It’s been a little more than a year and a half since Gabe wrote an introduction to Nerdio. They’re more than just a desktop-as-a-service provider—instead, they offer full host environments in what they call “IT as a Service.” Then last year they took their ITaaS platform to the public cloud, creating Nerdio for Azure. Many of their customers are managed service providers that white label the platform.
There have been a couple of Nerdio for Azure announcements recently, so last week I caught up with Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy and VP of marketing James Sivis.
While the original use case for Nerdio was lifting and shifting entire SMB environments, this is a lot to swallow, and is less suitable to larger organizations or companies that want to go to the cloud bit by bit. So, earlier this month, they announced some modular Nerdio for Azure offerings, and are now also selling services dedicated to DaaS, RDS, and LOB app server workloads.
In another announcement out today, Nerdio for Azure is now doing autoscaling for RDS collections. They have existing scaling capabilities, but since RDSH hosts take more effort to spin up, they’re now integrating RDS collections into Azure virtual machine scale sets. Customers can set parameters for scaling, which will then take place automatically; you can also keep hosts on standby. Going forward, they’re working on ways to make scaling predictive, based on previous trends.
Another interesting topic we covered was Azure platform services. With Nerdio for Azure, their philosophy is to use them whenever possible, but they’re also practical about it—sometimes it just doesn’t work out technically or economically.
For example, with a lot of customers just migrating a few workloads, they have to help them set up a hybrid Active Directory environment. One option is to connect on-premises AD to Azure AD via Azure AD Connect, and then use Azure AD Domain Services. However, due to challenges with Group Policy and Azure AD Domain Services, many customers still have to spin up a domain controller in the cloud environment. Typically this gets synced by replicating from an on-premises domain controller over a site-to-site VPN, and Nerdio for Azure has tooling to set all this up automatically.
Another example of this PaaS versus IaaS question is pending with Remote Desktop modern infrastructure (RDmi). Nerdio for Azure should be the sweet spot for RDmi, but the concern is the pricing, which could cost more than just doing traditional RDS on top of Azure IaaS, at least at first. (The pricing is still unknown, but Vadim said that typically these Azure services start out more expensive, and then drop in price later.)
Overall, Vadim told me that their deployments are getting larger, and of course there’s lots of interest in Azure by, well, just about everybody. On top of that, Microsoft is incentivizing MSP partners to sell more Azure, so Nerdio for Azure gives them a way to do that.
Like other conversations I’ve had this year, catching up with Vadim and James added to my impression that this really is an interesting and big time for DaaS.