibility studies, pre and
technology into the classroom setting. This initiative is aimed at post-sales, and technical support. As a distributor of the Alvarion product
improving teaching and learning experiences through the innovative and range in southern Africa, the company is now able to complement its
effective application of mobile technologies. According to Oliver Fortuin, existing range of wireless networking solutions in the licence-free bands.

6 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


DEMAND GENERATOR: BYTES SI
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Bytes SI upgrades PGP’s IT systems


Implementing IT solutions.
BY DOMINIC KHUZWAYO

B ytes Systems Integration (SI), a division of


Bytes Technology Group, assisted Pam
Golding Properties (PGP) to upgrade its IT
systems and introduced services orientated
“We needed to link our Web services with
our database and various applications but
soon realised that our systems were very
disjointed and were linked by an array of
solution that creates a benchmark and
standard for all future applications to be built
on within PGP.
“We set out with a small team to start
architecture (SOA) element. applications that just didn’t make sense,” implementing the SOA at PGP. As with any
After 32 years in the property market PGP adds Potgieter SOA it is critical to have a successful pilot
has become a trusted name when it comes Bytes SI was chosen to make sense of the project, so for our pilot project we focused
to real estate. However, to gain a lead in a various applications and document the on providing services to be used by PGP’s
market that is suffering a slump, PGP turned existing applications to allow all the systems intranet site,” explains Odendaal.
to technology to get its systems running to integrate seamlessly. Potgieter says: “Our IT services have
properly, better serve its customers and to The project, which started in March 2008, already seen marked benefits since having
create an efficient working environment for was successfully completed five months later the SOA layer in place.” It has allowed
its staff. and achieved the integration and logical us to hide complexity, simplify project
“We were struggling with our online links between the database, various applications deliverables and reduce costs. The SOA
systems because they were not integrating and Web services that PGP needed. Bytes SI enables us to integrate solutions without
efficiently,” says Henry Potgieter, infrastructure met the requirements of the real estate giant having to be concerned with the underlying
manager, PGP. by building an application that logically technology of the solutions.”
“The intranet site is used daily by
hundreds of PGP offices around the
“When we started at PGP in the beginning of 2008, its country. During the pilot project we followed
application business logic resided in many systems and was agile development practices like SCRUM and
continuous integration with great success,”
tightly integrated into those systems. As a result, its IT systems says Odendaal.
In addition, albeit an uncomplicated
were difficult to use, slow and expensive to grow with the
solution, the application implemented by
business’ needs.” – Willem Odendaal, Bytes SI. Bytes SI satisfies the needs of PGP by providing
an integration layer that effectively links the
database to the various Web services. The
solution itself is built on a .Net platform and
grouped the Web services and created an makes use of Web services, factories, cruise
SOA layer that sits above the database and control for continuous integration and an
dynamically controls the links between the NUnit testing application, and uses SOA as
various applications and the database. the management principle.
“When we started at PGP in the beginning Odendaal adds: “SOA is a long-term
of 2008, its application business logic resided goal, it was important for the business and IT
in many systems and was tightly integrated department to understand and support
into those systems. As a result, its IT systems what we were doing. As such, education of
were difficult to use, slow and expensive to business and IT staff was an important part
grow with the business’ needs,” says Willem of the project.
Odendaal, senior architect at Bytes SI. “The pilot project is only the beginning,
One of the main goals of the solution was and we trust that it will serve as the foundation
to document how PGP’s current IT systems for future SOA growth at PGP and will
are built so that future systems can be easily ultimately make its systems more agile and
built to this standard. The SOA layer we business focused, and cheaper to maintain.”
implemented achieved this level of standards
and will dictate the management principles Do you have demand generator stories to
for the future. In this way the collective share with us, please e-mail Dominic
Willem Odendaal, Bytes SI teams have led the way and implemented a Khuzwayo at dominick@systems.co.za

8 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


HIGH FIVE: IMPROWEB
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

ImproWEB improves the IT channel


Digital business is the future.
BY DOMINIC KHUZWAYO

“D igital business its your future or you’re history,” this is according to


Henno Marais MD of ImproWEB. Marais claims the online solutions
offered by improWEB are supreme and unrivalled in the South African
market, which has made improWEB one of the leading Web-based
solutions companies today. In this month’s High Five, CRN chats to
Marais, an industrial engineer and consultant, to find out what digital
business has to offer the IT channel.

CRN: Tell us more about ImproWEB?


HM: Founded in 2005, ImproWEB develops high-technology solu-
tions specific to the IT industry. Driven by a strong business back-
ground, development skills and a passion to help smaller businesses
like resellers ImproWEB was born. ImproWEB has re-engineered the IT
channel in SA so that the sales chain can be completely automated.
This means that the reseller can now sell to its customer, and have the
product delivered to the customer without knowing about it.
ImproWEB can do for the IT industry what Internet banking has done
for the banking industry.
“ImproWEB can do for the IT industry
CRN: How is digital business in SA?
HM: We are fortunate in that we can see the future for our own what internet Banking has done for the
country by observing what has happened in other countries. In SA a
Banking industry.” – Henno Marais
large portion of online sales activity is driven by rewards programmes.
There is still room for improvement because there is no way that a MD, ImproWEB.
physical store can compete with a properly integrated Web store. This
comparison is both on price and service levels. Digital business needs
to be done correctly before it really works, if somebody can do it CRN: How does it help distributors?
correctly they will fly in 2009. By using the ImproWEB software HM:
correctly with my knowledge and experience distributors will stand out  Cheaper for the distributor or bank

above the rest.  Improves customer-reseller experience

 Improves customer-reseller relationship

 Develops loyalty towards the distributor or bank

 Creates customer-reseller expectations

CRN: How does it help resellers?


HM: With resellers being able to generate orders
and have those orders delivered without them lifting
a finger, I cannot see why resellers would buy from
a distributor without a system like this. It also makes
life easy and cuts costs for resellers.

CRN: How does it help vendors?


HM: By making it easy for the reseller to get
vendors’ products out there while having all
the product specifications and pictures available
sends a strong brand message. Vendors will benefit
from both distributors and resellers if everything is
done well.

10 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


ANALYSIS: EMC
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

EMC wants to ‘fly’ in SA


BY DOMINIC KHUZWAYO

E MC, one of the world leaders in information infrastructure solutions,


announced that it is anticipating high growth in South Africa in 2009
despite the bleak economic outlook globally.
Recently, EMC joined the list of IT vendors who are cutting cost by
confident of delivering solutions to
the market by working closely with
its partners to provide end-to-end
virtualisation projects encompassing
sending their staff home in order to survive in this financial draught. hardware, software services and
However EMC South Africa says this did not have any impact on the consulting.
local operation. “We see our growth coming
Looking at the EMC‘s financial results released a few weeks ago, from our content management
the vendor reported a total revenue of $14.9 billion, up 12 percent product. There will be a big drive
from the $13.2 billion it reported for 2007. On CRN.com Joe Tucci, around security and storage prod-
EMC chairman, president and CEO, said he is happy with the ucts, and we intend to open a new
fourth-quarter results but a bit disappointed with the results for the division called Resource
entire year. “I am disappointed that we missed our $15 billion revenue Management Software Group
target by a little over $100 million,” he said. Gerhard van der Merwe, EMC which will combine a new product
According to EMC, it currently has a 40% market share in South line with existing products such as
Africa compared to 50% in the US and 30% globally. Smarts, Infra and Control Centre to offer clients a value proposition to
Gerhard van der Merwe, Regional Country Manager of EMC South handle the growth in content in South Africa and Africa,” explains van
Africa says: “The strategy for EMC South Africa is the same as the de Merwe.
global strategy. As an information infrastructure provider, EMC aims to According to him, 2009 will have a very strong virtualisation focus.
become a virtual data centre solution specialist, achieving 100% “Server virtualisation is the most substantial shift in IT so far, adoption
virtualisation and being recognised as number one solution provider is high, and organisations are virtualising mission-critical and business-
in the world.” critical applications. As a result, enterprises need to work with a
In addition, Van der Merwe says, the company will use the storage partner like EMC SA to carefully select the appropriate storage
cost-saving strategies of local enterprises to offer value-added, efficient networking approach and storage system,” he says.
solutions and services which increase its market share. In addition, EMC says it will invest approximately $1.4 billion in
EMC says its focus in 2009 will be on the South, East and Central research and development during 2009, thereby demonstrating its
African (SECA) region, where it has identified opportunities in the commitment to remaining one of the leading IT services and solutions
telco, public sector, oil and gas market sectors. providers globally.
“In South Africa, our focus on the enterprise side of the business will However the writing is on the wall, that even the IT vendors are also
be in the telco, financial services, public sector and industrial sectors.” feeling the economic knocks.
“On the corporate and commercial side of the business, the focus is This clearly shows the high growth that EMC anticipates won’t be as
on manufacturing and retail. We also aim to double our existing 25% easy with the economic downturn pulling IT spending on the ground.
market share in the coastal regions this year,” says van der Merwe. With things projected to pick-up in the second half of the year, if
In a time where you need to have a true partner, EMC says it is EMC plays its cards well they might get an ace in South Africa.
ANALYSIS: MICROSOFT
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Microsoft program changes:


VARs will be happy, LARs less so
BY SCOTT CAMPBELL, CHANNELWEB

M icrosoft is poised to make some sweeping


changes to its channel programs, ushering in
more opportunities for VARs seemingly at the
expense of direct marketers and large-account
Microsoft has yet to inform solution
providers about the changes, and executives
at Microsoft declined to comment. A
spokesperson issued a statement that read
VARs and LARs, but the second distribution
executive is not so sure. “I don’t see a VAR
doing business with a LAR. That’s like letting
the fox into the hen house,” he said.
resellers, according to channel sources. “Microsoft regularly evaluates its partner In these tough economic times, Microsoft
Microsoft plans to dramatically reduce programs and incentives with the goal of is making changes it believes necessary to
funding to DMRs and LARs and give VARs rewarding partners for driving revenue drive more demand, said the first distribution
more equal footing with those larger partners growth and delivering value-added solutions executive. “They’re reducing investment on
on opportunities of more than 250 seats, and services.” those [partners] that are just fulfilling
sources say. A channel executive briefed on the matter demand. Anyone that is good at driving
“This is real, real positive for the channel. said VARs will be pleased with the changes. demand, that can increase the average
It’s a more level playing field,” says one distri- “Microsoft has always given a very unfair invoice of a customer, should benefit,” said
bution executive who asked not to be named. advantage to their LARs and the Dells and the executive.
Microsoft informed its DMRs and LARs of Insights of the world. They’ve really done a Some Microsoft solution providers lauded
the news, saying moves to help SMB partners
are overdue.
“They’ve had the same pricing structure
“We make our money in services, but if they can make it for a long time. Times have changed, with
netbooks and Linux taking hold. It’s good for
an even playing field, or at least lessen the gap between
them to re-evaluate this,” said Todd Swank,
the larger and smaller VARs, it will be better for the vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech,
Burnsville, Minn. “All we ask for is an equal
industry.” – Tim Howard, Rmon Networks Inc playing field. We’re good at taking care of
customers, delivering innovative solutions.
But certain people can take advantage of
its intentions at a meeting last week, 180. They’re investing dramatically more different programs not available to the rest of
according to sources. “It was very poorly into the channel, through distributors and us. That’s not fair.”
received by the LARs,” according to the VARs,” says the executive. Tim Howard, president of Rmon Networks
distribution executive. A second distribution executive who asked Inc. Danville, N.H., said back-end incentives
Microsoft reportedly feels that those large not to be named said Microsoft hasn’t from Microsoft to large partners have been a
partners are fulfilling demand but not doing detailed the changes to distributors either but sticking point for a long time.
an adequate job of driving it and wants to he noted that that could happen as early as “Those larger companies, they live by
provide more incentives to solution providers next week. That executive said the strategy those and pad their earnings by hitting those
to do so, according to the executive. will be implemented on a worldwide basis. volumes. As smaller VARs, we don’t have that
Soon after the meeting, direct marketer The move could have a dramatic impact volume because we’re constantly competing
Insight Enterprises said that changes to on the LAR landscape, said the second with the Insights and CDWs,” he said.
vendor incentive programs would negatively distribution executive. However, some customers still turn to
impact its earnings for 2009. On a conference “Those [LARs] that are financially and VARs to implement the Microsoft applications
call with analysts, Insight CEO Rich Fennessy operationally minded, I think you’ll see them even after the end user buys them from a
said the direct marketer expects to earn make cuts. Others might be in a position to LAR. “We make our money in services, but if
$10 million to $15 million less this year in grow. They’ll all start to look at consolidation they can make it an even playing field, or at
incentives from its largest software partner, opportunities. We’ll see that this year,” said least lessen the gap between the larger
although he did not mention it by name. the executive. and smaller VARs, it will be better for the
The changes come as Microsoft also It’s believed Microsoft is hoping the industry,” Howard said.
revealed plans to open its own retail locations. changes could foster partnerships between Kevin Mclaughlin contributed to this story.

14 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


ANALYSIS: HP
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

HP advances adaptive network vision


Technology vendor launches multi-vendor program and data centre solutions.

BY KAUNDA CHAMA

L ast month HP ProCurve announced a


dramatic change in the way it will engage its
current and future technology partners, and
also announced some new products for
data centres.
The networking vendor has made a con-
certed effort to expand its Adaptive Networks
vision by announcing two initiatives that
enable customers to address rapidly changing
enterprise data centre needs and improve the
efficiency of their network applications.
At the same time, the company added to
its extensive technology portfolio by unveiling
data centre switches and management soft-
ware designed to help customers lower costs,
mitigate risks and drive business growth.
HP ProCurve’s new Open Network
Ecosystem (HP ProCurve ONE) is a multi-
vendor alliance program that optimises the
performance of enterprise-class applications
with HP ProCurve infrastructure. Marius Haas, HP ProCurve
Participating in this program are technology
leaders such as Microsoft, Avaya, McAfee, and certified to ensure interoperability with five new top-of-rack server edge switches to
F5 and Riverbed. Adaptive Networks is HP the new HP ProCurve ONE Services zl the HP data centre portfolio, simplifying
ProCurve’s vision for the future in which Module. The module is an HP blade for the management and maintenance enabled by
networks adapt to users, applications and an HP ProCurve Switch 5400zl and 8200zl consistent firmware across HP ProCurve
organisation’s needs. series that consolidates many partner 5400, 8200 and new 6600 series switches.
“To help customers address the increasing applications onto one common platform, The switches are all based on the fourth
pace of change within their businesses, HP thereby eliminating redundant operational generation of HP ProCurve’s internally developed
ProCurve is combining its own technology with costs while optimising rack space. ProVision ASIC network chipset, which drives
some of the most innovative, respected and Meanwhile, the partners are collaborating the functionality of the network switches.
visionary companies in the world,” says Marius with HP ProCurve to help customers strengthen By turning off unused ports and employing
Haas, senior VP and GM, HP ProCurve. security, reduce complexity of network a front-to-back reversible airflow system, the
“Establishing partnerships with major technology management, increase network and data HP ProCurve 6600 switches help to reduce
companies to deliver open-standards choices centre performance, deploy new VoIP energy consumption and allow customers to
delivers business value by increasing the services and improve manageability. effectively manage the cooling layout of their
efficiency of network applications.” data centres.
New data centre solutions Through the HP ProCurve ONE initiative,
The ecosystems The new HP ProCurve Data Center HP ProCurve is helping customers to accelerate
Using HP ProCurve’s open networks platform Connection Manager is designed to stream- their adoption of next-generation data centres
as its foundation, HP ProCurve ONE allows line operations in next-generation data centres. by teaming with F5 to provide application
customers to securely integrate a wide choice This software enables automated provisioning delivery technology, and with Riverbed for
of network applications and services from of server and network resources in virtualised WAN acceleration and optimisation.
alliance partners that integrate directly with and traditional environments to help reduce Speaking at last month’s event to officially
HP ProCurve infrastructure. operating expenses in data centres. announce the new initiative, Alberto Soto, VP
Partner applications are rigorously tested The HP ProCurve 6600 switch series adds and GM for HP ProCurve EMEA mentioned

16 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


ANALYSIS: HP
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Riverbed’s senior VP marketing and


business development Eric Wolford says:
“I particularly admire the tighter integration of ProCurve switches into the “The inclusion of Riverbed WAN optimisation
HP Data Centre story. Acknowledging networking as a vital part of the in the HP ProCurve Open Network Ecosystem
gives customers moving to next-generation
Data Center’s Green agenda further strengthens the ProCurve offering.” –
data centre models a best-of-breed solution
Keith Humphreys, EuroLan that reduces costs and complexity, while
improving application performance and
“IDC is very positive about HP ProCurve’s expansion into the network employee productivity.”
Miercom CEO Rob Smithers comments:
equipment market through the launch of these new switches, since data
“Miercom is pleased to recognise the
centres are becoming increasingly important for organisations, fuelled by ProCurve division of Hewlett Packard for
the growth in data centre hosted applications.” – Peter Hulleman, IDC achieving the Certified Green Standard for
the products in the 6600 series data centre
switches which were recently reviewed.”
“By signing partnerships with top companies like F5, Avaya and Aastra,
“HP’s innovation is truly commendable in
HP ProCurve is increasing its market reach and it will help to strengthen that it has built sustainable benefits into its
its position as the 2nd largest player in the European LAN switch products, while at the same time demonstrated
market.” – Peter Hulleman, IDC responsible environmental practices in
production and in its business practices.
“The certification is based on a holistic
review of Hewlett Packard’s ProCurve division
and the switching products produced.
that the company is expecting and will allow Detailed lab testing, qualitative product
more members to join the initiative provided assessments, and an audit of business and
they are able to add value. production practices were included in the review.”
Alan Baratz, senior VP; president, Global He says that HP has effectively proven an
Communications Solutions at Avaya says: innovative product design to offer network
“Through our strategic alliance with HP and switching products with lower energy
the ProCurve Open Network Ecosystem, consumption that comply with increasingly
we’ll deliver fully integrated IP networking stringent environmental directives.
and unified communications solutions and “Analysts are praising this move by HP
services with significant benefits for business- ProCurve, stating that the Open Network
es and organisations.” Ecosystem takes the concept of strategic
Dan Matte, F5 senior VP marketing and alliances one step further, as it not only
business development comments: “F5 is very provides customers with a choice of multiple
pleased to be chosen as a strategic launch applications on multiple appliances, it also
partner for the ProCurve ONE program and executes on true go-to-market partnerships
align much more closely with HP. We bring of combined solutions.”
our deep expertise of the enterprise data “The fact that ProCurve One has
centre and market-leading application identified common resellers with leading
delivery networking solutions that give companies in their market segment such
customers the flexibility to deploy solutions as Avaya, and Aastra in voice, Fortinet and
that scale and adapt on demand.” Alberto Soto, HP McAfee in security as well as Microsoft, gives
Dan Ryan, executive VP and GM of security all vendors that participate in ProCurve One
vendor McAfee’s network security unit says: ProCurve ONE will help customers to resolve credibility in their joint solutions and the
“We’re excited about becoming a member of interoperability concerns by delivering an competitive advantage of engaging with new
the HP ProCurve ONE alliance program and open standards-based solution that is effective channel partners.”
the opportunity to collaborate with HP and efficient. The combination of the HP “This is definitely one of the most
ProCurve in building data centre solutions that ProCurve ONE initiative and Microsoft interesting strategic moves by any multi-
combine McAfee’s industry-leading network Network Access Protection (NAP) will provide national in recent history and it will be
security products with HP ProCurve’s new customers with enhanced security and policy- interesting to see how it all develops and
family of data centre switching products.” based access that helps to reduce downtime how successful it will be both in the short
Microsoft GM Tim Sinclair comments: “HP and boosts return on investment.” and long term.”

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 17


ANALYSIS: SAHARA COMPUTERS
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Sahara 2009 plan to grow resellers


Adding value and growth to the channel.
BY DUDU SHABA

S ahara Computers’ approach to 2009 is


extremely bullish, the company says it has
recently been joined by some senior Sahara
team members, who were seconded to India,
bringing a lot of experience and business
strategies that will grow its resellers in SA.
Irrespective of the economic challenges
and the fluctuating rand, Gary Naidoo,
deputy MD, Sahara, says the company has
designed its new business model in a way
that will empower its resellers by giving them
products that sell at the right price.
“With this new business model in place,
the credit crunch will have a very low impact
on our resellers. We will create awareness by
embarking on roadshows and other market-
ing strategies to present our products and
technologies to the market,” he says.
The Sahara Business Development Division is
set to grow resellers in the nine provinces in
SA.
“We will continue to engage them in different
programmes, work more closely with distribu-
tors and continue to guide them in their exist-
ing and new markets. If our resellers take

Gary Naidoo, Sahara Computers

“The mobile professional has the benefit of a


mobile workstation and multimedia device in
“Even though the market is the other way round, we
one. There is ample capacity to store and
remain a very strong company. We are still hiring digitally manipulate information and large
files. It can be used as a central workstation
people, and our sales team and reseller programme to expand and consolidate the home net-
have expanded.” – Gary Naidoo, Sahara work,” says Naidoo.
Naidoo explains that critical communica-
tion resources such as e-mail and the Internet
are all centralised which reduces cost and
advantage of any programme we introduce notebook to the local market. enhances control to maximise output and
this year, they will add value to their busi- He says the company has expanded its range lower total cost of ownership over the infra-
ness,” says Naidoo. of digital lifestyle solutions and is targeting structure.
The company has introduced a focused and the mid-level market, more specifically users “It has sufficient battery power to be used
dedicated division with regard to retail, gov- that require a feature-rich mobile solution extensively should there be an interruption in
ernment and corporate. In addition to that, that offers high-speed, on-the-go computing. power supply. This eliminates the risk of
Sahara has established a new call centre that `He says that the company believes the downtime to the business.
will control the service offering. sleek piano black finished offering will add The Intel Centrino processor technology
Naidoo has outlined that Sahara has immense value to home users or those that enables massive performance, multi-tasking,
released the Intel 2GB Centrino 2 Montevina operate a home-based small business. high-definition multimedia, latest WiFi tech-

18 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


ANALYSIS: SAHARA COMPUTERS
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

nology and longer battery life,” he explains. that it can be tailored to suit the needs of the therefore the economic decline does not affect
According to Naidoo, key features of the user and customised to fulfil all require- the growth of our company,” says Naidoo.
Sahara ImageBook 15WS include an Intel ments. This is an exciting new solution that Analysing the market in terms of IT use,
2GHz Core 2 Duo Mobile Processor, 2GB we believe will make a difference to people’s Naidoo states that large corporations and
memory, a built-in 2.0 mega-pixel webcam, digital lifestyle,” Naidoo comments. businesses are expected to be tighter and
a 15-inch TFT LCD display, a 250GB hard He continues to say that next month more controlled, at the same time he is
disk drive and a super multi-DVD writer. Sahara will introduce a next-generation net- expecting more growth in terms of IT use in
He says that it also includes Quick book, a fully functional device that will allow the government sector.
Switching Speed, a feature that automatically resellers to tap into the new market. “The household market is also showing
switches the CPU to hurry up and idle mode. He also comments that Sahara is operat- growth with regard to computing and skills,
Naidoo says there is an increasing need ing extremely efficiently with regard to its dis- while the FIFA World Cup will enable small
for affordable, robust and feature-rich wire- tribution model that is based on cash on businesses and resellers to grow their busi-
less technology within the home network and delivery. “We do not expose ourselves to nesses,” he comments.
home business space. bad debt,” he remarks. Naidoo comments how Sahara remains
“This is a thriving area of the market Given the current economic challenges in consistent in keeping its business. “Getting
where the rate of technology adoption is the market, Naidoo says Sahara will not fall the basics right and achieving operational
increasing to keep up with global skills set as it has the strong backing of the Gupta efficiency is very important. Sahara continues
requirements. This solution combines the family that has always maintained high prof- to provide its resellers with good training
very best in processor and chipset technolo- itability within the Sahara Group. and putting the right tools in place, because
gy for quick connectivity and also offers a “Even though the market is the other way we know that when they grow, we will
high memory and storage capacity for effec- round, we remain a very strong company. grow with them. Always ensure that when
tive management of multimedia files. We are still hiring people, and our sales team you lay a foundation you sustain its growth,”
The value in this offering lies in the fact and reseller programme have expanded, Naidoo concludes.
ANALYSIS: TRENDS
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Pack Rats
Small businesses save too much, too often. How can you help them deal?

BY JOSEPH F. KOVAR, CHANNELWEB

T he economic downturn may be hammering


many small businesses,but it is not impacting
the growth of their data storage require-
ments. In fact, opportunities abound for solu-
resolution. Or they may be using a multi-
function printer to scan documents at 300
dpi with color. I suggest 200 dpi with black
and white.”
storage management, to scan a document
and store it with e-mails into an archive that
can be backed up to disk or tape and then
secured in an offsite location, Kleinman said.
tion providers to help small-business clients Technologies that help better manage Only don’t call it HSM, Kleinman said.
better manage their storage and save money storage and cut the need to buy new hard- “That’s a big word for a small business,” he
in the process. All it takes is a few key tech- ware are key, solution providers said. Server said.“When you walk into a company that
nologies and policies. virtualisation, for instance, simultaneously sells stools to restaurants, they don’t want to
Three trends are driving the fast-growing increases the need for storage while making hear about HSM.They want to hear what the
need for small-business storage, said it easier to manage. Combined with iSCSI, it solution will do for them.”
Stephen Allen, president of Integrated allows solution providers to build low-cost, A lot of small businesses are also looking
to tiered storage, said Jeanne Wilson, presi-
dent of Condor Storage, Sedona, Ariz.
“Just don’t forget to back up the data. A lot of small businesses “They want to start moving data from prima-
ry storage because they have no budget for
buy two and use the second one for backups.” adding new capacity,” she said. “One cus-
tomer said he can’t get rid of the music files
users keep. Managers tell me they can’t get
Technology Systems, a New York solution disaster-resistant infrastructures for small people to delete things.
provider.The first is the fact that customers do businesses, said Mitch Kleinman, president They want to clear out files so they don’t
not delete e-mails. Second is that they of Ryjac Computer Solutions, Irvine, Calif. need to back them up, but they’ve had little
are scanning more documents into reposito- Customers can use the VMotion capability success.” Small businesses also like tradition-
ries that are not deleted.Third is that they are of VMware to connect two physical host al NAS appliances because of the cost, the
using applications that generate more and servers and 3 TB to 5 TB of shared disk stor- ease of hooking them to the LAN and the
more .PDF and Word document files. age to allow the sharing of multiple virtual fact that they eliminate the need for a dedi-
A few years ago, a business figured it servers to build a high-availability infrastruc- cated file server, said Brian Lisse, owner of
might need triple or quadruple its capacity ture, Kleinman said. Madison Computer Works, a Madison,Wis.-
over the next two to three years, Allen said. Another important technology is e-mail based solution provider. “Plug it in, and turn
“But in 2007 and 2008, when we designed management. it on,” he said.
an upgradable network, we used a factor of Kleinman expects to see more e-mail “Just don’t forget to back up the data. A
eight. So if the customer has 100 Gbytes of management solutions combined with dedu- lot of small businesses buy two and use the
storage today, we figure 800 Gbytes over plication technologies to handle the growing second one for backups.”
the next two to three years.” volume of information that does not need to Allen said his small-business customers
Small businesses are burning through stor- be stored in multiple copies. “A lot of com- prefer to move away from tape to a NAS or
age capacity with things like downloading panies in this space need to put best prac- SAN appliance like Hewlett-Packard Co.’s
photos and putting files on the network tices in place,” he said. All-in-One or SonicWall Inc.’s continuous
without regard to the cost of managing that Small businesses are also likely to be data protection, which handles version con-
data, said Fred Moore, managing partner at scanning and storing more documents for trol and replication.
Moore Computing, St. Louis. search and archive purposes and to Another opportunity is customers who
“For example, a construction company decrease the physical and compliance risk of work with brand-name vendors like EMC
might be storing 600 site photos at maxi- storing them in paper versions. Corp. or HP but are becoming more open
mum resolution,” Moore said. “There’s no Small businesses can take advantage of to working with lower-cost second-tier ven-
reason to store all those photos, or at that what used to be called HSM, or hierarchical dors,Wilson said.

20 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


VIRTUALISATION TRAINING
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Virtualisation:
a very hot topic
Most IT organisations are implementing the virtualised environments.

BY DUDU SHABA

V irtualisation is currently a hot topic and creep-


ing into every layer of the IT stack.
Organisations are investigating the opportuni-
ties that exist in virtualising operating systems
today, and this is cloud computing. This is
according to Nick Keene, Country Manager,
Citrix Systems, SA.
“Cloud Computing has been around for
and applications, with an aim to consolidate a number of years in a few guises, initially,
infrastructure and drive business alignment. Application Service Providing (ASP) was a very
Gartner predicts that virtualisation will be popular movement at the turn of the century
the highest-impact trend in the infrastructure but failed to deliver possibly due to the con-
and operations market through 2012. ceptual idea being 10 years too soon.
Raymond Watt, MD, REO Consulting (an Software as a Service (SaaS) and Web 2.0
EOH company), backs this prediction saying took the lead in providing software to enter-
that the current global economic situation is prises with infrastructure without requiring too
driving companies to lower costs, show better much bandwidth to connect to environments
returns on existing hardware, and do more hosting such facilities.
with less. However, this is very much limited to Web
“Virtualisation is all about the numbers. It type applications. Although 80% of applica-
is about reducing the number of physical tion development is done for Web format
servers in an environment while increasing today, organisations still have to grapple with
availability stats, and at the same time legacy 16 and 32 bit client server applications
Nick Keene, Citrix Systems, SA
decreasing complexity and administration coupled with the need to centralise desktops
overheads. There is no need to stick to the and deliver these as a service,” he explains.
one-to-one application to server ratio any-
more,” he comments.
“Pressure on limited resources requires us “Virtualisation is enabling one of the fastest growing
to increase our awareness of the impact we
have on the environment and to consider our
trends in the technology space today, and this is cloud
carbon foot print, our energy consumption, computing” – Nick Keene, Citrix Systems, SA
etc. This is further compounded by the global
financial crisis, resulting in many companies
looking for ways to improve the way they
utilise technology, without sacrificing the According to Keene, moving IT infrastructure
number of machines that do the work. In into the Cloud offers an organisation many
short virtualisation is the do more with less benefits including a flexible and agile
solution,” Richard Sutherland, Portfolio platform to access their information while
Manager, Dynamic Infrastructures, Fujitsu reducing the total cost of ownership compared
Siemens Computers says. to owning the infrastructure.
Virtualisation is enabling one of the fastest In his view, the South African adoption
growing trends in the technology space rate of cloud computing has been slower

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 21


VIRTUALISATION TRAINING
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

than that of Europe and United States, more than $1,8 billion in 2009.
primarily because South African organisa- “One of the main drivers of server
tions are taking a more cautious look at the virtualisation is the green issue. Using fewer
concept and waiting for more success stories servers drives the effective utilisation of server
in the form of references and case studies. capacity, and from a green perspective it
helps reduce electricity consumption as less
power is needed to cool the consolidated
“Organisations are investigating the opportunities that exist servers,” he comments.
in virtualising operating systems and applications, with an Another factor that Sutherland raises is
that the management of servers is becoming
aim to consolidate infrastructure and drive business alignment” increasingly more costly.
“Virtualisation gives us a 1 to 7 physical
– Manfred Gramlich, Sun Microsystems.
to virtual ratio on average and often a lot
more. This means that 6 out of every 7
servers are not seen, which makes managing
“The adoption rate is also constrained by them more difficult. More importantly is the
concerns such as bandwidth costs and the fact that there isn’t the obvious red light that
reliability of the connections into the cloud. comes on when a component fails.
There will also be a natural trust issue that There needs to be visibility and manage-
will have to be overcome, as many local ability to the virtual environment to enable
organisations fear their vital information is more effective capacity planning and control
no longer on their own infrastructure and in on VM server sprawl,” he says.
their direct control, but rather managed by Meanwhile, Gramlich adds that the market,
the cloud service provider,” he comments. however, has not been educated enough in
Manfred Gramlich, storage leader for Sun the advantages of effective provisioning.
Microsystems SA, believes that Storage virtu- “Virtualisation means simplification. And if
alisation is a more mature methodology and organisations can simplify they must begin to
is now being supported with innovative take steps to do so immediately. The gap
hardware and software solutions that have between management, deployment and the
the ability to unlock great value. Gramlich amount of data to be managed continues to
says that storage virtualisation has much to widen. This is why virtualisation is currently
offer businesses in reducing complexity and on the front page of nearly every trade
consolidating hardware, along with often journal,” he remarks.
overlooked advantages in data migration.
Andrea Lodolo, CA Africa Manager, Benefits
Technical Sales is also bullish about According to Watt, these are the six major benefits,
virtualisation, He says that it is gaining which are driving server virtualisation in SA:
momentum and most IT organisations are
either investigating, implementing or 1. Quality of service
already using virtualised environments. One of the beauties of virtualisation is the
“Most of these business know why they are ability to shrink or grow the virtual machine’s
doing it, to save costs, sweat their assets, and resource utilization, allowing business
deploy new solutions quicker,” he comments. processes to become more agile.

The market 2. Optimisation


Looking at the current state of the virtualisation Most data centres have a lot more servers
market, Steve Buck, MD, Edgetec, says that than are strictly required, with administrators
virtualisation is becoming a top priority because preferring to keep critical systems separate.
of the specific pressures that companies and This same methodology can be followed by
their IT departments are facing. using virtual machines which are configured
“According to the Worldwide Virtual with exactly the right amount of resources
Machine Software 2006-2010 Forecast, it is required, instead of server typically being
predicted that the already strong x86 server underutilized by as much as 90 percent.
Manfred Gramlich, Sun Microsystems. virtualisation software market will expand to

22 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


VIRTUALISATION TRAINING
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

3. Standardisation that allows companies to virtualise Windows


Most companies have a list of standard soft- desktops in the data centre and deliver them
ware and patches that need to be installed on-demand to office workers at any location.
on every machine they roll out. In a virtualised “Unlike first-generation virtual desktop
setup, one machine can be installed with all infrastructure (VDI) technologies, XenDesktop
the correct software and this can then be is a comprehensive end-to-end desktop
backed up and used as an install template delivery system that offers an improved
for all future server rollouts. end-user experience, dramatically simplifies
4. High availability desktop management and reduces the cost
Many virtual machines can be created to run of traditional desktop computing by up to
a single application with dynamic fail over 40 percent,” Keene says.
based on the application’s clustering Buck notes that virtualisation will continue
capabilities ensuring little or no downtime. to become a top priority because of the
specific pressures that companies and their IT
5. Backup departments are facing.
Virtualisation also simplifies backup strategies He cites the Worldwide Virtual Machine
as virtual machines can be backed up as a Software 2006-2010 Forecast, stating that it
flat file or a simple partition at any time. At predicts that the x86 server virtualisation
critical stages, the virtual machine can be software market will expand to more than
backed up in its entirety and restored if any $1,8 billion in 2009.
issues are encountered. “One of the main drivers of server virtuali-
sation is the green issue. Using fewer servers
6. Disaster Recovery drives the effective utilisation of server
This is also simplified as the entire virtual capacity, and from a green perspective it
Raymond Watt, REO Consulting
machine can be backed up and restored on helps reduce electricity consumption as less
similar hardware, or each individual machine power is needed to cool the consolidated
can be backed up and restored as required servers,’ he says.
on any host.

The latest technologies


Keene says that, Citrix, launched the Citrix “Virtualisation is all about the numbers. It is about
Cloud Center product family at the end of
2008, a solution that brings together the
reducing the number of physical servers in an environment
service delivery infrastructure building blocks while increasing availability stats, and at the same time
that have been proven in the world’s largest
clouds and enterprise data centres, enabling decreasing complexity and administration overheads.” –
massively scalable architectures that support Raymond Watt, REO Consulting
rapid innovation and cost reduction.
“Known as C3, the Citrix Cloud Center
allows next-generation cloud providers to
take advantage of the most widely-adopted He goes on to say that VMware continues
virtual infrastructure platform for hosted to dominate the market it has created.
cloud services, as well as the most proven “When EMC bought the company in
infrastructure to deliver those services reliably 2003, VMware revenues were around
and securely to both cloud consumers and US$100 million a year. But at the end of
enterprise data centres. 2007 the company hit $1,5 billion. Most
The Citrix strategy focuses on equipping enterprise data centres today contain at least
both new and existing cloud providers with one or two x86 servers running VMware
the infrastructure needed to deliver successful virtualisation software.
clouds to their customers,” he says. VMware is pushing server virtualisation by
He adds that the Desktop virtualisation opening up its code so that partners, such as
solutions from Citrix, Citrix XenDesktop, application vendors, can integrate better with
which is co-marketed with Microsoft, is a its virtualisation software. It is also pushing
groundbreaking desktop delivery solution for virtualisation standards,” he remarks.

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 23


VIRTUALISATION TRAINING
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Storage Virtualisation intelligent tiered storage. “Power, cooling


Deriving value from data storage, however, and floor space consumption will drive
relies on effective optimisation in the form of even further data migrations to consolidate
thin or dynamic provisioning of virtualised storage systems to an even greater degree,”
storage that can provide an immediate ROI. he continues.
Gramlich points out that storage “Server virtualisation increases storage
virtualisation is possible via four methodologies capacity and new storage system acquisitions,
that share common advantages. which are catalysts for data migration
“Virtualisation of storage improves device projects as well.
utilisation levels, reduces storage management “One time moves are valuable and
necessary, but you must also begin to
consider implementing an intelligent tiered
storage environment along with the day-to-
“Management of servers is becoming increasingly more day migrations it necessitates. This will
provide a great deal of value in your
costly. Virtualisation gives us a 1 to 7 physical to virtual data-centre. Consider the implications of a
ratio on average and often a lot more” – Richard long term relationship and not just a one
time project,” advises Gramlich.
Sutherland, Fujitsu Siemens Computers. But Gramlich says that virtualised storage
should be accompanied with effective
provisioning to drive rapid ROI and offer
real value to business. “The most effective
complexity and overall costs while facilitating technique of doing this is in thin or dynamic
interoperability and driving open storage provisioning,” he comments.
systems. Other advantages include resource
consolidation and the enablement Resellers
of applications to more fully leverage For resellers this sounds to be a great
virtualised storage, thanks to the tight opportunity for partnering and making
integration of operating systems and good revenue for themselves. “There are
virtualisation technology,” he says. estimates that by 2012, 10% of the world’s
He emphasises that one of the greatest desktops will be hosted and virtualised
advantages of storage virtualisation is in rather than being deployed traditionally,”
data migration. says Keene.
“This is not often perceived in the market, According to him, as customers are
where the likes of consolidation and the challenged with reducing operational costs,
resulting reduction in complexity tend to take such as desktop deployment, they will be
a front seat,” he adds. looking for partners who understand and
“Moving data from one storage system can assist them in successful desktop
to another is essential, yet most end-users virtualisation projects.
don’t have a strategy aside from letting “For the reseller this equates to revenue
their storage vendors move their data for streams from not only providing the solution
them,” explains Gramlich. “The problem but also maintaining this on behalf of the
with this approach is that it is a reflex customer,” he says. “Resellers need to
action rather than something that should understand the when and where it fits,
be considered as an important project in what kinds of applications are ideal for
and of itself. Additionally, there are more virtualisation, then consult with the customer.
reasons to move data between storage A good understanding of virtualisation,
systems beyond upgrades, such as intelligent storage and physical server infrastructures is
tiered storage; something that everyone required,” he comments.
thinks about doing, but rarely implements,” According to Buck, indications are that
he explains. the market is taking the direction of server
He says that data migration drivers virtualisation and that in two or three
include upgrading to new storage systems years’ time most companies will have
for next generation upgrades, storage adopted the technology to improve their
Manfred Gramlich, Sun Microsystems. consolidations, test and development, and overall efficiency.

24 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


NOTEBOOKS FEATURE
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

2009 will see continued


growth in notebook sales
Users will benefit from new technology, better performance and lower costs.

BY DUDU SHABA

T
he South African notebook market is expected
to be resilient in the face of a slowing
local and global economy as end-users
continue to buy into the benefits of
mobile computing.
That’s according to John Geypen,
business development manager at Acer
SA. He says that 2009 will be the year a
number of technologies such as
notebooks with Blu-Ray drives and
screens with 16:9 aspect ratios start
moving into the mainstream.
“Even though we don’t
expect to see too much in the
way of new technology reach-
ing the market this year, a num-
ber of technologies are starting
to reach a price level and
maturity that will make them
attractive
to the mainstream market,”
adds Geypen.
“Blu-Ray writers, for example, are
now common in high-end notebook
models and will go mainstream by 2010,
while the first high-performance Acer note-
books with quad-core processors are starting Current Trends driver in the market and Dell has seen a
to hit the market. According to Llewellyn Chame, product growing trend towards wider use of ultra-
“Over the past few years, notebook manager, Dell SA, netbooks will continue to portable notebooks in general. Historically,
vendors have carved out the market into a be popular in 2009 as the move towards 14-inch notebooks were the most popular
number of segments to deliver a range of ultra-portable notebooks continues. In his form factor in the corporate sector while in
products that answer to the needs of a broad view, ultra-portable netbooks have seen the consumer sector the 15.4 inch models
set of users,” says Geypen. “Notebook significant uptake in the consumer market proved to be the most in demand,” he says.
vendor companies can no longer take a and still needs to increase in the coming year. At the one end of the spectrum, Geypen
one-size-fits-all approach to the market since “Netbooks are typically seen as a second believes that true desktop replacements with
segments such as the corridor warrior, the device, however, they are not so much large high-definition screens, plenty of RAM
road warrior, the deskbound user and the cannibalising the notebook market as and Blu-Ray optical drives are finding favour
desktop replacement power user all have extending it by adding a new form factor. with power users at home and at work. He
vastly different needs,” he comments. Ultra-portable is, however, still a significant comments that elegant, ultra-thin, ultra-light

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 25


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SOLUTION PROVIDERS

entry-level notebook market, this has not


been the case. Instead, we’re reaching many
users who couldn’t afford a notebook in the
past,” he adds.
Chame says that 2009 will see continued
strong growth in notebook sales as
consumers and corporate clients benefit
from better performance, lower cost and
more environmentally friendly products.
He says that one of the key drivers in the
notebook market in 2009 will be the ongoing
development of CPUs from makers such as
Intel and AMD. “New-generation
processors will give users the
power they are used to on the
desktop, but in notebook form,
while at the same time being more
environmentally friendly through
lower power consumption,” he says.
Imi Mosaheb, country manager,
AMD SA, believes that notebooks are
becoming thinner and lighter, and also that
there are higher battery life expectations.
For 2009, he says that users should look
out for AMD’s latest and upcoming
platforms offering superior multimedia
experiences in high definition across price
segments ranging from R3 999 up, which
take full advantage of Microsoft Vista’s
multimedia options and the future Windows 7.
“ AMD-based notebooks, based on open
standards, offer a faster wireless experience
notebooks with 13.3-inch screens saving users both time and money.
are finding favour with people who travel “We have launched a new line of thin
often and want a compact notebook that the Web, email, instant messaging and notebooks as well as netbooks in SA and
allows them to connect to the Internet easily other Internet and communications tools, more choices will be introduced throughout
and do their work. At the other extreme, he no matter where the user is. Acer regards 2009. These netbook platforms are robust
enough to run Microsoft’s Vista operating
system, he remarks.
“Netbooks will continue to be popular in 2009 as the While today’s high-end notebooks
move towards ultra-portable notebooks continues. typically ship with dual-core processors,
Chame predicts that the quad-core processors
Ultra-portable netbooks have seen significant uptake in will become increasingly common in note-
books in the coming year. He adds that new
the consumer market and still needs to increase in the
technologies such as RGB-based LCDs will
coming year.” – Llewellyn Chame, Dell SA offer users better colour performance as they
become more mainstream.
He goes on to say that multi-touch screen
states that netbooks are driving massive netbooks as a discrete and separate market capabilities will also become more main-
growth for vendors such as Acer by allowing from notebooks. “Innovations such as Intel’s stream in the coming year rather than being
them to address new markets with affordable Atom processor have enabled us to bring limited to tablet PCs as in the past.
Internet access devices. affordable entry-level devices such as the “One of the drivers for multi-touch panels
Geypen says netbooks are low-cost Aspire One to market,” says Geypen. in late 2009 and early 2010 will be the
communication devices that are designed to “Although some industry observers expected release of Windows 7 which has these features
provide true mobile and wireless access to these products to cannibalise sales from the built-in and as its release draws closer, increasing

26 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


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numbers of notebooks will be engineered to “Computer designers have traditionally


provide these capabilities,” he predicts. struggled to regulate the power consumption
According to Chame, connectivity will of external USB-driven peripherals,” she explains.
continue to be an important part of notebooks “However, by adding the 3G functionality
in 2009, increasingly so as WiFi, WiMax and into the mix as an on-board component, the
3G networks mature around the globe. Aspire One’s power-saving features
“As these technologies matures they will come into effect and extend
begin to be included in notebooks as the unit’s battery life,”
standard features. While it is clear that she says.
connectivity will be a key factor in notebook Maynard also
uptake over the coming year and beyond, believes that the
Dell South Africa will build its notebook availability of a 3G-
range incorporating 3G and HSDPA to cater equipped Aspire One will boost
for this market,” says Chame. sales of the 8GB flash storage unit.
“Embedded WiMax and 3G modules tend “That’s because cloud-computing
to be relatively expensive because of limited practises that allow users to store all of their extensively should there be an interruption in
suppliers at this time, and because of this data online rely heavily on a fast and power supply. This eliminates the risk of
cost, the USB-dongle connectivity option will ubiquitous Internet connection. downtime to the business.
remain dominant in the short term, particularly “The Aspire One now makes that a reality The Intel Centrino processor technology
in the netbook sector where cost is a signifi- and the need for users to carry a massive enables high performance, multi-tasking,
cant factor. In the longer term, however, as volume of storage around with them is high-definition multimedia, latest WiFi
suppliers become more abundant and prices starting to disappear. The Aspire One and technology and longer battery life,” he explains.
begin to decrease, embedded connectivity will
become increasingly common,” he adds. “This will be the year when a number of technologies
New products such as notebooks with Blu-Ray drives and screens with
Tarsus Technologies has announced
16:9 aspect ratios start moving into the mainstream.” –
upgrades to Acer’s Aspire One, the netbook
range that’s taken the market by storm. John Geypen, Acer SA
Traci Maynard, Acer business unit manager,
Tarsus, says that the upgrades comprise the
addition of an integrated 3G modem to certain netbook concepts are changing what our Naidoo adds that there is an increasing
of the Windows XP models in the range, an future demands on technology will look like,” need for affordable, robust and feature-rich
increase in hard-disk storage capacity to 160GB she comments. wireless technology within the home network
and the introduction of two new colours – coral Sahara Computers has announced the and home business space.
pink and diamond black. release of the Intel 2GB Centrino 2 “This is a thriving area of the market
Maynard, says her team is looking forward Montevina notebook to the local market. where the rate of technology adoption is
to the arrival of the new Aspire One models, The company says it has expanded its increasing to keep up with global skills set
since they have been hugely popular with clients range of digital lifestyle solutions and is targeting requirements. This solution combines
of every size, in every sector of the market the mid-level market, more specifically users the very best in processor and chipset
since their launch a couple of months ago. that require a feature-rich mobile solution that technology for quick connectivity and also
“We are particularly excited about the offers high-speed, on-the-go computing. offers high memory and storage capacity for
availability of a model with integrated 3G, “The mobile professional has the benefit effective management of multimedia files,”
since the majority of current Aspire One users of a mobile workstation and multimedia says Naidoo.
find that using an external peripheral that device in one. There is ample capacity to
accomplishes the same task cumbersome. store and digitally manipulate information Green computing
With an integrated module, all the hassle and large files. It can be used as a central According to Chame, one of the overriding
is removed and users can connect to the workstation to expand and consolidate the trends for all technology in the coming year
Internet or their VPN whenever the need home network,” says Naidoo. is green computing, and confirms that Dell
arises. It extends the usability of the netbook Naidoo explains that critical communication has made a firm commitment to it.
substantially,” she says. resources such as e-mail and the Internet are “In August last year we announced that
Maynard comments that the addition of centralised which reduces cost and enhances we had achieved our goal of becoming
the 3G module not only makes life more control to maximise output and lower total carbon-neutral – five months ahead of
convenient for users, but can also extend the cost of ownership over the infrastructure. schedule. Dell has achieved this with a
unit’s battery life. “It has sufficient battery power to be used wide-ranging multi-pronged approach that

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SOLUTION PROVIDERS

includes purchasing renewable resources, make this possible. To date,


eliminating toxic substances in our products, this has largely been limited to
creating a recycling chain for all of our products the consumer sector but as
and reducing the power consumption of consumerisation takes hold in
manufacturing processes as well as on our the corporate sector we
products,” he says. expect to see similar
Chame adds that one way to make demands,” he comments.
computers more environmentally friendly is
to reduce power consumption. AMD’s vision
“Some of these power savings are achieved Mosaheb says AMD continues
by the new generation of processors and to fulfil its vision of a relatively
solid-state drives that are reducing the cheap notebook to
demand on resources,” he says. further help propel
“But creating products that are truly green
is about more than reducing power usage. It
requires making improvements in the design,
manufacture and reclamation of products
throughout their lifetimes. We proactively
eliminate environmentally sensitive substances
from our products wherever viable alternatives
are available, and we design products that PC growth and penetration in SA. “AMD
are easily recyclable,” he adds. continues to make strides with One Laptop tablet-like devices and become more
Green computing is another area where Per Child to offer low-cost options in SA. pervasive in business, entertainment and
Acer is seeing a lot of innovation. Geypen The OLCP OLPC AMD laptop costs around home environments.
says processor vendors are investing R1 599,” he says. “For example, the self-ticketing for movie
substantial parts of their R&D budgets in In addition, Mosaheb says AMD is inte- theatres take up valuable floor space and
creating processors that need less power grating the graphics and the CPU to reduce will easily be migrated to wall-mounted
and generate less heat. notebook sizes and costs while driving more touch screens when replacement cycles
“LED screens that use 30 per cent less performance and higher visual experiences. come around.
power than the TFT screens used in most note- “Since AMD owns the ATI products, the Notebooks are being integrated into
books today are also likely to become more integration of two world-class technologies is home appliances and this trend will continue
common in 2009 and 2010. This not only expected to yield APUs that will redefine to show itself more and more in SA. Business,
addresses the need to create products that are and establish higher computing performance home security and home automation are
environment-friendly, but also helps to extend
battery life for mobile users. An Atom-based “There is an increasing need for affordable, robust
netbook can deliver up to six hours of battery
life with a six-cell battery,” he says. and feature-rich wireless technology within the home
Customisation
network and home business space.” – Gary Naidoo,
Chame says customers are demanding Sahara Computers.
customisation when buying notebooks.
He says that for Dell, customisation is a
cornerstone of the success of the business. and improved battery life in the mobile other areas where notebooks are of great
“We have always offered customers segment,” he comments. Mosaheb says that use due to their mobility,” he says. As cloud
products customised to their needs rather AMD continues to adhere to its customer-centric computing becomes more prevalent towards
than simply providing one-size-fits-all culture of listening to its customers’ needs and the end of 2009, Mosaheb foresees the
products. In 2009 we expect to see greater defining products for future implementation. mobile thin client category growing.
demand for customised products, particularly “Our customers’ vision of advancing their prod- “This category will require more graphical
in the notebook sector,” he says. ucts to offer more for better value to end-users performance than CPU performance since
He goes on to say that users are increasingly is what defines the AMD CPU/chipsets and ATI computation will be done in the Web 2.0
seeing their notebook as a personal product Graphics roadmaps at AMD,” says Mosaheb. environment. AMD is well positioned
that needs to reflect their style. in this segment both with its very low-power
“For consumers, this means being able to The future of notebooks processors and its ATI graphics products
select form factors, colours and styles that Mosaheb predicts notebooks will find their for mobile platforms and handhelds,”
they want, and Dell’s customisation options way into becoming more touch-panel he concludes.

28 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


NETWORKING FEATURE
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Convergence: the
hottest issue in networking today
Enabling flexibility without sacrificing productivity.

BY DUDU SHABA

T
he ability to deploy best-of-breed applications
directly into the network infrastructure assists
networking vendors to differentiate them-
selves and helps their customers achieve
even greater returns on their investment in
networking infrastructure. These applications
create a more powerful and intelligent
network. This is according to Derek Wiggill,
regional sales director, 3Com Africa.
He says that the convergence of open
standards and an economic downturn
prompt people to be more selective in their
choice of networking components.
“Open standards means that they are no
longer locked into proprietary solutions and
can hand-pick products that will deliver
value,” he says.
Richard Sutherland, portfolio manager,
Dynamic Infrastructure also believes that
convergence, mobility and security are the
hottest issues in networking today.
“Convergence brings together voice,
video and data which is critical to ensure
communication among people and organi-
sations, mobility eliminates dependence on a
wired connection, while offering the user the
ability to connect from a place of their choice,
while security with convergence and mobility
is becoming more prevalent,” he says.
Sutherland believes that convergence in
the office environment is critical for business
as it offers people the flexibility to live a more
balanced life without sacrificing productivity.
“Convergence offers the critical advantage
of working from anywhere in the connected
world as if you are in the office,” he says.
Wynand Moller, regional manager, D-Link
Africa, Western Cape, states that new applications centralised, iron-clad solution, with management Richard Sutherland, Dynamic
like Wi-Fi VoIP require the ability to roam tools, policy enforcement and built-in security. Infrastructure
seamlessly and securely. “For example, They make wireless LANs as secure as their
wireless switches provide a simple, wired counterparts. With today’s technology

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NETWORKING FEATURE
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you can overlay WLAN switches without WiMax would have a ready market if it
compromising the integrity of the original weren’t bogged down by the ICASA
wired infrastructure,” he says. licensing process and the shortage of
Unlike traditional wireless networks, spectrum. This may improve by year end,”
Moller says that wireless switching offers a Wiggill comments.
user-based approach to administration According to Sutherland, globally WiFi
policy as opposed to policy tied to ports and Wimax are being adopted at a
and addresses. rapid pace.
“This puts the network administrator back “In emerging markets, the adoption is
in charge, with a centralised console for delayed and, in some instances, restricted by
managing and troubleshooting any contingency. regulatory policy and limited backhaul
Network administrators centrally control infrastructure. With Intel’s release of its new
chipsets that will support WiMax in the early
part of 2009, Wimax will be fast tracked in
“WiFi and Wimax are being adopted at a rapid pace. In many parts of the world,” he comments.
emerging markets, the adoption is delayed and, in some
Broadband fuelling
instances, restricted by regulatory policy and limited Are networking vendors fuelling broadband
to consumers in the home and office
backhaul infrastructure. With Intel’s release of its new environments?
chipsets that will support WiMax in the early part of According to Wiggill, bandwidth
acceleration technologies and WAN
2009, Wimax will be fast tracked in many parts of the optimisation remain extremely high priorities.
world.” – Richard Sutherland, Dynamic He says the availability and price of broad-
band to businesses and consumers alike
Infrastructure creates a compelling case for such technologies
to grow exponentially as the return on investment
is irrefutable.
Sutherland, says that network vendors,
authentication and encryption, manage telcos and ISVs are working together to
VLAN groups, enforce roaming policies and make connectivity more accessible through
maintain tight control over quality-of-service subsidisation of the components needed to
traffic. Each client is tracked by user identity, get connected.
rather than by port, device or approximate “The deregulation of markets has
location, making the environment more assisted greatly with fuelling broadband to
secure and intruders much more visible. consumers by providing access to uncon-
Policies that govern who can do what and nected areas,” he says.
where while roaming wirelessly can be easily Moller says that D-Link continues to fuel
implemented. Centralised WLAN systems broadband to consumers by developing and
follow users and know who they are, so it is marketing products that thrive on bandwidth.
much easier to locate rogues when they He says that new draft 802.11n wireless
appear on the scene,” Moller explains. technology improves bandwidth speeds
while enabling next-generation Internet
The adoption rate applications like VoIP.
Wiggill says that WiFi is continuing to “Small businesses that are considering
become more and more prevalent throughout wireless to expand network coverage, and add
the marketplace. With new WiFi standards connectivity and flexibility need to consider
such as 802.11n, he outlines that WiFi new draft 802.11n wireless equipment.
continues to improve as a technology. New draft 802.11n products enable
“Security remains a challenge facing WiFi faster performance and longer connectivity
networks in both large and small compa- range. They are perfectly suited to small
nies, and unless implemented correctly, it organisations needing a more robust
leaves them vulnerable to bandwidth theft wireless solution. Draft 802.11n wireless
and makes company resources vulnerable to solutions are much faster than traditional
Derek Wiggill, 3Com Africa unauthorised external access. 802.11g, 802.11b and 802.11a equipment.

30 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


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SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Draft 802.11n technology also expands “Microsoft NAP is a policy enforcement


 Memorising of multiple phone numbers,
coverage much further than previous 802.11 screen names and email addresses technology built into the Windows Vista and
technologies,” he says. eliminated Windows Server 2008 operating systems that
“The implications for small businesses and  Single, unified, open IP platform requires allows customers to better protect network
home offices are clear. VoIP telephony, large only one skill set for maintenance and support assets from unhealthy computers by enforcing
file sharing and streaming, and numerous  Easy to train users and support staff compliance with network health policies.
other performance-dependent applications are Network administrators are able to define
 Applications and functionality available
now much easier to maintain without delays or granular levels of network access based on
anywhere in the world
network traffic hiccups,” explains Moller. who a client is, the groups to which the client
He adds that the benefits and advantages belongs and the degree to which that client is
Convergence of convergence are also compelling from an compliant with a corporate governance policy.
Organisations of all kinds are taking advan- IT perspective. This provides customers with bespoke
tage of IP network convergence solutions to “The beauty of the architecture is that enterprise-level security features that ultimately
integrate applications, boost productivity, save presence and connectivity rely on infrastructure deliver the peace of mind of knowing that
on network management and maintenance, that is often already in place,” he remarks. the network is protected by the latest security
and lower the cost of communication. Moller advances,” says Moller.
believes that these new solutions bring Security management Wiggill believes that intrusion prevention
people together more efficiently to connect Moller comments that D-Link demonstrated systems are constantly being refined to deal
with customers, solve problems and make its commitment to the latest in advanced with the increasing ingenuity of people
better decisions. security technology by announcing the focused on penetrating company networks.
“IP convergence does not require rip-and- integration of Microsoft Network Access “3Com’s TippingPoint division introduced
replace modifications. Converged IP services, Protection (NAP) technology in its family of IPS in 2002 to identify, prevent or quarantine
software and equipment can be added as xStack switches. intrusion problems before they infect the
necessary and infrastructure can be improved He explains that Microsoft NAP is a new network. This next-generation approach
incrementally. IP networks already exist at platform that controls access to network provides unmatched network-based security
most organisations,” he says.
He goes on to say that most IT depart-
ments have been addressing the “silos of
information” issue for some time. Now, as “The convergence of open standards and an economic
more and more business resources use the IP
infrastructure that has evolved from networking downturn prompts people to be more selective in their
implementations and Internet applications,
choice of networking components.” – Derek Wiggill,
the silo metaphor is being extended to
people, processes and projects. 3Com Africa
“Organisations want to leverage their IP
infrastructures to bring workers closer together,
help them work more productively, and
allow them to share information more freely resources based on a client computer’s with unrivalled cost-effectiveness and ultra-
and flexibly. identity and its adherence to a company’s high reliability, performance and scalability,”
Network convergence includes both corporate governance policy. he says.
software solutions and the hardware that “Providing enterprise-level security and
accompany them. A robust physical network advanced network interoperability, NAP is ISVs and Vendors
is needed to support presence-aware one of the most desired and highly anticipated ISVs are important as they are the trusted
applications,” he comments. features of Windows Server 2008. advisers who bring the network technologies,
“With the support of Microsoft NAP, D-Link software and applications together to optimise
The benefits of convergence xStack switches ensure that each host’s the end-user experience and provide feed-
According to Moller, the following are the access to the network is only possible if they back on the vendor’s relevant successes.
benefits of IP convergence: comply with IT security policies as well as the Sutherland says software developers are
 Dramatic hardware, software, space utili- update of anti-virus signatures and patches more aware of the impact networks have on
sation, maintenance and support cost from the operating system. D-Link and performance and ultimately the end-user
savings Microsoft’s main objective is for users to experience and as such have adjusted their
 Increased employee productivity and mobility secure their network systems against possible development techniques.
 Videoconferencing reduces travel costs infected computers and implement more “Convergence, together with fully automated
effective security policies on computer and integrated infrastructures that can be
 Seamless communication improves
decision-making networks,” he says. acquired off the shelf, is encouraging traditional

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NETWORKING FEATURE
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

network and software developers to team up the market with trained resources as
to ensure that their overall solutions work they did in late the ‘90s and early 2000s.
together effectively,” Sutherland comments. This is critical for the value chain and
Wiggill states that more and more movement of skills in the market,”
says Sutherland.
“Connecting mobile devices and managing
“Resellers need to focus on advanced technologies and their network access are major issues in
network management. There is a desperate
development of good quality resources that will ensure need for qualified network security
specialists in a field where technology is
service offering that customers will be addicted to.
rapidly evolving. SA will never have enough
Service is king in the era of skills shortage. Customer of them. They are in demand worldwide,”
Wiggill comments.
pays premier pricing for service and not products.” – Success in the IT industry also depends on
Richard Sutherland, Dynamic Infrastructure constant learning.
Moller says that the D-link DCE course
is designed to introduce, enhance and
applications are being embedded into the maintain valuable skill sets that are
network through programmes such as required in the IT industry. The DCE
3Com’s Open Services Network (OSN) training is a full two-day intensive training
initiatives. He explains that 3Com’s OSN course that encompasses the basics
programme allows software developers to of networking, taking the student through a
deploy their applications such as voice, series of simple modules through to some
security, bandwidth optimisation and many very advanced and interesting topics.
others directly onto a switch or router. “This
saves on the number of servers that need to The focus areas include the following:
be deployed, vastly improves performance  Wireless, switches, security and surveil-
and provides a greater degree of flexibility of lance, and entails theory as well as
applications that can be deployed across practical hands-on sessions.
the network. They create a truly intelligent  Providing network professionals with the

network,” he comments. knowledge to design and implement


end-to-end solutions.
Resellers  Channel partners to greatly benefit from

Looking at how resellers can earn revenue course.


from networking, Sutherland says that base  Achieving the highest level of

networking technology like routing and technical knowledge across a broad


switching has become a commodity. range of internetworking-related
“Resellers need to focus on advanced technologies.
technologies and the development of good Moller says delegates attending the
quality resources to ensure service offerings two-day course will be required to pass
that customers will be addicted to. Service is assessments to gain certification.
king in the era of skills shortages. Customers “On successful completion of the assess-
pay premier prices for service not products,” ments, the delegates will receive a unique
says Sunderland. D-Link Certified Engineer Certificate with an
authentication number,” he says.
Skills issue
As with any successful technology that has Looking ahead
expanded rapidly, there is a shortage of Sutherland says that networking is critical
quality skills in this space. Sutherland says and here to stay with most of emerging
that much more needs to be done to markets still being unconnected.
develop skills. “The ownership is with “Most developing countries can jump to
government, corporate organisations and the latest technology but the skills to support
manufacturers of network technology as infrastructure will be key to success or
Wynand Moller, regional manager, everybody requires skills. failure,” he concludes.
D-Link Africa “Government must continue to flood

32 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


OUTLOOK: COVER STORY
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

A look
into the
crystal ball

What 2009 could hold for the industry.

BY KAUNDA CHAMA AND STANLEY CHISHALA

T
he fact that the year ahead will be a tough
one for the global economy has become a
cliché and companies have moved quickly
from thinking about how bad it will be to
the year is really going to be. An example of
this is the half-year revenue figures released
by IT solutions company Faritec this month
which showed a significant decline from
However, the group remains cash positive,
reporting a closing balance of R42 million.
Tomlinson said that while the revenue drop
was pronounced in the company’s Gauteng
making concrete plans to help them weather previous periods. and public sector operations, revenue from
the impending storm. The company attributed the somewhat the coastal operations has remained stable.
Company executives and industry analysts dismal performance to the global and local He added that hardware and software
agree that the next 12 months will be turbulent, economic downturn, which resulted in a revenues have declined by 21% and 23%
but there are certain market segments that pro- decline in revenue for the six months to 31 respectively, while the services side of the
vide more than just a glimmer of hope. December 2008. In addition, the company business declined by 6%, explaining that this
One such segment is the small and medium also reported a decline in gross profit margins. was partly due to the stability of its long-term
enterprises or businesses (SME or SMB) At the time of the results’ release, the com- service and support business.
space which has now become the darling of pany’s CEO Simon Tomlinson said revenue Spies says that from an IT distribution
many businesses because of the potential it had declined by 18% from R502 million to perspective, he foresees a year-on-year
still has to spend on technology provided that R414 million compared to the same period decline in units moved due to the current
the solutions make business sense. last year; earnings before interest, taxation, climate which will naturally put huge pressure
Pierre Spies, CEO of distribution house depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) on margins.
Tarsus Technologies, comments that 2009 is decreased to a loss of R11.6 million; and Although some analysts and industry
going to be a very tough year and says some gross profit margins decreased slightly from players have put a 12 to 18 month time
of the financial results that have been 24% to 23%, mainly as a result of significant frame on the entry point of the global
released so far are indicative of how tough pressure on hardware margins. economic recovery, Spies is confident that the

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 33


OUTLOOK: COVER STORY
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

In addition, Spies comments that that the


box dropper’s road will be a tough one,
adding that he does not see any consolidation
taking place in the short term.
“The SME space is definitely going to be
buoyant. The one thing distributors and
resellers need to bear in mind is that a lot of
companies are buying down in an effort to
get the best value for money out of IT
solutions. Even with SMEs as a major option
companies should keep in mind that
generally, IT budgets are being heavily cut,”
he says.
Spies also adds that business coming from
the public sector should pick up because his
company has seen some increased activity
coming from government on the project side
although there will be some delays in the
signing of bigger contracts.
“This year will be a bit of a touch and go
one, especially for the smaller players so this
will also be a time when a lot of vendors will
have to realign their expectations,” he notes.
Sahara deputy MD Gary Naidoo says that
from his company’s point of view, the year
looks like it will be a tough one but comments
that the IT space looks poised to hit the
Pierre Spies, Tarsus Technologies challenges head on.
“There is no denying the potential in
mobile computing as the industry gets poised
turnaround could come in the next eight to service first-time notebook users and those
months, adding that when the turn comes, it that will upgrade because the notebook or
will be a very fast one. computer is now a business and educational
tool,” he says.
According to Naidoo, the demographics
of SA provide for an increase in technology
“This year will be a bit of a touch and go one, especially demand and the fact that the demand for
data bundles is on the rise is promoting data
for the smaller players so this will also be a time when a communications. At the same time, the
lot of vendors will have to realign their expectations.” – availability of wireless technologies like WiFi
and WiMax is increasing the product
Pierre Spies, Tarsus Technologies offerings as well as extending communications
to areas that were previously untapped.
“Distributors like us will definitely put
“Distributors and resellers should continue campaigns in place that will help resellers to
to focus on their cost structures and keep target new market segments and also help
costs as low as possible because in the short them to offer solution-based bundles to both
to medium term, corporates will sweat their the larger corporates and smaller guys,”
assets more,” he says. he says.
He comments that companies that provide Storage solutions vendor EMC South
technical services and support are bound to Africa’s country manager Gerhard van der
benefit from this situation, but end-user Merwe agrees that the tough times will see a
companies will find that the more they sweat few smaller companies in the technology
assets, the more they will experience failures space disappear and even some larger ones
and system downtimes. taking significant strain.

34 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


OUTLOOK: COVER STORY
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

“It’s going to be tough out there so Looking at the corporate space, Gartner
companies have to watch their operating advises that CIOs must be decisive and
expenses and what they do very carefully,” resourceful in 2009. “Meeting the challenges
he notes. of 2009 requires CIOs to lead their organi-
Van der Merwe comments that with stricter sations or enterprises through decisions that
controls on revenues and expenses, there will have no simple answers. CIOs need to lead
unfortunately be some staff rationalisations in and have the foresight to look at IT in new
the sector and major reductions in IT budgets ways,” Gartner says.
across the board, but adds that companies
that do smart business will remain stable.
In light of the current economic climate,
research company Gartner has released a
number of reports predicting what industries “It’s going to be tough out there so companies have to
should expect in the near future.
Regarding the IT sector, the firm says
watch their operating expenses and what they do very
recessions tend to be turning points in an carefully.” – Gerhard van der Merwe, EMC
economy, spawning new industries. The
personal computer industry emerged from
the recession of 1979, and although the
“dotcom” recession of 2001 saw the disap-
pearance of most of the overvalued companies, They will demonstrate this leadership
we cannot ignore those that continued to through the following imperatives:
grow – Amazon and eBay, among others.  Being decisive in setting priorities on
These turning points are equally effective actions that raise enterprise effectivenes
in ending prior business models, as the with a focus on improving business
financial services and automotive industries process, using business intelligence to
are discovering. The current recession started raise visibility and enhancing workforce
with the deflation of asset values in areas effectiveness.
such as housing and the stock markets. At  Doing the first things faster, as changing
their height, asset values powered US economic conditions render a large
consumer spending, which in turn drove the project irrelevant. CIOs need to add
global economy. schedules to their prioritisation process
It will take years to know the full impact of and recognise that some priorities can
this recession, which makes these predictions wait. They need to place greater
even more important for effective decision- emphasis on the schedule (when) rather
making. What are the forces in play right than the priorities (why).
now, and how will they affect your industry?  Being resourceful in restructuring IT to
raise its productivity and agility, because
Key Findings the business will not reduce its demand
 The recession is having a highly negative for IT just because you have fewer
impact on IT budgets in government and resources.
retail.  Modernise technical infrastructure, as new
 ”Creative destruction” is alive and well as technologies offer lower cost, use less
business models change to respond to energy, deliver better performance and
new economic and competitive realities, provide greater capacity; the business will
with automotive and K-12 including it in need all of these in the immediate future.
their predictions. With the above imperatives forming the
 To show that complacency is never a basis for the CIO agenda and its focus on
strategy, the competitive landscape is making the enterprise more effective,
shifting. distributors and resellers alike can rest
New players are entering the arena to assured that although spending may
capture market share from incumbent slowdown significantly, smarter planning on
players, especially in banking and retail, their side will ensure that they benefit fromthe
whereas manufacturing is seeking to regain new opportunities that will be created by the
its power with customers. prevailing market conditions. Gerhard van der Merwe, EMC

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 35


10
ANALYSIS: COST CUTTING
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Real cost cutting


technologies for
2009
BY CRN STAFF, CHANNELWEB

I t’s no secret that customers are reluctant to part with their hard-earned cash during the economic downturn, but that
doesn’t mean IT sales will come to a standstill. Savvy solution providers will show that by spending a little now on the
right technologies, customers will actually save down the road and gain a competitive edge over their rivals to boot.
With that in mind, CRN has identified 10 real cost-cutting solutions that will play big in 2009. The list features
technologies that offer proven ROI with real-world examples of customers that scored huge savings. Ultimately, these
technology investments will provide the tools customers need to survive in this economy.

Data Center Automation Document Management


5 KEY PLAYERS: 5 KEY PLAYERS:
BMC, CA, HP, IBM, mValent eCopy, HP, Laserfiche, Oki Data Americas, Xerox
Applying automation to the enterprise data center is an important part Print and imagingVARs that aren’t raising their game to master docu-
of running mission-critical applications and making sure servers and ment management are not only missing out on a key aspect of the
storage devices are utilised to the fullest extent. And it is the kind of busi- “total solution” but also ignoring one of the most important cost-cutting
ness where solution providers can prove their importance to customers, technologies for today’s office. That’s probably why big players like
said Bob Schwartz, president of Robert Mark Technologies, Cottage Xerox,HP, Ricoh and Oki Data Americas have been fine-tuning their
Grove, Minn. “When times are good, a lot of glitzy applications get offerings and why mavens like Laserfiche and eCopy and newcomers
purchased, but people don’t think of boring things like automation,” like GoScan are attracting VARs left and right.
Schwartz said. “In the last recession, we saw a lot of interest. Now, with “We had a very successful year with Laserfiche and, going forward,
the economy falling, we’re back in the same situation.” we are heavily focused on [their] value, particularly with regard to
process automation,” says Kevin Smith, senior vice president of One
REAL WORLD: Robert Mark Technologies automated the runbook of Source Document Solutions Inc., a Greensboro, N.C., solution provider.
a money-transfer application for a banking customer, and saved it an
initial $240,000 per year related to the cost of two full-time contractors REAL WORLD: One Source used Laserfiche technology to help
who manually monitored the application. Iredell Memorial Hospital save $40,000 per month in writeoffs
from misplaced records.

36 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


ANALYSIS: COST CUTTING
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Managed Services applications like Openbravo (ERP), ProcessMaker (business process


5 KEY PLAYERS: management) and SugarCRM, as opposed to just operating systems
Kaseya, Level Platforms, N-able, Nimsoft, Zenith Infotech and databases.“Many open-source applications are not only viable
It sounds odd, but there aren’t many MSPs using the term “managed alternatives to proprietary ones, they’ve also added new functionality,
services.” Rather, they market themselves as “outsourced IT such as social networking capability, that doesn’t exist in commercial
departments.” The terminology might be complex, but the concept is software,” he says.
not: helping customers lower costs by monitoring and managing their Companies are starting to take open source seriously, said Frank
IT infrastructure. In most cases, customers pay the MSP a recurring fee Basanta, director of technology at Systems Solutions, New York.“My
to take care of their IT needs. Because MSPs have more control over first suggestions to customers are things like open-source file servers,
both their resources and the customer, the end user’s costs are typically print servers or FTP servers. We’ve had FTP servers running for two
less than the traditional break-fix model. years without a reboot,” he says. “There is some basic input you have
“It’s pretty easy.We take responsibility for their network. My analogy to learn, but when you’re administering something and don’t have to
is if you had a mechanic living in your garage, your car would run worry about it, that adds up to major cost savings.”
forever,” says B.J. Farmer, CEO of CITOC Inc., a Houston-based MSP.
REAL WORLD: EUS Networks closed a 1,000-port VoIP deal based
REAL WORLD: PFM, a property services company for the petroleum on Digium’s Asterisk Business Edition for $250,000; a comparable
industry, outsourced its network management to CITOC and is saving Cisco solution was priced at $1.5 million.
about $1 million each year.

Open-Source Software Power Management


5 KEY PLAYERS: 5 KEY PLAYERS:
Digium, MySQL, Novell, Red Hat, SugarCRM APC, Belkin, Eaton, Liebert, Tripp Lite
As the economy worsens, it’s not surprising that more companies are Providing solutions in power management technology for cooling and
looking to open-source software as a way to cut licensing costs. But electricity in the data center can lead to a highmargin product and
according to VARs, open-source software has matured to the point services business. Five Nines Technology Group, Lincoln, Neb., first
where some products offer functionality that surpasses proprietary analyzes every device that draws power and documents the business
software. Ron Bongo, CEO of Corra Technology Inc., a Montclair, case, said Ben Pankonin, director of business development. For power
N.J., Linux solution provider, is seeing more companies move to management, Five Nines mainly uses products from APC and Liebert,

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 37


ANALYSIS: COST CUTTING
SOLUTION PROVIDERS

often working the technology into a REAL WORLD: Insight Public


broader solution sale. “We often have the Sector outfitted Florida’s
opportunity to explore energy savings at Seminole County Schools with an
the time that clients are looking at other NComputing solution, saving it
projects,” he says. But, he warns, “Do not 50 percent on hardware, 70
pretend to be an HVAC specialist. percent on life-cycle mainte-
Instead, partner with mechanical nance and 90 percent on energy.
engineering firms and become a valuable Thin-Client Computing
resource for your client.”
5 KEY PLAYERS:
REAL WORLD: Five Nines cut server Citrix, IBM, NComputing,
power consumption for a community Symantec, VMware Recent
bank by more than 50 percent by advances in thin-client technolo-
combining virtualisation and APC power gy– along with increased interest
management technology. in improving IT efficiency – have
led to renewed interest.
Server Virtualisation Advantages such as lower hard-
5 KEY PLAYERS: ware, IT administration and ener-
Citrix, Microsoft, Parallels, Sun gy consumption costs make
Microsystems, VMware Server virtualisa- Unified Communications
tion actually lets customers reduce the
amount of physical hardware they require while providing a platform 5 KEY PLAYERS:
for expanded capabilities. Putting a dollar figure on the cost savings is Avaya, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Nortel, ShoreTel It may sound
fairly easy using software tools that assess a customer’s environment, expensive on the surface, but unified communications has a proven
says Mitch Kleinman, president of Ryjac Computer Solutions, Irvine, track record for delivering rapid ROI. By tying together VoIP, IM, e-mail,
Calif. “Our server virtualisation methodology shows tangible savings,” videoconferencing, smartphones and PDAs,VARs can help customers
Kleinman says.“We’ve gone into a customer, dropped software on their cut costs and generally do more with less. Cisco Systems, Microsoft,
server, and showed how much they’d save with virtualisation.” Avaya and others have been preaching the ROI story for years, and
solution providers and end customers are catching on. “Through
REAL WORLD: One Ryjac customer invested $131,000 in VMware, [unified communications] we can consolidate vendors, improve
two IBM servers and a SAN, saving $1.3 million in power, maintenance corporate productivity, reduce hard costs and reduce our customer’s
and acquisition costs over three years. overall bottom line,” says Glenn Conley, CEO of Metropark
Communications, Chicago.

Software-as-a-Service REAL WORLD: Metropark used AltiGen IP telephony and conferencing


5 KEY PLAYERS: products and 3Com gear to save a medical equipment sales outfit
Adobe, Microsoft, NetSuite, Oracle, Salesforce.com Given the current $10,000 per month in telecom services.
economy, Software-as-a-Service solutions and their buy-what-you-need,
pay-as-you-go model are all the more attractive. “With SaaS, there is Videoconferencing
no need to install infrastructure and no up-front capital costs, which 5 KEY PLAYERS:
makes it very desirable in today’s economic climate,” says Eric Cisco, Lifesize, Microsoft, Polycom, Tandberg
Berridge, co-founder and principal at Bluewolf Inc., New York, which Travel budgets often take a hit when times are tough, but that
specializes in SaaS applications from Eloqua, Salesforce.com, Success- doesn’t mean businesses have to cut back on face time with
Factors and Xactly, among others. SaaS solutions require fewer contacts.And as improvements such as high-definition video
infrastructure resources on the customer side to deploy, run and and telepresence go mainstream, the videoconferencing
manage vs. packaged software, and they help cut requirements for experience mimics real-life meetings more than ever. “We’ve got
on-site maintenance and support staff. They also typically offer more technical experts that are available to all of our salespeople, but
flexibility and are quick to roll out. they’re centralized,” he says.“They can meet with four customers in four
parts of the world all in the same day and never travel,” said Charlie
REAL WORLD: By implementing SaaS applications, Bluewolf helped Macli, executive vice president of sales and marketing at IVCi LLC,
a cable services company improve sales-lead qualifications and reduce Hauppauge, N.Y.
its sales cycle by 40 percent. such solutions extremely attractive, said
Wade Wyant, managing partner of ITS Partners, Grand Rapids, Mich. REAL WORLD: IVCi implemented a Polycom VCX 7000 videoconfer-
“In this climate, you need to look at technologies that offer instant ROI encing system to help an expanding East Coast-based law firm cut
for customers,” he says. travel to its West Coast offices by 20 percent.

38 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009


Reviews by: Stanley Chishala Highly Recommended

McAfee – Total Protection 2009


Well locked down.
As one of the leading vendors in the security space
with expertise in both system security and anti-virus
McAfee has done well with Total Protection 2009.
As far as modern day security software is
concerned, the suite incorporates a very good and
comprehensive collection of tools for safeguarding
users against threats.
I must admit that I took the software home and
spent some time getting the installation right (it
could have been user error) and I also seemed to
have a few issues getting the online registration
right (which is an initial prerequisite), I found that
the software was a great improvement on what the
company had to offer users last year.
The interface is relatively easy to understand
because the it displays green ticks if everything
looks OK and offers a one-click solution to fix any
problems that it detects.
It has two easy controls that offer quick access
to updates and scans and all the software’s
features are easy to get to through a categorised
list that includes computer protection, Internet and
network, email and IM and parental controls.
With all its features broken down into individual
components with advanced menus it is quite
remarkable to see how much tweaking one
can do to the way they view and use the
software through the collection of additional
lists and menus.
The firewall is admittedly quite complex and
quickly reminds beginners that sometimes even out
of the box solutions should be left for experienced
users to install.
The QuickClean feature enables users to remove unwanted files
from their systems and registries. It also comes with a convenient
The interface is relatively easy to under- shortcut to Windows’ Defragmenter and a network manager to view
the status of computers that have access to the machine the software
stand because the it displays green ticks is installed on.
if everything looks OK and offers a Essentially, Total Protection 2009 is a fairly comprehensive
collection of utilities, but in some cases switching between them
one-click solution to fix any problems involves an overly long wait while the component loads. While most
are integrated quite well they all seem to follow the same pattern of
that it detects.
being rather awkward to use. It does also give users a lot of flexibility
but comes at a sort of premium price.
At the end of the day, even with the price of the product, the
However there are some impressive extras thrown into the upside is that the solution has a lot to offer users with its wide array
package like McAfee’s Backup and Restore software. This allows of tools: It is a great system scanner and scans a users’ system
users to save copies of data to local and networked drives. This almost 100%.
feature alone makes this software solution stand out very prominently After using this product, it is easy to understand why McAfee
even in a room full of competitor brands. remains one of the global leaders in the total system security space.

CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009 • 39


PARTING: SHOTS

DILBERT www.dilbert.com by Scott Adams

S n a pshot Andrew Holden


Company: Bytes Outsource Services, a division of the Bytes
Position: Managing director
Age: 42
Best personal achivement: I think my best personal achievement lies in the growth of Bytes Outsource
Services, over the last 5 years. It has been a phenomenal few years for us, in a highly competitive industry.
Management style: I believe in People – by empowering my management team they are encouraged to perform TO the
best of their abilities thus ensuring personal development, satisfaction and inevitable success.
Most admired company: David Redshaw, CEO of Bytes Technology Group. His determination, fairness and loyalty to the
company and staff are characteristics I admire and aspire to be.
Most admired executives: Adrian Gore
Most pressing local business issues: I think the economic situation in
South Africa (and globally) as well as skills shortages and inter-related threats to
our businesses. The economic situation negatively impacts IT Projects and this in
turn affects skills development; which then exacerbates the current skills shortage
we are facing in this country.
Key to success: I think adapting to the ever-changing face of technology is a
trait of many successful people.
Favourite car: Mercedes
Your car: Mercedes
Favourite authors: Steven R Covey
Where do you live: I currently reside in Pretoria
Birthplace: I was born in England
Hobbies/sports: I enjoy Hockey and Golf
Favourite periodicals: Time Magazine

40 • CRN SOUTHERN AFRICA • FEBRUARY 2009