Santa Clara CA-based cloud migration and disaster recovery vendor Sureline Systems is driving its market presence with a conscious strategy of partnering with market leaders. One of those leaders is Nutanix, with the relationship taking place on several fronts.
“We are a software company, which is different from being an integrated solution company, and we provide a solution for application mobility, a market which is a little undefined right now,” said Ravi Goyal, Sureline’s President and CEO. “We are seeing business grow strongly now, across platforms and across clouds.”
“The company is six years old, and our agentless flagship SUREedge solution does migration and DR solutions from any source to any destination, any cloud,” said George Symons, Sureline’s VP of Corporate Development. “We have seen a lot of traction on the migration side. while DR is ongoing migration. Technology-wise, they are very similar.”
Symons said Sureline’s migration traction is in two areas.
“One is to the cloud – no surprise there – but the other is to hyper-converged, which explains our close relationship with Nutanix,” he said. He also noted that they are now seeing some migrations coming back from the cloud.
Symons said that their core market isn’t vertically-specific at all, and tends to be mid-sized enterprise and above.
“If you move just a few virtual servers you don’t need much help,” he said. “If you move tens to hundreds, our tool helps a lot. With physical servers, you don’t need to move as many, but they can be difficult and the free tools just don’t work well.”
“The free migration tools do work about 80 per cent of the time, because most migrations are small migrations,” Goyal said. “But the 80-20 rule is very much at work here.”
Sureline has a completely indirect go-to-market strategy.
“We sell through VARs through distribution, through cloud distributors, and through vendor partners,” Symons said, noting that their own channel partners were a fairly small, select group. “Nutanix brings us into opportunities and we work with them on those opportunities.”
Sureline formally partnered with Nutanix in July 2016, joining Nutanix’s Elevate program, and becoming a certified Nutanix Ready application.
“Our only partnership with a hyper-converged vendor is with Nutanix, although we do specific opportunities with the others,” Symons stated.
Symons said that Sureline’s technology is uniquely suited in their space for migration to a hyper-converged platform because it can capture application and system images from any hypervisor or physical system, and recover it on any hypervisor, modifying the image for the target environment.
“Our growth plan is to tie to real winners like Nutanix,” he stressed. “We want to be broad in our approach to the market, but to put our bets on key growth partners. We partner with all the big cloud players like CenturyLink, IBM, Azure, AWS and Google. Because of the Nutanix relationship we are now partnering with Lenovo as well.” They are not partnering with Dell yet, but that’s clearly a goal.
Sureline doesn’t have a physical presence in Canada, but has Canadian customers.
“While we have no physical presence in the Canadian market, we have been brought in by a number of our partners which is how we got in there,” Symons said.
A recent Canadian customer is WDI Device, a Markham ON-based industrial sensor maker with a global presence, which provides Digital Autofocus (ATF) Sensors for the Display industry. WDI had purchased a Nutanix appliance and needed to migrate their existing workloads from physical servers with ESXi to the Nutanix platform with the AHV (Acropolis) hypervisor. After WDI failed in a migration attempt using free third party tools, Nutanix brought Sureline into the deal.
“WDI had physical servers, which are usually a problem for the free tools,” Symons said. “Now they are a customer, not just of our migration tools, but our DR as well.”
Symons said they see great opportunities ahead with Nutanix’s 4.7 release, including its container support. Sureline announced its own support for containers in April.
“We have container support already in our product,” he said. “I thought we might be a little ahead of the market with this, but that will help us here. Nutanix’s new physical support, we fit into fine.