Virtualization Startup VM6 Software Launches MSP Program


The MSP program is based on VM6's flagship VMex product, which weaves together virtual storage, servers, clustering and management and allows smaller companies to get around the capex challenges associated with deploying virtualization, Jean-David Begin, vice president of marketing and business development, said in an interview.

VMex employs unused storage in server hosts to create a virtual shared storage that can be partitioned as needed, eliminating the need for a physical SAN. What's especially notable is that it does so without impacting performance or requiring network upgrades, according to Begin. "This is the equivalent of installing very high-end type of equipment on premise," he said.

In addition to tools for high availability and load balancing, VMex includes monitoring, alerting and automation capabilities that can allow remote admins to deal with problems and bottlenecks when they arise. Also notable is that VMex integrates with Windows Active Directory and other management infrastructure but doesn't have any dependencies on other systems, Begin said.

VMex runs on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and creates an on premise "cloud" that enables centralized management of up to 60,000 endpoints. It's also designed for distributed network architecture, making it fit nicely within the wheelhouse of MSPs looking to manage customers on premise or in their own data center from a single management pane, said Begin.

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"The value for MSPs lies in extending the core benefits of virtualization and high availability while minimizing downtime and offering increased quality of service," Begin said.

VM6 Software currently has more than 50 MSP partners, to whom it offers attractive margins and lead generation. "We do generate direct leads from our Web site and through search engine optimization, and we pass these along to our regional partners," Begin said.

Begin declined to disclose the pricing for VMex but said it's about 80 percent less expensive than a comparable redundant Equalogic SAN.

The tendrils of virtualization technology have yet to fully reach the SMB market, but VM6 Software believes that taking the cost factor out of the equation could prove lucrative. MSPs will now get a chance to see if this model has legs.

"We quickly realized that although there are many great benefits of deploying virtualization in the data center, the economics didn't work when it comes to smaller footprints," said Begin.