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NetApp Partners with Microsoft to Deliver Digital Workspaces on Demand for the Modern Workforce

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Anthony Lye

The massive technology disruption caused by the global pandemic in the past year has fundamentally shifted how businesses are delivering IT services to their employees and accelerated the public cloud as the platform for digital transformation. Digital transformations projects scheduled for two years are now being done today in 2 months. These transformations fundamentally affect a company’s relationship with its customers, partners, and its employees. Work from the office went to work from home and now work from anywhere. Digital workspaces are now the norm, and the challenge and promise of a new hybrid workplace and elastic workforce is before us.

At NetApp, our customers are increasingly moving their desktop environments from traditional on-premises infrastructures to cloud-based virtual desktops that enable employees to securely access applications, data, and resources from anywhere. The clouds enable these workspaces to scale up and down at runtime matching the supply to the demand more efficiently than on premises.

A recent study conducted by industry research firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)1 found that 92% of enterprises surveyed expect 50% or more of their workforce will utilize virtual, hosted desktops by 2024. It’s no surprise that these same enterprises consistently cited information security and the need to increase collaboration while lowering IT support costs as the key factors in their decision to move to cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). At NetApp, we see this driving increased demand for a fully managed approach to supporting desktop environments that includes VDI, cloud, storage, real time monitoring, compute provisioning, and enhanced information security, all delivered as a service and continuously optimized for cost.

Today, we are pleased to announce that NetApp is collaborating with Microsoft to deliver new, complementary innovations designed to meet the needs of the modern elastic workforce and their digital workspaces: 

  • Windows 365: Today, Microsoft unveiled Windows 365 (read the announcement here), which is ushering in the next wave of digital workspace innovation. Windows 365 is a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11, taking the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, streaming the full Windows experience – apps, data, and settings – to personal or corporate devices. Windows 365 also creates a new hybrid personal computing category called Cloud PC, which uses both the power of the cloud and the capabilities of the device to provide a full, personalized Windows experience. Offered as a fixed, per-seat monthly cost, it is a great option for our managed service provider (MSP) and channel partner community.

  • Introducing Spot PC by NetApp: NetApp is in lockstep with Microsoft on Windows 365 – and we’re taking it to the next level with Spot PC by NetApp. Spot PC is a secure, optimized Azure Virtual Desktop-based Cloud PC environment for named and pooled users that incorporates NetApp’s enterprise-class infrastructure, data protection, monitoring and security technologies. Delivered as a fully managed service and a fixed, per-seat monthly subscription, it leverages our industry-leading Spot automation and optimization technologies to deliver cloud desktops at up to 50% less than other market alternatives – providing more cloud, for less cost. And since it is a fully managed offering, we do the heavy lifting for you: Spot PC provides simplified and streamlined onboarding, data migration, and application validation and lifecycle management – all as a service, all at enterprise scale.

    Partners benefit from Spot PC’s multi-tenancy management capabilities and its advanced optimizations. Partners can manage multiple customers through the partner/administrator dashboard console, which enables real-time updates across multiple customers’ Spot PC environments, and provide deep insight into the servers, storage, workspaces, and user resources in and across each tenant. Spot PC delivers on the promise of cloud desktops in the most secure, scalable, and powerful way – while offering incredible cost benefits and financial advantages. It can be purchased standalone, as a fully managed cloud desktops on AVD solution, or together with Windows 365, providing a breadth of choices to our channel partners and customers.

  • Introducing Windows 365 with Spot PC: Spot PC with Windows 365 is a new and optimized offering for our partner community. Delivered in collaboration with Microsoft, it combines Windows 365 with enhanced management capabilities through Spot PC as a fully managed infrastructure service, with a fixed cost per-seat, per-month pricing model that is billed directly to the MSP or partner. This provides simplified budgeting, easy quoting, and stable margin management, while removing the common cost overruns and expensive administration of self-managed VDI solutions.

    The combined solution streamlines and simplifies onboarding, deployment, and management of services and provides unified management from a single pane of glass, making it easy for partners to drill into specific tenants and address any issues. With this unified management approach, partners can deliver enhanced security, compliance, and data residency benefits to better support customers’ digital workspaces and ensure their success.

Spot’s Cloud Ops platform and now Spot PC are truly providing delivering for customers and partners more cloud at less cost. Combined with the best of Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop, NetApp’s cloud services and Windows 365 offerings for Cloud PCs, it is the perfect solution for accelerating the move to cloud desktop solutions for the elastic workforce.  

This is just the beginning. We are excited to partner with Microsoft to power the new hybrid digital workplace. 

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Anthony Lye

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