MSPs and the Public Cloud
According to Gartner, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are neck and neck in public IaaS cloud provision, with Google the most likely to challenge these leaders. With the most recent growth of 33%, the market is currently assessed at $16.5 billion, and Gartner predicts this market will grow a further 29% per annum until 2019. Commonly used for development and testing environments, batch processing and high performance computing, web-based apps and internet-facing websites, and non-mission critical internal business applications, it’s surprising that such an obvious disconnect between customer needs and managed service provider (MSP) offerings exists.
Why the Disconnect?
The majority of cloud services offered by MSPs are private instead of public. While many attempt to build self-hosted virtualized infrastructures, the need for high-quality service, flexibility, security, and availability is a significant challenge, coupled with expectations of modular service-centric constructions incorporating management and billing capabilities.
Failure may be attributed to a variety of root causes:
- MSPs believing private or niche data center offerings would be most attractive.
- The necessity of substantial investment in staff training.
- Many MSP customers may be smaller, less innovative individuals and organizations who are late to adopt new technologies and trends.
- Current systems owned and operated are dissimilar to the systems required to manage public cloud services.
- The three to five year refresh cycle hasn’t yet played out in MSP managed customers.
- A catalyst customer may be needed to help drive change.
What Clients Want; What Clients Need
According to MSPmentor, most IT decision makers in medium and large US companies want to outsource their public cloud management, and 70% prefer to deal with a single vendor to manage their IT infrastructure. The market is looking for products that move beyond traditionally managed and priced solutions and provide customer-oriented value. Affording quality public cloud management solutions requires MSPs to offer more than lifecycle management and support and instead deliver effective technology business advice. MSPs able to provide support for increased agility, help their clients strategize effectively, and increase revenue are essential.
Being the first to offer a public IaaS cloud service, based on Xen-virtualized servers, AWS is considered the first and safe choice by industry analysts. Gartner remarks that AWS is the “overwhelming market share leader,” and is “extraordinarily innovative, exceptionally agile, and very responsive to the market.” Statistics also confirm that AWS has held a competitive advantage over both Microsoft and Google for multiple years. However, AWS can be complicated. Users sometimes find pricing structures obscure with some services charged for individually where other vendors package them, and so third-party management vendors are often brought in to help administer costs and implementations.
Build a Bridge
CloudMGR is the leading platform for optimizing and managing AWS cloud resources and could help shrewd MSPs take advantage of the current gap between client needs and MSP offerings. Though the transition to selling and managing AWS can be complicated, CloudMGR simplifies the process and reduces the costs of winning and managing public cloud businesses for MSPs.
With the creation of an easy-to-use interface, CloudMGR provides the necessities that enable L2 engineers to manage customers, and makes the management of costing and billing effortless. Moreover, CloudMGR integrates with existing systems popular with MSPs such as ConnectWise and Autotask that assist in IT business and billing management for increased profitability, efficiency, and control. The assimilation of CloudCheckr adds recommendations on cloud resource usage and optimization and provides easily actionable best practice recommendations, while integration with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) empowers MSPs to easily integrate and manage a third party system. In effect, CloudMGR is providing MSPs with an effective way to change how AWS cloud is managed and delivered, and reach the market’s untapped demand for managed public cloud.
(Sponsored by CloudMGR)
By Jennifer Klostermann