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Nerdio Eases the Way to Azure for MSPs

The new service aims to make it simple for partners to build an IT environment in the Microsoft cloud.

Jeffrey Burt

April 23, 2019

5 Min Read
Cloud migration
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Nerdio wants to make it easier for MSPs to build infrastructure-as-a-service offerings on the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

The IT management and automation platform company recently unveiled Nerdio for Azure Core, an expansion of its Nerdio for Azure offering that first launched almost two years ago. The new service enables MSPs essentially to build and deploy an IT environment in the Azure cloud in about an hour, a task the company says usually takes days or weeks when done manually through typical processes.

Nerdio for Azure Core does this in an automated fashion, which not only reduces the amount of time it takes to set up an IaaS service in Azure, but also cuts down on the risk of errors in deploying the environment and the costs of creating it. MSPs often have to hire more people with Azure experience if they want to launch IaaS services in Azure, which can be an expensive proposition, says Joseph Landes, chief revenue officer at Nerdio.

MSPs first getting into Azure can find the cloud environment complex and risky, Landes told Channel Futures, challenges Nerdio is trying to reduce with Nerdio for Azure Core.

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Nerdio’s Joseph Landes

“Microsoft Azure is made up of more than 1,000 different services, and if an MSP has never worked in Azure before, they can initially find architecting a solution in it to be technically complex,” Landes said. “MSPs who are used to trying to win business or manage an existing business using a fixed-cost, on-premises model now have to learn how to price a solution like Azure, which is consumption-based. There is a risk that if they don’t do this accurately, they can quickly erode their margins and not be as efficient from a pricing standpoint as they are used to.”

Nerdio’s platform offers automated deployment so MSPs don’t have to hire people to do the work, an administrative portal through which the MSP can manage their clients and Azure resources, and auto-scaling to enable MSPs to scale their Azure environments to suit the needs of their customers. The company also offers the Nerdio Cost Estimator, which MSPs can use to more accurately determine the cost of Azure and Office 365 from their cloud service provider or Microsoft.

MSPs can customize and build their cloud services through tools like Cost Estimator and Plans Designer, and through Nerdio for Azure Core, can add other custom features, such as virtual desktops and disaster recovery. Nerdio for Azure Core costs $59 per month per customer account, or about $700 per year, per account.

It’s crucial that MSPs deploy and grow their cloud services if they’re going to survive in the future, he said.

“MSPs recognize that jumping on the secular trend of public cloud computing is important not just to the future of their business but to their ability to acquire new customers today,” Landes said. “Customers increasingly want to take advantage of the amazing benefits and scale of the public cloud – and specifically Microsoft Azure – and look to their MSPs to bring that benefit to them. In the coming months and years, it will become clear that if an MSP is not offering public cloud services like Azure and [Office] 365, they will be left behind as those services continues to grow in popularity and functionality.”

 Matt Henderson, president and consultant at Litzia, a Bellingham, Washington-based MSP and IT services company, told Channel Futures that Nerdio for Azure Core will help companies like his move …

… more confidently into the public cloud arena.

“Nerdio’s offering to MSPs is an addition to cloud enablement suites,” Henderson said. “For us, it’s allowed us to feel confident in our competency to deploy Azure as a cloud solution to our present and future customers. We also have the ability to use them as an escalation point as experts in not just cloud enablement, but also some of the oddities and idiosyncrasies around the back-end settings and configurations after the basics are set up.”

Nerdio is helping “to remove the complexity and allow for us as partners to optimize our profitability in a section of our industry that has decreasing margins,” he said.

Henderson pointed to capabilities like auto-scaling, which usually require PowerShell scripting, automation and levels of expertise that need constant management and maintenance. With Nerdio, Litzia and other MSPs can do this without having to hire and continuously train someone. Litzia also is clear with its customers about its relationship with Nerdio.

“It gives our customers confidence in our ability to deliver and troubleshoot complicated issues, as there are problems that can arise when you have a fair desktop experience due to many eggs being in one desktop deployment experience,” he said. “Nerdio also works with virtual desktops and has tools to review how the virtual desktop works to optimize the performance around this. Nerdio also has easy deployment tools which means that for our customers we can allow them to have some level of downstream IT, where they’re in-house IT can also perform basic functions. For us, that also again reduces our technical resource costs.”

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