Toshiba Makes Cloud Play With Virtual Desktop Service


"The reason we teamed to begin with was because we were starting to see that interest in virtual desktops from our customers. It's a nice natural progression because applications have been virtualized, servers have been virtualized, so virtualizing the desktop is the next step,” Churchill told CRN.

“It really helps customers save a lot of money with IT management,” Churchill added.

Churchill told CRN that he sees companies warming up to virtual desktops because they’ve already gotten comfortable using other cloud products.

"If you introduced this five years ago, very few people would've had interest in it. But now, almost every customer has some sort of application in the cloud," Churchill said.

Miller said after studying the market, Toshiba invested heavily in building its infrastructure, including data centers in San Jose, Calif., and Virginia. The company's cloud offering features a proprietary layer of desktop management software above Citrix XenDesktop, or Horizon for customers who prefer VMware powering their machines.

The virtual desktop market, Miller said, has the advantage of not having prices constantly undercut as part of the commodity cloud price wars. It’s a market where the value proposition that service providers can offer still trumps price.

Nadell told CRN that unlike the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, virtual desktops involve an extraordinary amount of complexity because the cloud provider is often responsible for running an extremely large number of applications reliably on its system.

"That's where all of the ugliness begins, and that's really where the enterprise IT space is," Nadell said.

A Toshiba partner like DynTek stands to profit from "the ugliness” of managing virtual desktops by selling customers a comprehensive product that yields far more than a one-time referral fee.

And that’s exactly what Toshiba prefers.

"One of the things we heard from all the MSPs we spoke with when doing the research is they wanted the flexibility to be able to co-brand or just brand it as their own product," Miller said.

"Everything can be white-labeled, all aspects of the service, even the marketing materials," he told CRN.

PUBLISHED MAY 28, 2014