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Spot PC, NetApp’s Cloud-Based VDI, Now Ready For MSPs

Joseph F. Kovar

‘We saw the opportunity to combine the core CloudJumper technology with Spot to let MSPs and others manage virtual desktops in the cloud with all the key components, including security, optimization, data management, application management and resource utilization,’ says Jon Bock, vice president of marketing for Spot by NetApp.

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NetApp Tuesday released Spot PC, a cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service offering targeting MSPs.

Spot PC, which was unveiled last July, brings together two NetApp acquisitions from 2020, said Jon Bock, vice president of marketing for Spot by NetApp.

The first is Spot, which drives continuous optimization of workloads running on a public cloud while ensuring that those applications follow customer service-level agreements and service-level objectives. It takes advantage of compute spot instances available from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Those spot instances gave the company its name.

[Related: NetApp CEO George Kurian: Dell, HPE Are ‘Doing What We Did In 2014’]

The second is CloudJumper, which developed cloud software for managing virtual desktop infrastructure across AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

The general availability of Spot PC comes as businesses are looking to move remote desktop PC operations to the cloud while at the same time not wanting to build the necessary infrastructure on their own, Bock told CRN.

“We saw the opportunity to combine the core CloudJumper technology with Spot to let MSPs and others manage virtual desktops in the cloud with all the key components, including security, optimization, data management, application management and resource utilization,” he said. “We provide all the components to help MSPs and some enterprises offer remote desktop solutions.”

Prior to its acquisition by NetApp, CloudJumper provided the technology and tools with some components to automate the delivery of virtual desktops, said Jeff Treuhaft, general manager for Spot PC.

“But when it comes to automating the public cloud and automating the entire solution, this is a first for NetApp,” Treuhaft told CRN.

Spot PC is a significant opportunity for MSPs, Treuhaft said.

“MSPs tell us that building a solution around cloud-based desktops is getting more and more complex,” he said. “Getting security from the cloud to the endpoint at the scale necessary to be successful is really complex. Handing MSPs more tools and buttons doesn’t help. NetApp not only has CloudJumper technology, but also Azure NetApp Files storage service and NetApp Cloud Insights.”

NetApp has integrated the best of Azure cloud with the components in the Azure Marketplace and the best in NetApp technology to offer a pre-packaged virtual desktop as a service for MSPs, Treuhaft said.

“MSPs don’t need to be experts,” he said. “We’ve integrated the back end so MSPs can focus on their customers.”

Spot PC will be available in three versions, Treuhaft said.

The first is the shared user or pooled user version in which one license can be transferred from user to user, such as during a call center shift change or for contract workers. The second is a license assigned to a single employee who can use it any time and from anywhere. The third is for technical workers who need desktops with one or more GPUs for higher-end applications such as AutoCAD, he said.

The general availability of Spot PC means sales of the technology can now move into high gear, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering and NetApp enablement at General Datatech, a Dallas-based MSP and NetApp channel partner.

Sales of NetApp’s Spot PC technology is use-case-driven, Woodall told CRN.

“We see it going into call centers or for customers with a large contract workforce where they want to open their virtual desktops in the cloud,” he said. “It’s yet another indication of the depth and breadth of NetApp’s cloud technology.”

Virtual desktops in the cloud is a growth area, and General Datatech has discussed it with customers, Woodall said.

“Going into general availability helps,” he said. “Before general availability, we talked with customers who expressed interest. Now we can get marketing behind it and discuss it at events.”

For IT practitioners, ITOps are increasingly merging into CloudOps, which makes Spot PC virtual Desktop-as-a-Service a good play, Woodall said.

“Almost everyone uses Windows and Office 365,” he said. “Customers are looking at options, and all the options today are subscription-based. It’s the same with Google Workspot and others. Spot PC leverages Spot, and integrates with NetApp’s Cloud Insights, its data classification technologies and its ransomware technologies. And it includes Windows Defender as a complete offering.”

Spot PC is addressing the growth area of virtual desktop in the cloud, and is a well-thought-out offering, Woodall said.

“It’s economically disruptive and technically disruptive,” he said.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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