Azaleos Expands to Managed SharePoint Services

Azaleos made its name managing Microsoft Exchange environments. Now, the managed service provider is taking a similar path with Microsoft SharePoint. Here are the details.

The company’s newly available SharePoint Services offering keeps tabs on SharePoint Server, Internet Information Server, and SQL Server along with associated storage and network infrastructure. Azaleos collects more than 2,000 data points with network operations centers in Seattle and Charlotte on hand to watch for trouble and suss out problems.

Azaleos will also configure and deploy Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) and backup MOSS via Microsoft Data Protection Manager. The MSP focuses on the enterprise-oriented MOSS, rather than Windows SharePoint Services, noted Scott Gode, vice president of Azaleos.

As for deployment, Azaleos offers a virtualized architecture as its preferred model. The company provides two core builds. The first build, for customers with 1,000 seats or less, consists of a single physical server loaded with five virtual machines: Web server, application server, SQL Server, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Data Protection Manager. Azaleos also offers a NetApp storage device.

The second build is geared toward customers in the 1,000 to 5,000 seat range. This option consists of a server that runs the Web and app servers, a second server that runs a secondary Web and app server front end, and two additional servers that run clustered SQL Server Enterprise Edition, according to Gode. One of the four servers also runs System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager. The deployment includes SAN storage.

Azaleos also supports VMware-based virtualization in addition to the Microsoft Hyper-V variety.

Some larger customer environments may call for a variation on the second build to satisfy requirements.

Gode said the Azaleos SharePoint service will at first generate business primarily as a direct sales play. But he anticipates that the company’s partners will offer the solution over time.

When partners start selling SharePoint, they will find a couple of areas where they can wrap their own services around the product. Gode cited archiving and disaster recovery as examples. He said Azaleos offers those services in conjunction with its Exchange offering, but does not immediately plan to provide those with SharePoint.

In addition, Azaleos plans to stay out of the application development game when it comes to SharePoint. Gode noted the numerous “applications and templates that can be created on the front end.” Azaleos will partner with integrators who develop SharePoint applications, turning that aspect of the business over to them. Those  partners may then call on Azaleos for architecting and managing servers.

Overall, Azaleos’ SharePoint business -- and partner opportunity -- rests on the premise that many customers will want to keep servers and data on premise. Not every customer is ready to rely entirely on the cloud, so the thinking goes.

“We believe there is a lot of pent up need for assistance in the SharePoint space that will be driven, in part, by Microsoft’s focus on the hosted side,” Gode said.
Contributing blogger John Moore covers Master MSPs and Web hosts, and has written about the IT channel for two decades. MSPmentor is updated multiple times daily. Don’t miss a single post. Subscribe to our Enewsletter, RSS, Webcast and Twitter feeds.

TAGS: On Premise
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