Quest Software Expands Managed Services Portfolio

Within the managed services market, Quest Software is perhaps best-known for promoting PacketTrap MSP -- a remote monitoring and management platform. But within the halls of Quest, there are signs the software company plans to expand its managed services software portfolio. The prime example involves Quest OnDemand solutions for Active Directory protection and Log Management. The Quest OnDemand solutions launched around June 2010 for SMBs but longer term, Quest plans to increasingly promote the offerings to MSPs.

In recent months, Quest has heard from several MSPs that want to leverage Quest OnDemand to manage and protect Active Directory in three ways:

  1. EZ Backup, which automates the backup of Active Directory by scheduling online backups for off-peak hours.
  2. Object Restore, which can restore an object in Active Directory using an online, wizard-based recovery solution.
  3. Comparison Reporter, which can help MSPs to find changes between the current state of AD and a selected backup.
Melissa Lautzenhiser and Shawn Barker, two product marketing managers at Quest, gave me a brief overview of the Quest OnDemand solutions earlier today. Generally speaking, it sounds like Quest OnDemand originally was positioned for direct use by SMBs. But as MSP chatter picked up, Quest OnDemand decided to formalize a managed services partner effort. It also sounds like Quest Software plans to expand the Quest OnDemand software portfolio.

At present, I think Quest OnDemand is positioned mainly for VARs and MSPs that want to manage on-premise Active Directory deployments. But Quest OnDemand runs in the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud -- and there are signs that Quest will increasingly focus on cloud-centric Active Directory deployments. MSPs can run Quest OnDemand worldwide since it's a SaaS service. However, the system is hosted in Chicago which means some foreign companies can't use it because of local regulations.

There are hints that Quest OnDemand will soon be hosted in additional Windows Azure data centers (stay tuned). We'll also be watching to see if Quest Software connects the dots between Quest OnDemand on PacketTrap MSP.

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