TL; DR: Nerdio makes it easier for managed service providers (MSPs) and IT pros to build and maintain successful Microsoft Azure cloud services. Nerdio for Azure helps managed service providers (MSPs) automatically provision a complete IT environment in two hours. Nerdio Manager for WVD, on the other hand, empowers professionals to deploy, manage, and autoscale Windows Virtual Desktop. Coming up in January, the company will hold its very own event, NerdioCon. The two-day virtual event will be packed with content attendees can use to build effective cloud practices.
On September 30, 2019, Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), its desktop and application virtualization service hosted on Azure. The cloud-based solution quickly became a staple in many digital transformation toolboxes, allowing users to provision multi-session remote Windows and Office experiences on any device.
Since then, demand for large-scale, virtualized business solutions has spiked in the face of a working-from-home economy that will likely continue post-pandemic. And while the IT company Nerdio was not capable of anticipating such a situation, its March 2020 release of Nerdio Manager for WVD couldn’t have come at a better time.
Nerdio Manager for WVD was created to satisfy the unique security and compliance requirements of enterprises looking to deploy and manage WVD environments for 250-plus users.
As an application deployed and sold through the Azure marketplace, Nerdio Manager for WVD can be provisioned by the user into any Azure subscription and geography. This allows for a secure deployment where users control where data is hosted and third-party vendors cannot access a customer’s environment.
“The technology that we have in the Windows Virtual Desktop space is second to none,” said Joseph Landes, Chief Revenue Officer at Nerdio. “No other company has the kind of technology we have that is built on top of the native Windows Virtual Desktop to allow organizations to deploy, manage, and optimize a WVD environment.”
Through Nerdio for Azure, the company also provides managed service providers (MSPs) with automated solutions for provisioning a complete IT environment in Azure in as little as two hours.
A Windows Virtual Desktop Solution Born From the Needs of an MSP
Nerdio’s roots go back to 2005 when Vadim Vladimirskiy and his co-founders launched Adar, Inc., a Chicago-based MSP.
“Adar was all about having their customers run in hosted virtual desktops,” Joseph said. “Part of the way through the journey, Vadim Vladimirskiy realized that a lot of the automation technology that he had built could be turned into products and sold to other managed service providers looking to bring their customers to the cloud.”
He designed a product known as Nerdio Private Cloud and presented it to a group of MSPs for feedback. Time and time again, the response he received involved praise for the automation technology and a desire for the platform to be built in Microsoft Azure.
“Most MSPs operate in the Microsoft ecosystem, and at the time, many were starting their journey to the cloud with Office 365,” Joseph said. “Nerdio quickly pivoted and released what became our flagship product, Nerdio for Azure. Today, it allows professionals to build successful cloud practices in Microsoft Azure.”
MSPs have the option of choosing a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) from Microsoft for serving up virtual desktops or a WVD deployment when creating a new Nerdio for Azure account. MSPs can use the WVD service to provide their client organizations access to applications that run on top of Windows remotely. And, with Nerdio for Azure, users can get started with WVD in seconds, deploying a complete desktop within hours.
Leveraging Automation to Bring MSPs to the Cloud
Joseph, who worked at Microsoft for 23 years before joining the Nerdio team, said he was deeply involved in the global rollout of Microsoft Azure. Along the way, he’s observed that many MSPs are rethinking their business practices.
“Most MSPs are still largely hosting on-premises,” he said. “They have a server that they install at the customer site. They may have a colo data center that they use. They may have even purchased their own data center. But they’re not typically in the public cloud space.”
According to Microsoft’s recent earnings report, the company grew its Azure business by nearly 50% year over year — a fact that Joseph said speaks volumes in terms of the rise of cloud computing.
“Microsoft Azure is worth more than $10 billion and is more than 10 years old,” he said. “I would challenge people to find many businesses out there doing the same. The obvious question MSPs have to ask themselves is whether they grew their business by 50% in the same time frame. If not, it’s worth asking yourself why you’re still resisting moving to the cloud.”
For MSPs that aren’t quite ready to make the jump to a completely virtual desktop environment, Nerdio for Azure can be deployed as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas) solution. In this use case, Microsoft Azure cloud services could be employed for backups, disaster recovery, infrastructure, and servers.
Nerdio also offers an IT-as-a-Service solution that empowers large and small organizations to host their complete IT environment in the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Save Time, Money with Centralized Infrastructure Management
Joseph said MSPs and enterprises often underestimate the time and cost savings inherent in Nerdio’s technology. But the company isn’t only focused on helping users move to a virtual desktop environment — it also aims to ensure the job is done in an efficient, affordable way.
“Sometimes people think that setting your company up to work from home is an expensive proposition,” Joseph said. “But I could give you many examples of companies large and small that have decided to deploy WVD using Nerdio and are significantly reducing the cost of running compute and storage in Microsoft Azure.”
One Nerdio customer, a sizable outsourced call center with approximately 20,000 users assigned to a WVD, saves almost $120,000 a month on Azure thanks to Nerdio. In another case, a large school system with 1,500 or so users saved about $22,000 on Azure compute and storage.
“The technology Nerdio provides to allow them to auto-scale the Azure environment and turn on and off Azure resources in a very intelligent way,” Joseph said.
By streamlining their workflows, Nerdio’s solutions also help busy IT professionals save time. Joseph said he loves to see people who have used WVD without an automation platform react to the sheer power of the technology during demos.
“People love what they see — it makes their jobs significantly easier,” he said. “Certainly, CTOs who count the dollars and cents are very excited about it. But it’s the ability to leverage automation to make IT professionals’ jobs easier and more efficient that I get a huge kick out of. They sort of light up, like, ‘This would take me five hours to do, and you’re telling me with one click, I can get this done?’”
Coming in January for MSPs: NerdioCon
MSPs, mark your calendars: For the first time, Nerdio is hosting Nerdiocon, a virtual event designed to teach attendees how to build a cloud practice with Microsoft Azure and WVD.
The free conference, scheduled for January 26 and 27, 2021, will feature a lineup of speakers from Microsoft and other industry experts.
“It’s going to be a tremendous two-day learning opportunity,” Joseph said. “We are going to be announcing something brand new for the MSP ecosystem that people will not want to miss — it’s going to be a pretty phenomenal thing to see.”