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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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September 24, 2018 |

SolarWinds MSP Has Cloud Management and Backup Solutions on the Way

The vendor also plans to leverage its parent company’s expansive portfolio of network management systems to help MSPs enjoy single-pane-of-glass control over the ever-widening array of onsite and offsite solutions sharing SMB infrastructures today.

SolarWinds MSP plans to add cloud management and cloud-to-cloud backup solutions to its integrated suite of IT management software for MSPs.

The Durham, N.C.-based vendor shared those and other product-related insights at its Empower MSP partner conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., last week.

The forthcoming cloud management solution is designed to help channel pros extend the same kind of visibility into PCs, servers, and other endpoints they enjoy today to the online services their clients use in growing numbers as well.

“More and more managed service providers are being asked by their SMBs to help understand what is happening in the connection point from an end user to a cloud service. More and more they’re being asked to ensure that that connection stays up and running, or [to] identify where the problems are in accessing that cloud service,” says Greg Lissy, vice president of product for SolarWinds MSP.

Meeting those expectations can be difficult, however, because most RMM products have little visibility into the path cloud traffic travels to and from endpoints, according to Mav Turner, vice president of product management for SolarWinds Worldwide LLC, SolarWinds MSP’s parent company.

“IT is responsible for ensuring services across networks that they don’t own,” he observes. SolarWinds plans to use systems like NetPath, a component of the company’s portfolio of products for corporate IT departments, to help technicians troubleshoot and more quickly resolve performance issues impacting cloud-hosted solutions.

To further assist MSPs struggling with the demands of today’s increasingly hybrid SMB infrastructures, SolarWinds MSP also has software for backing up cloud-based data in the works. First up will be support for the online edition of Microsoft Outlook, according to Lissy, who declined to provide specifics on when that functionality will reach market. The ability to backup the rest of Microsoft’s Office 365 communications and collaboration suite, plus Google G Suite, Box, Dropbox, and other hosted repositories will follow in the months and years ahead.

The overarching goal of both cloud-related additions to the SolarWinds MSP product family is to provide technicians an all-encompassing, “single pane of glass” management console, according to Senior Director of MSP Evangelism Dave Sobel.

“That’s what the MSP needs,” he says. “They need to be able to see all of the bits that they’re managing.”

SolarWinds MSP is uniquely positioned to meet that need, he and other company leaders claim, because it’s part of SolarWinds, an IT management behemoth with over 50 products and a customer base spanning from small businesses to 499 members of the Fortune 500.

“We’re in every market now at this point,” Sobel says. “Most partners are not going to have that kind of insight and ability to see that many industries and that many different segments, so we can really bring the right information to them at the right time.”

Sobel points to SolarWinds’s strength in network management as another advantage for SolarWinds MSP at a time when SMBs are steadily deploying web-enabled phones, printers, meeting room systems, physical security solutions, lightbulbs, thermostats, and more. Network management software is available from managed services software maker Kaseya Ltd. and more specialized vendors like Auvik Networks Inc., but few companies offers as many products in as many network administration categories as SolarWinds.

“The network is the core of everything now,” Sobel says. “You want a company that understands the network.”

At present, NetPath is the most concrete example of how access to SolarWinds’s network management expertise benefits SolarWinds MSP partners. The system has been a built-in component of the cloud-based SolarWinds RMM solution since April, and became part of the company’s on-premises SolarWinds N-central product in July.

Lissy wouldn’t discuss which additional offerings from the SolarWinds family of corporate IT management systems might migrate to its MSP solutions as well, except to say that the company is actively exploring options and soliciting input from partners on the matter.

“That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish out of this conference is what do these customers need, where do they need more depth, and how we prioritize all of those things, because we have a lot in core portfolio,” he says.

Initial feedback, he adds, suggests that at least some MSPs see two SolarWinds products in particular, Network Configuration Manager and Network Topology Mapper, as potentially useful additions to their toolset. Should SolarWinds MSP act on that input, look for it add elements of those products to its RMM solutions, rather than import entire solutions.

“We don’t want to just throw these monster machines at these guys,” Turner says. “We want to bring in the specific capabilities that are easy to use.”

On Friday, SolarWinds filed for an initial public offering intended to raise up to $500 million.

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