Actifio is partnering with IBM to put a turnkey virtualized storage offering into the hands of MSPs and resellers. The arrangement, announced this week, brings together Actifio’s Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) platform and a range of IBM hardware. The PAS platform spans backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity among other functions. Actifio said its product will work with the following IBM storage systems: IBM System Storage DS3500 Express, IBM Storwize V7000, IBM XIV Storage System Gen3, and IBM’s SAN Volume Controller.

IBM’s Global Services operation, meanwhile, will provide installation and break/fix services for partners who need such assistance. For example, a reseller pitching a prospect with offices outside its immediate territory may need to find localized support.

The turnkey approach will let service providers and resellers deliver cloud-based backup, disaster recovery, business continuity, and test and development services from a single virtualized platform, according to Actifio.

Ash Ashutosh, founder and chief executive officer of Actifio, said the IBM partnership will “expand the availability of cloud services to a much broader market.”

Worldwide, Actifio seeks to target 4,400 MSPs with the joint IBM/Actifio offering.

Channel Background

Actifio launched a formal partner program last January. Service providers represent one of two core markets for Actifio, the other being mid-sized and large enterprises. The service provider segment includes pure-play providers such as NaviSite, which provides managed cloud services, managed application services and managed hosting. NaviSite uses Actifio technology to virtualize storage and data management.

Ashutosh said his company works with two types of pure-play providers: infrastructure companies such as NaviSite and SaaS providers. In addition to the pure-play firms, Actifio also partners with resellers transforming themselves into service providers.

While Actifio’s traditional sales team works with resellers-turned-service providers, the company has created a channel team to concentrate on the pure-play side. Relationships with companies in that category tend to be longer term and require more of a business development approach, Ashutosh said.

Actifio’s current marketing push follows a $33.5 million round of financing  announced in December. At the time, the company said it planned to use the funding to expand globally and capitalize on the adoption of its products among MSPs, cloud service providers and organizations dealing with big data management challenges.

Actifio’s channel foray with IBM, meanwhile, will potentially provide more than hardware and services. IBM’s mid-size business focus, where business partners play a pivotal role, lines up with Actifio’s market orientation. Actifio may well be able to tap IBM’s channel experience and partner base.