VMware Preps MSP Battle Plan

VMware Preps MSP Battle Plan

VMware's recent moves, revealed at this week's VMware Partner Exchange 2015 conference, reveal that it is assembling a robust framework for managing everything from data centers to virtualized desktops. Here's a deeper dive.

There’s an old military maxim that posits the best way to take a bridge is from both ends at the same time. With that in mind managed service providers (MSPs) in the coming months should pay close attention to how VMware’s approach to managed services will evolve.

At the VMware Partner Exchange 2015 conference this week VMware as part of an expansion of its overall channel efforts signaled its growing interest in MSPs by first expanding the VMware vCloud Air Network Program to include managed services opportunities for vCloud Air Network service providers, enabling partners to use VMware vCloud Air cloud service as a platform through which they can deliver managed services beginning in the second quarter of 2015.

User environment management acquisition

At the same time, VMware announced it has acquired Immidio, a provider of what is described as a user environment management (UEM) solution. Rather than focusing on solely managing devices or a particular desktop, Dave Grant, vice president of marketing for end user computing at VMware, said Immidio will be the foundation for a Workspace Environment Management platform through which VMware will be able to manage the multiple devices, desktops and application environments via a more user-centric approach. To accomplish that Grant said VMware will pair Immidio software with VMware App Volumes, which it gained via the acquisition of CloudVolumes, and VMware vRealize Operations Manager to create a complete management platform with the VMware Horizon desktop virtualization product portfolio.

Finally, VMware this week also announced that VMware Horizon software would now be available as an extension to VMware EVO:RAIL, the software-defined data center platform that VMware designed to deployed as an appliance, and that it is working with NVIDIA to add graphics support for VMware Horizon.

Delivering managed services from data center and desktop

Put all that together and a robust framework for delivering managed services across the data center and desktop starts to emerge. Grant concedes that while VMware has dominated server virtualization, the whole desktop virtualization category has found it more difficult to gain traction. But as the cost and complexity of managing IT continues to increase Grant says that it’s only a matter of time before more customers opt to use virtualization on the desktop to minimize that complexity.

For MSPs, however, desktop virtualization may only be a means to an end. How MSPs go about reducing the complexity of the desktop environment isn’t going to be that much of a concern to customers. All they really care about it is that it gets done. And, of course, reducing that complexity is a whole lot easier to do when the MSP controls both the server and desktop side of the IT infrastructure that bridges those two environments together.

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