The MSP Challenge

As customers move their infrastructure outside the building, MSPs lose an opportunity to maintain this infrastructure and, more importantly, lose their influence as the trusted IT source. Their options are to become a cloud reseller and offer these services to their existing customers through a cloud provider, or to become a cloud provider themselves. For many this is a choice between two equally unappealing alternatives. As a reseller their margins are severely reduced, along with their influence and ability to hold onto their customers. The prospect of setting up a cloud infrastructure, on the other hand, can seem overwhelming. VM6 has another option for MSPs.

The VM6 Managed Cloud Platform is a software application that uses Microsoft HyperV to create a scalable, all-in-one IT infrastructure without any complex network or storage setup. This solution can be installed on any Win2008/Hyper-V compatible server to create an on-premise cloud that provides virtual storage consolidation, high availability clustering and central management of remote sites. The VM6 platform uses internal storage available on connected servers to create a virtual shared storage pool, replacing the need for a SAN. It supports automated application failover and migration of live workloads between VMs, to provide customers with a true high availability solution for critical applications.

Best of all, only basic Microsoft skills are needed to install and centrally control this distributed virtual infrastructure. For MSPs the VM6 Cloud Platform can be the way to establish a cloud infrastructure easily, and offer the services that their traditional customer base is asking for. But it may provide more. Instead of simply replacing customers’ existing onsite infrastructure with this cloud, MSPs can take the next step and provide high availability features and the on-demand flexibility that this virtualized environment is built for.

Storage Swiss Take

For MSPs this is a sobering time. As their bread and butter customers are being courted by the ‘cloud provider du jour’, many are watching their business walk out the door. The MSP Challenge is a rock and hard place scenario which may force many MSPs to find another line of work. VM6 has come up with an interesting solution, allowing MSPs to join the move to the cloud. But instead of ‘playing defense’ and simply trying to hold onto existing customers with their own cloud offerings, this solution is enabling MSPs to provide another level of service with HA and other advanced features. This is the kind of value added thinking that these customers had come to expect from their ‘virtual CIO’ and a move that can get MSPs back in the game.

Eric Slack, Senior Analyst

Briefing Note

VM6 is not a client of Storage Switzerland