MSPs Will Blur the Line Between SaaS and On-Premise IT

Jeff Kaplan did it again. In his latest Think IT Services blog entry, Kaplan describes the a hybrid software as a service (SaaS) model that blurs the line between on-premise and cloud-based services. If you're skeptical of this trend, check out these examples involving managed service providers working with Symantec, Vembu, and Fonality.

The blurring line between SaaS and on-premise IT is easily explained. Some customers and managed service providers don't want to let go of their data. They prefer on-site IT. But mixing in some off-site solutions can provide added data protection and easier administration.

Three prime examples:

1. Symantec Protection Network and Symantec Backup Exec: Thousands of customers already run Backup Exec on-site as their primary data protection and recovery system. In recent months, Symantec has introduced links between Backup Exec and the company's SaaS platform -- dubbed the Symantec Protection Network (SPN). More than 200 MSPs have already signed up to support SPN. Symantec employees blog about the SPN strategy here.

2. Vembu StoreGrid and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3): It's still a little early for this example. But over the next few months managed service providers should expect to see clearly connections  between StoreGrid and Amazon's S3 services. MSPs currently deploy StoreGrid on-premise in their own data centers. Sekar Vembu, founder of the company, maintains a blog here.

3. Fonality Hybrid-Hosted VoIP Services: Fonality leverages the Asterisk open source IP PBX at its core. But the company has pushed beyond Asterisk to develop a hybrid VoIP system. Portions of the hybrid-hosted solution live on-premise at customer sites, while Fonality's own data centers offer centralized management of those customer settings. Fonality CEO Chris Lyman maintains a blog about his company's strategy here.

Those three examples are just the start of the hybrid on-premise/off-site approach to software.

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