Security vendor Rainfinity's drive to recruit 30 resellers has been dismissed as a case of "great technology, bad timing and even worse choice of distributor" by competitors already in the market.
Rainfinity originally developed high availability (HA) and load balancing (LB) technology for NASA, to enable clusters of Sun Solaris servers to achieve maximum fault tolerance while operating in space.
Four years ago, the company decided to apply this technology commercially.
Last week, its channel sales director, Kevin Nairne, announced the latest stage in the company's attempt to build a third-party channel for its Rainwall and RainConnect HA/LB products, for firewalls and communications links respectively.
"We want to have 30 active resellers on board by the end of the year," said Nairne. "There's huge revenue and margin opportunities in selling technology that makes firewalls more fault tolerant. Anyone who understands how Checkpoint firewalls function could be an ideal partner."
In May, Rainfinity appointed Checkpoint distributor Sphinx CST to help build its channel, citing its base of Checkpoint experts as a perfect foundation for building a channel.
But last month Checkpoint canned Sphinx. Nairne denied this was a strategic error. "We didn't know that Sphinx was about to be ditched," he said, but he confirmed that the vendor is in talks with other Checkpoint distributors.
One critic insisting on anonymity questioned the future of Sphinx's role. "They can't ditch Sphinx after a month, but once they appoint a Checkpoint distributor, you have to ask what Sphinx can offer Rainfinity."
Bernie Dodwell, marketing director of Checkpoint distributor Allasso, dismissed any idea of working with the vendor.
"I know of Rainfinity and it's good technology, but there have been people like F5 and Stonesoft in this market for ages already. And they've worked with Checkpoint since the first product, Firewall 1," Dodwell said.
In addition to Rainconnect and RainWall, Rainfinity is planning to launch two more security-based products by the end of the year.
Rainstorage, which is being developed with a major network attached storage (Nas) vendor, will provide fault tolerance and load balancing on Nas. Meanwhile a similar product is being planned to offer HA and LB to antivirus engines.
"Still, you would have thought that Checkpoint would tip them off that they were ditching Sphinx," said a source close to Checkpoint.
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