Brennan IT takes its IaaS play to partners

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Brennan IT takes its IaaS play to partners

Brennan IT has created a channel program around its infrastructure-as-a-service product and already signed on its first partner, Markinson Business Software Solutions.

Brennan IT launched its cloud computing play in June this year, signing on customers such as Queensland Racing and Kwik Kopy and earning revenues of up to $5.5 million.

The company aspires to dominate the mid-market in terms of offering such services.

It's infrastructure-as-a-service package, as described here [PDF] offers access to a pool of virtualised server, storage and network infrastructure, sharing a common network backbone with other Brennan IT customers, for a predictable monthly fee.

Brennan IT's solution is based on virtualisations smarts from VMware, networking kit from Cisco Systems and storage kit from EMC.

The lowest rung of the channel program is a referral model, ranging up to a distributor reseller arrangement which includes branding options, end-user pricing, client contracting and commercial terms.

Brennan has "several hundred" customers already using its IaaS product, said Nick McMenemy, Brennan's head of product and marketing. "It's the fastest growing part of our business."

Independent software vendors selling software-as-a-service products were one group keen to move from their own infrastructure to IaaS, said McMenemy.

"If you've got your own software and you want to provide it to a wider audience, rather than buy infrastructure and hope you can fill it with more customers, you can ramp it up as you grow" by using IaaS, said McMenemy.

Brennan's cloud platform used VMware's vSphere 4, and the company was looking at moving to vCloud, said McMenemy. Unscheduled downtime, one of the hurdles to cloud computing, was not a serious problem for the service, he added.

"If you deploy the hardware in the right way you should be minimising unplanned outages. We have multiple data centres running this stuff with redundant links with different carriers," said McMenemy.

"It would be easy to go to market with something that doesn't have full SLAs. But the channel would see right through that. The SLAs are money-back SLAs, not target SLAs. These are robust. We are seriously in this and we understand what it is to get it right," he said.

Brennan was seeing a gradual migration from physical servers to virtualised servers to cloud provisioning, said McMenemy.

"We're not seeing a wholesale shift from physical to cloud. A lot of customers will run cloud based infrastructure alongside virtualised physical structure" and only hand run non-critical applications on IaaS, said McMenemy.

Brennan IT's managing director Dave Stevens said infrastructure-as-a-service provided resellers an opportunity to build "a recurring revenue stream of high margin business, without the risk or upfront cost required to build their own network infrastructure."

"Why ask clients to purchase hardware to run applications when they can utilise a virtual platform which delivers greater flexibility and scalability and is more cost effective than a physical server architecture model?" he said.

Chief executive of the first partner to join the program, Markinson Business Software Solutions, Ian Whiting, claimed the partner program was "well priced" with service level agreements in place that are "above industry standards."

"From a security and risk perspective, it was also important for us to partner with a company that hosted their servers in Australia, which Brennan does, with their data centres in Brisbane and Sydney," Whiting said.


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