There are non value added resellers (as I like to call them) out there that won’t care, won’t check, that just want the sale at the lowest possible cost of sale (whilst this is an important metric to keep low, it must be balanced with other factors).

Staying away from such non VARs applies to any product that is important & has configuration choices.

When a vendor or VAR makes negative comments about competing products (commonly called fud) that I know is not accurate or later find out once I check into their claims, that tells me that they lean towards “the sale is more important than the customer” side of the scale, increasing the likelihood of an incorrectly specced solution.


Where we got our NetApp from was one such non VAR & their specification would have given less disk space than I advised I wanted, only finding out by using a calculator someone posted on the NetApp forum.

How can you avoid such NVARs? Some tips:

Don’t pay too much attention to partner awards or even levels, or the presence of respected members of the community in their ranks, other than to guide you in their direction initially.

Seek out references from peers & customers of a similar size to yourself (quality of resource allocated to you account).

Determine how often they have implemented the product(s) you are interested in as well as the quality of their relationship with the manufacturers (experience).

A good VAR is just like any other relationship, over time your trust will increase allowing you to give them more responsibility and less oversight / validation, bearing in mind that your relationship will primarily be with individuals at the VAR as opposed the VAR itself.