NetApp acquisition: CloudJumper expands partner portfolios

NetApp's buyout of virtual desktop infrastructure player CloudJumper is poised to bring new channel partners into the NetApp fold; other news from the week.

NetApp's acquisition of CloudJumper, a virtual desktop infrastructure software company, will provide CloudJumper partners a broader set of products they can sell customers and the potential to boost recurring revenue.

The latest NetApp acquisition, made public on April 29, aims to bolster NetApp's position in the VDI market, where it already provides storage infrastructure to support virtual desktop deployments. NetApp acquired Cognigo, a data protection company, in 2019 and purchased Talon Storage earlier this year.

The VDI deal's effect on NetApp products is beginning to take shape. NetApp Virtual Desktop Service, a product of the CloudJumper acquisition, is already available on NetApp Cloud Central. CloudJumper's technology lets organizations manage on-premises Remote Desktop Services environments as well as cloud-based Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) deployments.

Anthony Lye, senior vice president and general manager of NetApp's Cloud Data Services business unit, said CloudJumper channel partners can continue selling that company's VDI platform and add additional NetApp products to their virtual desktop business mix. Those offerings include NetApp's Global File Cache, which Lye said is frequently sold as part of a VDI solution, and NetApp SaaS Backup for Office 365 and Salesforce. CloudJumper partners will also have access to NetApp's Cloud Volumes Service, a managed cloud storage offering, and Azure NetApp Files, a file service environment for Microsoft's cloud.

Partners will be able to directly monetize storage in a VDI implementation and boost their recurring revenue, Lye noted. He said partners can, potentially, achieve an increase of five or six times their recurring revenue.

The CloudJumper acquisition keeps NetApp on its current channel path, Lye noted. He said CloudJumper partners are in the process of joining NetApp's Cloud First Partner Program. The Cloud First Partner Program is geared to partners working in the Azure, AWS and Google public clouds.

NetApp plans to add resources to the existing CloudJumper partner program. New resources will aim to help managed service providers (MSPs), value-added resellers, systems integrator and ISVs "solve customer challenges and grow their businesses," the company said.

CloudJumper's commitment to MSPs

Joseph Landes, chief revenue officer at Nerdio, which provides an Azure deployment and management offering for MSPs, questioned CloudJumper's channel commitment, however. He suggested CloudJumper has reduced its focus on the channel and MSPs over the past year. He said he hasn't seen CloudJumper at industry peer groups or channel events and views the company as "ramping down in the MSP market."

Landes said hundreds of MSPs have joined Nerdio in the past year or so, leaving other companies including CloudJumper. The company competes with CloudJumper for MSP attention in the Azure and WVD areas. Nerdio for Azure supports WVD, and the company also offers Nerdio Manager for WVD, a WVD deployment and management platform for enterprise customers.

In response to Nerdio, Lye said "NetApp is fully committed to the MSP and channels with our entire portfolio of Public Cloud Data Services."

CloudJumper offerings now called the Virtual Desktop Service and the Virtual Desktop Managed Service will continue and expand, Lye said.

We will work hard to demonstrate our value to the channel as we increase our commitment to MSP and channel partners.
Anthony LyeSenior vice president and general manager of cloud business unit, NetApp

"Our partners now have access to a vertically-integrated solution stack that previously did not exist in the market," Lye said. "We will work hard to demonstrate our value to the channel as we increase our commitment to MSP and channel partners."

The apparent CloudJumper vs. Nerdio rivalry, however, may not result in channel partners having to make an either/or choice.

XenTegra, a digital workspaces and managed services provider based in Huntersville, N.C., works with both CloudJumper and Nerdio. XenTegra unveiled a partnership with CloudJumper in January 2020. The MSP tapped CloudJumper to help simplify the configuration and management of WVD, which can prove a complex undertaking.

Pete Downing, chief marketing and technology officer at XenTegra, said he uses CloudJumper as an MSP platform, which allows his company to deliver an as-a-service offering to customers on top of WVD.

Downing said XenTegra works with Nerdio in a different capacity: Nerdio Manager for WVD lets XenTegra help its outbound enterprise customers get their WVD deployments running faster.

"[Nerdio] Manager for WVD is not an MSP play -- it is a direct sales play," he said.

CloudJumper and Nerdio, meanwhile, might need to respond to a common development. Microsoft on April 30 took the wraps off management and deployment tools for WVD. Those new capabilities are available in public preview, according to a Microsoft blog post.

"Basically, [Microsoft] launched a whole new management plane for WVD," Downing said.

Partners back COVID-19 relief efforts

More IT service providers have added support to the COVID-19 response. Partners are offering a range of assistance, from business advice to cloud hosting services.

Here are several recent examples:

  • Insight Enterprises, a technology services and solutions provider based in Tempe, Ariz., is piloting portable virus testing centers (PVTCs), using its IoT Connected Platform. The IoT Connected Platform provides a backbone for devices such as thermal cameras and non-contact thermometers. Those devices are housed in the PVTCs, which are built in shipping containers. Insight is piloting the PVTC concept in Canada and will launch it in Hanover Park, Ill., according to an Insight spokesperson.
  • ServerCentral Turing Group, a managed IT infrastructure service provider, rolled out a program to offer complimentary managed services to essential businesses in Chicago for the remainder of 2020. The company has extended its Essential Chicago initiative to entities such as healthcare organizations, grocery stores and critical trades. The roster of offerings includes data center services, cloud resources and network connectivity/bandwidth, as well as managed services.
  • Also in Chicago, Stratosphere Networks, an MSP, is partnering with AVANT Communications and six other companies to help launch the McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility in the McCormick Place Convention Center. Other participants in the COVID-19 project include Cox Business' RapidScale, Evolve IP, Ignyte, Spectrotel, Synoptek and Trustwave.
  • ScaleMatrix, a data center services provider based in San Diego, is partnering with Yellowbrick, a cloud data warehouse vendor based in Palo Alto, Calif., to provide free offerings to researchers and companies working on a coronavirus vaccine. Yellowbrick already offers its cloud data warehouse free to those groups. The addition of ScaleMatrix will let the companies also provide free data center services and HIPAA-hosting expertise, according to Yellowbrick.

Jitterbit launches MSP program

Jitterbit, an integration and API management platform vendor, unveiled a partner program for MSPs.

The MSP program provides benefits and guidance for partners to use the Jitterbit Harmony platform, the company said. Resources include a partner readiness assessment and training program; best practices for designing, demoing and delivering integration offerings; and go-to-market plans with sales toolkits.

"We are helping managed service providers learn how to take our platform and offer it as a service to their clients," said Ron Wastal, Jitterbit senior vice president of business development, alliances and channels.

MSPs are "a newly forming space" in the integration market, Wastal said. "I think what's happening in the market is that things are moving to cloud. There are a lot of [customers] now thinking, 'What should be managed in-house, and what should be managed by a third party?'"

A general dearth in skills around cloud and SaaS opens opportunities for MSPs to provide expertise, he said. Additionally, economic pressures driven by the pandemic are making it more feasible for customers to outsource roles and responsibilities rather than hire staff.

While Jitterbit is targeting MSPs with integration expertise, Wastal noted the company also seeks partners specialized in vertical markets, such as healthcare, higher education and manufacturing.

Other news

  • Wipro Ltd., an IT consulting and business process services company, launched a Digital Database Services offering that uses technology from Nutanix, a hyper-converged infrastructure vendor. Digital Database Services is built on Nutanix HCI software and Nutanix Era, which automates database management.
  • New Relic, a provider of application monitoring tools, updated its channel resources. The revised New Relic Partner Network (NRPN) is designed to engage consulting partners, MSPs, solution providers and technology integration partners, the company said. Enhanced NRPN benefits include technical and sales training, a certification program, demand generation tools and an improved partner portal.
  • Cyber protection vendor Acronis revamped its #CyberFit Partner Program. The program now features increased marketing funds and tools, refreshed training and certification programs, and new financing options. Additional benefits include access the #CyberFit Platform Program, which provides support for extending, customizing and integrating with the Acronis Cyber Platform.
  • RapidFire Tools, a Kaseya company that sells to MSPs, has unveiled Network Detective Work from Home, which includes a self-service portal that lets employees initiate network and security scans. IT support personnel at the employees' companies can then analyze and document scans before employees connect to the corporate network, according to the company.
  • IT By Design, which provides engineering expertise to IT service providers, said it will provide remote engineering support for the MSP software tools from Datto and Kaseya. IT By Design's support includes remote technical staffing, network operations center services and helpdesk services.
  • Swimlane, a security orchestration, automation and response vendor, unveiled the Insider Channel Program. The program offers discounts, specializations for service delivery and managed services, and training and certification, Swimlane said.
  • C&A Technology, a consulting firm focusing on JD Edwards and SAP technology, is partnering with Cleo, an ecosystem integration software company. The companies aim to support the need for services across such sectors as manufacturing, wholesale distribution, logistics, food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, and tier 1 and 2 automotive.
  • InfluxData, which offers a time series database, added new channel partnerships in the Asia-Pacific market. The company said Digital China and Hyundai BS&C will distribute its InfluxDB database in China and South Korea, respectively. InfluxData said it also partnered with Intellify, an Australian reseller.
  • Cybersecurity services firm High Wire Networks inked a deal with distributor Synnex Corp. High Wire Networks said Synnex will distribute its Overwatch Managed Security services to its reseller network.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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