MaxAv’s New Wizard Simplifies Remote Journaling Setup
September 27, 2005 Alex Woodie
While Maximum Availability has taken pains to simplify the installation and configuration of OS/400 high availability, there has still been a certain level of time and patience required, particularly in the area of setting up local and remote journaling. Now much of that, too, has been automated through a new *noMAX wizard unveiled at the COMMON conference last week. The company has also made strides with resellers, particularly in Germany, where its agent has averaged a deal a month for the last year and a half.
Before the *noMAX Set Up Wizard became generally available last week, it would often take somebody more than an hour to load and configure the product, says Simon O’Sullivan, a senior vice president with Maximum Availability. This time was spent on creating profiles, uploading the software, installing the GUI, and setting up local and remote journaling. With the new wizard, that setup time is cut to about 10 minutes, O’Sullivan says.
An hour doesn’t sound like an exorbitant amount of time to spend installing an application that can have a profound affect on a business. But it was, nevertheless, too much time for MaxAv and its sales model, which relies heavily on small and mid size businesses and their willingness to download and install trial copies of *noMAX from the company’s Web site, and eventually license the software. The SMB is a green field for MaxAv and competing ISVs, and their success in this area will be determined, in large part, whether they can make high availability easier to install and use than it has been in the past. MaxAv also strives to provide as much support as it can through the Web, so anything it can do to simplify the initial installation is to its benefit.
“We’re excited about this fantastic new feature,” says O’Sullivan, adding that the new wizard will be particularly attractive to companies installing the new entry-level *noMAX Sentry product, which provides one-way data replication between a primary and a backup iSeries and starts at about $5,000. “By expanding the *noMAX suite of products and decreasing the set-up time required, effective data protection has now become truly affordable data protection,” he says.
Maximum Availability split its *noMAX software into three different products earlier this year to address the varying disaster recovery and high availability needs of iSeries shops. The *noMAX Defender product, which is a notch above *noMAX Sentry in terms of functionality and starts at about $15,000 for two-way replication, adds object replication and the capability to execute role swaps to the functionality offered by Sentry. The top-tier product is *noMAX Garrison, which adds more tooling and the capability to replicate IFS, and starts at about $20,000 for two-way replication. See “Maximum Availability Unveils New HA and DR Products” for more about the changes to the *noMAX lineup.
In addition to broadening its product portfolio, New Zealand-base Maximum Availability has been busy building a network of resellers around the world. As easy as MaxAv is making it for users to buy and install *noMAX on their own, customers still like to have a warm body in their region of the world, and about 90 percent of the company’s sales come through resellers, O’Sullivan said earlier this year. Much of its progress in the North American market is due to a partnership Maximum Availability formed with Avnet, one of IBM‘s three master distributors for the iSeries, and the capability that brings to the ISV to leverage Avnet’s vast reseller channel. The Avnet relationship has been a key factor in the signing of 17 new *noMAX resellers in the past 12 months, O’Sullivan says, bringing the total to more than 25 resellers.
Maximum Availability has also made strides in the German market, where its partner, Frankfurt-based NCT, has signed up 18 new accounts in 18 months, with a pipeline of 10 more that will likely sign by the end of the year.
The main driver of high availability software sales in Germany these days is Basel II, which affects financial services organizations and is aimed at producing uniformity in the way banks and banking regulators approach risk management across national borders, says NCT’s managing director, Eric Nürnberger. Enforcement of Basel II goes into affect next year, he says.
“I think this company [Maximum Availability] has a good future,” says Nürnberger, who attended the COMMON conference in Orlando, Florida, last week. “They have a good product, at a good price.”