header-acopia-arxF5 Networks' ARX Select program is gaining momentum with key VARs and solutions providers, the company claims. So why are some channel partners jumping on the ARX Select storage bandwagon? Here's some background.

Roughly 2 years ago F5 Networks acquired Acopia and turned that technology around into ARX. Today, F5 claims ARX provides seamless migration and virtualization across multiple heterogeneous file systems, with zero down time. ARX sits between users and files, and organizing the whole move. Transparent to the end-user, ARX does some heavy lifting, while keeping track of where files ought to be when they get called upon, whether they've been migrated or not.

ARX also does file maintenance, and can be customized to optimize where your files live. Dusty old documents and applications don't need to be using up space and resources on your customers' finest server. ARX can push those old documents onto alternative systems, allowing customers to manage their storage appropriately.

Demand for ARX appears to be growing. According to F5 Networks:
the company's ARX revenue grew each of the past three quarters, with recent FYQ4 results reflecting 13 percent year-over-year growth compared to FYQ4 2008. The ARX customer base has diversified significantly with growing customer deployments across the healthcare, construction/architecture, media, government, energy, manufacturing, retail, and pharmaceutical verticals.

Money Matters

ARX requires more than a simple installation to be successful; it needs to be serviced and tailored -- and that means revenue for VARs. Instead of trying to sell someone a new storage solution or architecture, F5 claims ARX is agnostic -- allowing it to be configured specifically to whatever the customer needs, without issue (so long as their existing file systems are sys/nfs CIFS/NFS).

Dean Darwin, VP of world wide channel sales, says F5 is pleased with ARX's market traction with storage vendors and channel partners. "It's beyond reselling" for VARs, Darwin says. VARs can take the time to custom tailor and entire storage solution for a customer, and then build around that, too. It helps VARs add value, and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

Sounds promising. But does ARX live up to its billing? The VAR Guy is listening.

Follow The VAR Guy via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; Twitter; and via his Newsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center. Plus, check out more channel voices at www.vartweet.com.