Amazon.com Attracts Managed Services Interest

For the second time in a week, I'm hearing buzz about managed service providers working more closely with Amazon.com's Simple Storage Service (also known as Amazon S3). For MSPs, the trick is embracing a reliable back-end storage service without mitigating your own brand in the market.

To be sure, MSP interest in Amazon S3 appears to be growing -- despite a system outage that The Wall Street Journal documented over the weekend.

Moonwalk Inc., an Australian software developer that continues to expand its North American channel program, plans to use Amazon S3 as part of a commercial software package, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Similarly, Vembu Technologies of India is exploring ways to integrate its storage platform with Amazon.com's software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, according to Vembu President Lakshmanan Narayan.

Managed storage options will continue to grow for VARs and MSPs. Symantec today finally launched the Symantec Protection Network (SPN), which offers a tempting one-two punch for MSPs. And EMC has launched a SaaS storage system for its customers as well.

For VARs and MSPs, there are multiple factors to consider before embracing a third-party storage service. In addition to mastering service level agreements, MSPs need to understand where and how customer data will be stored; how the data will be turned over if the storage service ever ceases to exist; whether the service can be re-branded as the VAR's own service; and how contingency plans can be tested and optimized for all customers.

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