MSPs may purchase a number of products to help them manage a customer’s on premise gear, but there’s another type of tool now on offer: an emerging set of technologies designed to manage the cloud-based resources MSPs provide. Among the newcomers is OS33, a New York start up that spun out of an MSP. OS33 this week announced public availability of its SaaS-based automation platform, which aims to help MSPs deliver multi-tenant cloud IT services.
OS33 lets MSPs mix and match cloud resources, according to Jacob Kazakevich, the company’s president and chief technology officer. MSPs may tap public cloud providers and the members of OS33’s Datacenter Alliance. Members include Equinix, SunGard, CoreSite, iLand, Amnet, External IT, and Savvis. In addition, an MSP can use OS33 to turn its data center into a multi-tenant infrastructure.
OS33’s Cloud Connector component manages the cloud mix for MSPs. Other components include Cloud Control Panel, which provides multi-tenant infrastructure management and service provisioning; Application Delivery, which delivers Windows and Web-based apps to devices including iPads and smartphones; and WebtopGUI, a Web-based interface for end users.
Kazakevich said OS33 offers MSPs an opportunity to shift services delivery to the cloud and provision those services more efficiently. He noted that his company’s platform provides a single interface for handling such tasks as provisioning servers and activating third-party SaaS offerings.
OS33 estimates a startup cost of about $2,500. After that, partner pricing is $995 per month. User licenses for the WebtopGUI will run from $2.50 to $10.00 per user, depending on functionality. Kazakevich said MSPs may wrap the user portion as part of a broader offering, but noted some MSPs expose the WebtopGUI as a separate line item.
OS33 began making its platform available to other MSPs earlier this year. According to the company, five large MSPs now use the tool to deliver hosted IT to end user.
When asked whether OS33 works alongside IT systems management platforms, Kazakevich said some customers are migrating from products such as Kaseya to his company’s offering. He said an MSP using OS33 can start out by provisioning hosted e-mail for a customer, move on to Web-based office automation apps, and then migrate legacy apps. At that point, the customer has transitioned to a fully cloud-based offering and the user-side equipment becomes unnecessary, he added.
That’s certainly how OS33 would like to see things play out. Others in the cloud management space include Albiquo, which announced a new version of its product last week. The company reports a hybridized cloud scenario. Pete Malcolm, Albiquo’s chief executive officer, said one service provider customer has combined Albiquo’s Enterprise Cloud Management platform with its intellectual property to manage both on-premise customer infrastructure and infrastructure-as-a-service resources.
Dell Goes BoomiMeanwhile, Dell’s plan to acquire Boomi , announced last week, would provide the vendor a gateway to cloud management.
Boomi offers a SaaS-based application integration platform that aims to ease the flow of data between cloud-resident and on-premise apps. According to Boomi, the company’s AtomSphere technology masks the complexity of web services standbys such as SOAP and WSDL.
The purchase would let Dell offer cloud customers something other than servers. Allan Krans, senior analyst at Technology Business Research Inc., said hardware had been the focal point of Dell’s cloud strategy, adding that Boomi will let Dell evolve into cloud management and integration.
Dell’s channel could find a role in providing Boomi technology. Krans said PartnerDirect allies would be able to offer their customers a tool that “really delivers value around the cloud, rather than just providing infrastructure,” he said. “So if integration and management of the cloud is a barrier, this gives the channel a pretty seamless way to address those concerns.”
Boomi will bring with it a channel of its own. Boomi’s channel effort includes ISV partners including salesforce.com, a roster of platform-as-a-service providers including Amazon Web Services, and a number of systems integrators.
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