Current VAR cloud computing business trends: Top resources

Get a grip on the key predictions, analysis and news when it comes to cloud computing business trends in the channel by reading through these top VAR cloud resources.

Are there really cloud computing business opportunities for solution providers? Vendors are starting to focus their offerings around virtualization and cloud computing, how should you weigh the risks and benefits to determine if you need to add this to your portfolio?

For some solution providers, such as government VARs, the cloud has represented a growth point in sales, but you need to know if average customers are ready to dip their toes into the cloud computing waters. Find out what VARs and channel experts have to say about whether cloud computing is an actual money-making proposition in these top 10 cloud computing market resources.

1. Assessing the cloud computing market for solution providers
Now that your customers are starting to look at the cloud as a serious option, knowing the current state of the cloud computing market is critical to how you approach sales. Read this Q&A to learn about one SMB solution provider’s experiences with cloud computing and what his customers are looking for. Find out what his thoughts are about the perceived risks that customers may be pondering and what you need to know about.

2. Cloud computing: Threat or opportunity?
Our expert says that cloud computing can mean different things to different people, but where does the channel fit? The cloud may be as much of a hindrance as it is a boon to your business, so if you want to make money from it, you will have to make several decisions before venturing down the path of cloud computing. Determine how to choose the right combination of cloud platforms and applications for your customers as well as possible growth areas by reading this e-zine.

3. Private clouds and VDI solutions: 2011 virtualization trends
When it comes to solution provider business opportunities in 2011, private cloud computing may show the most promise because customers are starting to understand what private clouds are and recognize their value. Now that vendors are catching up by offering virtualization-driven hardware, and performance and capacity management has become a priority in virtual environments, private clouds will be a legitimate option for your customers.

4. More managed service providers forge into cloud
Forget the notion that managed service providers (MSPs) are fleeing from cloud computing. In fact, MSPs are embracing the cloud by running private clouds and conscripting Amazon Web Services (AWS) to be part of their service and solution offerings. A high-profile example is LionsGate films using MSP Freedom Open Source Systems that is integrated with AWS to move to the cloud.

5. Cloud computing business concerns: Environment testing
Testing a complicated area such as bandwidth in your customers' environments is critical to determining whether the cloud is a good fit. It’s also important for solution providers to know how to approach server load balancing systems and have an understanding of potential cloud business concerns when discussing cloud computing with customers.

6. VAR services with cloud vendors: Key considerations
Once your customer implements cloud computing, that doesn't mean there is no longer a need for your services. Read the different services that you could profit from while working with cloud vendors, who are working with VARs to develop new profit models and using cloud services for cooperative processing.

7. Cisco cloud services: Good for partners?
VARs heard Cisco’s message that it will offer a great deal cloud opportunities in 2011 loud and clear at the Cisco Partner Summit. But the company’s promise of “branding Cisco-centric cloud services” wasn’t enough for many of the VARs in attendance, who remained unconvinced that Cisco can stay relevant in the new cloud era, and are unsure they will make money hawking Cisco cloud services.

8. Cloud, SaaS on the horizon for state and local governments
VARs should take note of the uptick in demand for in Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud solutions among state and local agencies because of budget constraints and familiarity with SaaS. Government VARs are seeing growing interest in replacing Exchange and SharePoint with hosted solutions such as Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS) and Google Apps.

9. VARs weigh in on cloud computing
Not all VARs are concerned about the prospect of losing business to customers using private or public cloud infrastructures. Some think all the talk about cloud computing becoming mainstream so quickly for customers is a bit presumptuous and the model will not fit everyone’s environment. Others say that VARs will survive the cloud the same way they did other popular IT movements.

10. FAQ: Using cloud computing services opportunities to get more business
Technologies and services such as servers, storage, I/O and data networking can be turned into cloud computing service opportunities for solution providers but you need to know how to take advantage of them. This FAQ offers insight into the different types of cloud computing products to be aware of. Our expert explains which resources are most needed to support a cloud computing environment for your customer.

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