As customers continue to embrace cloud, MSPs and IT providers can look at the transition as an opportunity or a competitor.
One of the biggest challenges for MSPs is dealing with the increased cost of employees without being able to pass these costs on easily to customers. When benefits are factored in, increases can be 5-10+% each year.
One option is to hire less expensive workers but you get what you pay for many MSPs don’t want the cheapest workers they can find servicing their customers.
Another way to handle the challenge is to automate but there is a limit to how much automation can be applied to installing servers and desktops.
This is where Nerdio comes in. They provide easy IT automation for managed service providers and their customers. Nerdio for Azure provides IT automation technology that delivers pricing, provisioning, management, and cost-optimization of hybrid and full IT environments on the Microsoft Cloud, allowing MSPs to build and rapidly grow their IT practices in Azure.
In a telephone interview, Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy said, “Many MSPs are looking to add advanced cloud services to their offerings and find alternatives to continued investment in their own infrastructures. A powerful option is to leverage the Microsoft Cloud, but the challenges of migrating SMB customers to Azure can be daunting, costly, and complex.” He continued, “Nerdio for Azure brings the full power of the Microsoft Cloud to SMBs, including extensive security, compliance, redundancy, global reach, and more. It is ideal for customers who prefer to use Microsoft’s public cloud infrastructure instead of a private cloud, and desire the elegance and ease-of-use of Nerdio’s ITaaS, but in a global public cloud environment.”
The full suite of services are described below:
- ITaaS: Migrate the full IT stack to Azure, including servers, desktops, backup and security, email, collaboration, and file storage in Office 365, eliminating the need for any on-premise infrastructure.
DaaS: Eliminate management of local end-user devices by migrating desktops and integrating them with Office 365, SaaS and client/server applications, and provide users with always-on Windows desktop access from any internet connected device.
Azure Hosted RDS: Migrate an existing Remote Desktop Services deployment to Azure or stand up a new one. Leverage Azure’s expanded geographical infrastructure and dynamically resize compute resources as necessary.
Servers: Extend existing network and Active Directory, migrate line of business applications and database servers, and manage server infrastructure and backups in Azure.
He explained that the Three-Click management layer makes it easy to perform previously cumbersome tasks such as deployment/provisioning, management, audit, and maintenance of entire Azure infrastructures.
Automated Provisioning allows you to save money and increase efficiency. You can spin up a complete IT environment within two hours, automatically, and without an engineer. You can also customize the IT environment by adding domains and line-of-business applications, importing Office 365 users, and more in three clicks or less.
Centralized Management allows the control of IT infrastructures from a unified interface.
You can manage users, desktops, shared mailboxes, servers, VPN, and backups – all within three clicks or less in Nerdio’s intuitive platform. Formerly tedious tasks like password changes, unlocking users, resetting desktops, and changing group memberships are now simplified.
Intelligent AutoScaling allows only needed resources to be utilized and paid for by automatically dialing up or down RDS session host VMs or to shut down VDI desktop VMs as needed.
Backup Automation allows for automatic nightly backups and individual servers or desktops can be restored quickly.
Performance Monitoring allows you to gain insights to real end-user experiences.
An IT environment is only as good as a user says it is, and no CPU usage chart or IOPS chart will convince them otherwise. Instead of difficult-to-interpret system metrics, you can track the performance of common user activities and stay tuned in.
Onboarding Tools alleviate previously cumbersome onboarding tasks. Users can customize the ready-to-provision Nerdio environment and migrate data to Azure. Add custom domains. You can import existing users from an old Active Directory to Nerdio AD by uploading a CSV file or simply importing Office 365 users. Or setup domain trust, and use your on-premise AD in conjunction with Nerdio’s AD.
One option is to just pass on the Nerdio and Azure cost to the customer allowing them to upscale and downscale workstations as needed and make other system changes which could increase cost. In this case, you make money based on the Microsoft discount you receive. Alternatively, you can rely on Nerdio’s pricing tools and then add in the margin you want to make and give less options for end-user changes to the cloud environment.
Vadim says you can potentially sell cloud with as few as 5-10 RDS users or VDI for 25-50 users.
The system has a number of automated systems built-in meaning less work on the part of the MSP. One interesting feature allows a script to archive the workspace of an employee who has left and add a link to the the desktop of the manager so they can quickly get to the files if needed. The “rightsizing system” also cuts down on costs as it can predict when utilization will be lower and free them up so you aren’t paying for things you don’t need. You can also revert a desktop to a previous state(s).
The bottom line is configuring Azure is complex and takes people who are not inexpensive to hire and manage. Nerdio for Azure is looking to cut down the complexity via templates while adding predictability to pricing. Finally, by taking clients to the cloud, the solutions become far stickier and reduce churn. Using Nerdio can help turn cloud from MSP competitor to ally.