ProfitBricks Inc., an Infrastructure-as-a-Service startup with a with a strong German pedigree in the global Web hosting space, is readying an aggressive, three-pronged channel program as it brings its hosted data center technology into the U.S. market and prepares to take on IaaS heavyweights such as Amazon.com Inc., and Rackspace Inc.
The company is actively recruiting partners to develop value-added specialty offerings as well as rolling out generous sales-lead referral bonuses and looking to add VARs to its fledgling U.S. partner ranks.
“We know the channel is going to be a big part of our efforts and our success in the United States, so we’re coming out strong right out of the gate,” Scott Brazina, vice president of business development at ProfitBricks USA in Cambridge, Mass., tells Channelnomics.
ProfitBricks is the brainchild of Achim Weiss and Andreas Gauger, the German pair who built Schlund+Partner, which later became the well-known and successful hosting firm 1&1 Internet Inc. In 2008, 1&1 was sold to and is a majority part of the German company United Internet AG.
Weiss now serves as ProfitBricks CEO and Gauger is CMO. Tech veteran Robert Rizika, who ran video delivery specialist Blackwave Inc. before it was sold to Juniper Networks Inc. in 2010 is CEO of ProfitBricks USA division.
ProfitBricks boasts several key differentiators it hopes will give it an advantage over go-to IaaS providers such as Amazon and Rackspace. Where the others offer shared cores and promote horizontal scalability – the ability to add capacity by redistributing assets over new physical or virtual machines – ProfitBricks sells only dedicated cores and provides users with a slick Data Center Designer user interface that allows real-time vertical scaling of compute resources. Users can add from 1 to 48 dedicated cores to their processing heft, increase RAM space up to 196 GB or add as many as 16 storage drives at 16TB each on the fly with no restart required. A counter on the UI shows added costs in price per minute and commensurate monthly rates with each upgrade.
“The architecture lets us open a new world of opportunity for business visionaries and IT budget watchers alike,” said Rizika.
On top of the vertical scalability and dedicated cores for the virtual servers, ProfitBricks has made their system Big Data and high-performance computing ready by investing heavily in the underlying networking technology within its data centers. Rather than relying on the more common Ethernet, all of ProfitBricks interconnections are 4X QDR InfiniBand, which supports signaling rates of up to 40 Gbps and data transmission speeds of up to 32 Gbps. With eight ports per server and an 8X improvement in connection speeds over Ethernet, the result is a system that ProfitBricks officials claim outperforms Amazon AWS in UnixBench scores by 227 percent and beats Rackspace by 194 percent.
“We deconstructed cloud infrastructure down to its most basic elements and discovered there was a far better way to deliver the service,” said Weiss. “We ended up reinventing the architecture, which allows us to offer substantially better performance and a new level of flexibility in cloud infrastructure.”
ProfitBricks currently has data centers in Europe and the United States. Domestically, the company’s technology assets are housed in two separate facilities just outside Las Vegas run by Switch Communications Group LLC, the firm that built several high-end data centers with the remnants of Enron’s failed attempts at utility computing. The futuristic sites behind defensible perimeter walls include Mission Impossible-style mantraps, motion detectors, and biometric access control, photo electric fire suppression, armed guards, 200 video surveillance cameras, 140 diesel generators multiple power grids and a host of others security and uptime features to ensure system reliability.
In order to build momentum for its U.S. push, ProfitBricks is now offering a six-month jumpstart sales-lead referral program that pays a staggered schedule of commissions based on how quickly deals are closed. Starting now, any partner referral that results in a deal inked before Mar. 31 will earn the partner 25 percent of ProfitBricks net revenue on the contract for up to three years. Deals that close between Apr. 1st & June 30th earn 20 percent.
After that, ProfitBricks will pay successful referrers 20 percent of net deal revenue on the first year of the contract, 15 percent for the second year and 10 percent for the third, Brazina said.
The company is also recruiting resellers for its new VAR partner program, which is still under development. ProfitBricks officials are in the midst of a preview launch of the program and are “talking to a handful of VARs initially brought into the development of the program to determine the pieces that matter most to them,” Brazina added. Full details of the program are expected to be announced in the next four to six weeks.
Similar to 1&1’s aggressive entry to the US market, ProfitBricks is gaining traction in a highly competitive space through generous financial incentives, this time reserved for referral and reseller partners.
ProfitBricks is also on the lookout for managed services and system integrator partners with specific skills to help develop value-added services in key areas such as cloud migration and database administration, among others, said Brazina.
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