Rise of multi-cloud computing plays to MSP strengths

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 26, 2017 3:37:08 PM

The rise of public cloud computing has transformed the way most IT organizations view investments in data centers, but it turns out providers of public cloud services are not the only major beneficiaries of that shift.

A new report from 451 Research finds that as of the third quarter of 2016 the datacenter colocation and wholesale market was on track to generate $28.9 billion in annualized revenue. The research firm is predicting the datacenter colocation and wholesale market will top $48 billion by 2021.

That level of growth suggests that while IT organizations may not be investing in building new data centers as much as they once did, they are not moving all their application workloads into the public cloud. Instead, they appear to be applying the IT infrastructure lesson taught by public cloud providers in a way that allows them to maintain more control of the IT environment while benefiting from higher levels of service.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs should look to gateways at the network edge for big opportunity

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 24, 2017 11:10:57 AM

Hope may spring eternal, but when it comes to IT security it seems organizations are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. A new survey of 593 IT and security professionals conducted by The Ponemon Institute on behalf of IBM and Arxan Technologies, a provider of tools for securing mobile data, finds that just 20 percent of the applications deployed in an Internet of Things (IoT) environment have been tested for vulnerabilities. In comparison, 29 percent of mobile applications have been tested.

Obviously, security creates significant new opportunities for managed service providers. But many of those MSPs are about to discover that IoT and mobile applications are instances of distributed computing deployed at levels of unprecedented scale. Connecting millions of endpoints directly to a data center simply isn’t feasible. The amount of data that would wind up being transferred across wide area network (WANs) would be too large to manage, not to mention prohibitively expensive to transfer.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

What a hard Brexit means for IT service providers

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 19, 2017 11:00:00 AM

British Prime Minister Theresa May appears to be trying to have it both ways when it comes to globalization. May signaled earlier this week that Great Britain would be employing a “hard exit” in terms of leaving the European Union (EU). A few days later, however, at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, she suggested that despite exiting the European Union Great Britian is still very much a supporter of free trade and globalization.

Naturally, IT service providers are trying to read British tea leaves to figure out on a practical level what this all means to them. In a report published this week, Patrick Heffernan, an industry analyst with Technology Business Research, noted that IT service providers and consultants that want to do business in the United Kingdom will probably need to go to the trouble and expense of setting up offices there. Those expenses, of course, include the payment of local taxes and the need to find, hire, and retain local IT talent in the UK, which is already in short supply.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Time for MSPs to look beyond endpoints

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 17, 2017 10:15:39 AM

A new report from Gartner forecasts that not only will IT spending increase 2.7 percent in 2017, there will be a 4.2 percent increase in spending on IT services worldwide.

The downside from a managed services provider perspective is that Gartner is also forecasting that sales of devices will remain flat in 2017 at $589 billion, which suggests the number of endpoints that need to be managed may not be growing. Most MSPs have maniacally focused on the total number of endpoints they can manage. But the Gartner forecasts strongly suggests that the time for MSPs to look beyond the endpoint has arrived.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Cloud wars will be won or lost in the channel

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 12, 2017 3:08:15 PM

It appears cloud service providers (CSPs) are finally getting serious about steering business to their IT services partners. Microsoft has revealed that starting next month it will eliminate a Pay-As-You-Go licensing option under its Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). Customers looking for those types of cloud service agreements will instead be referred to Microsoft partners that participate in the Microsoft Cloud Service Provider (CSP) program.

Microsoft will benefit from making this change on Feb. 1 because managing contracts of this nature tends to involve smaller customers that Microsoft as a rule prefers not to manage directly. Microsoft partners, on the other hand, get the opportunity to leverage their relationship with Microsoft to work with customers that need more time to mature their application workloads to the point where they consume a consistent amount of cloud resources.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Opportunities for MSPs start to expand in the age of the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 10, 2017 11:41:11 AM

The age of the cloud is finally starting to have a major impact on how networking and security infrastructure gets deployed and managed.

A recent survey of 700 IT professionals conducted by Cato Networks, a provider of software-defined networking and security technologies, finds that as application workloads shift into the cloud everything from how remote offices are connected to a network to where firewalls are being deployed is changing.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Intel extends management and security reach of vPro processors

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 5, 2017 10:38:17 AM

The vPro processor technology that Intel created to embed management and security functions that reduce the total cost of providing managed services is one of those technology gifts that keeps on giving.

This week Intel unveiled its 7th Generation Intel Core vPro processor, which is already slated in 2017 to find its way into 80 different types of notebooks, 24 different types of desktops, and 24 new 2-in-1 hybrid systems capable of functioning as both a notebook and a tablet.

From a managed service provider perspective, the most compelling new capability of this version of vPro is Intel Manageability Commander, which makes it simpler to discover, diagnose, and remediate remote PC issues by enabling IT staffs to take direct control of the device.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Time to change the cloud computing conversation

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 3, 2017 2:09:13 PM

Going into 2017, it looks like the contest for control over cloud computing deployments will finally come to a head. A new survey of 268 IT professionals conducted by Red Hat finds that well over a third (38 percent) plan to implement private clouds that they manage themselves. Comparitively, 13 percent plan to rely on a managed service to implement a private cloud. Another 3 percent of respondents said they would rely on a public cloud, and 30 percent said they would implement a hybrid cloud strategy. Another 16 percent said they hadn't made up their mind yet.

None of this means that organizations that manage their own clouds or have a hybrid architecture in place won’t end up augmenting those implementations with managed services. But it does show that as cloud computing technologies mature more internal IT organizations have faith in their own ability to manage them.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Executive Viewpoints: 4 MSP Predictions for 2017

Posted by Anne Campbell on Dec 28, 2016 10:00:00 AM

As 2016 comes to a close, we sat down with three executives from Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda to get their perspectives on what’s in store for the MSPs in 2017.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Quantifying the high cost of IT downtime

Posted by Mike Vizard on Dec 22, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Managed service providers are often used to augment an IT staff rather than replace it altogether, and that usually means the MSP needs to conform to the processes that the IT organization has created to run their operations. Unfortunately, those processes tend to be manual, which means anytime anything goes wrong the resulting fire drill is all too often chaotic at best.

In fact, a new survey of 152 IT professionals conducted by Everbridge, a provider of an emergency communications application made available as a cloud service, finds that only 11 percent of respondents have automated the process of responding to IT outages and incidents. The survey also finds that the average cost of IT downtime was reported at $8,662 per minute and that it takes on average of 27 minutes to activate and assemble a response team. The survey suggests that means companies are already $232,000 in the hole before their team even begins to work on the problem.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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