LeftHand Networks Inc., an early player in the IP SAN space, has forged an alliance with hardware vendor Crossroads Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDS) in an effort to widen its customer base (see LeftHand Finds Right Hand Partner).
Crossroads will sell LeftHands SAN/iQ software in its routers to bring IP storage into companies that already have Fibre Channel installed.
The main advantage to LeftHand will be more sales to customers that want to keep using Fibre Channel arrays while dipping a toe in IP SAN waters. "This broadens their solution. It gives more flexibility to the customers. Before, if I had a bunch of Fibre Channel storage lying around, I couldnt use it with LeftHand storage. Now I can still use that storage if I use LeftHand, says Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group analyst firm.
Its not a new strategy, says LeftHand marketing VP Tom Major. Its time to implement a new phase. We always had a plan to license our software to others... We see no value in manufacturing hardware with the same characteristics found on many platforms.
The partnership is the first in what Major says is phase two of LeftHand's strategic plan to follow initial sales of IP SANs with a licensing program on other vendors' hardware (see LeftHand Picks Up iSCSI and LeftHand Complements its IP SAN).