NetApp jumps on Windows 365/CloudPC bandwagon hoping for mucho-MSP moolah

NetApp has added Microsoft’s new Windows 365/CloudPC offering to its Spot cloud broking business and fashioned two offerings for MSPs, hoping for a share of business end-user subscription revenues.

Windows 365 is Windows 10 or 11 software running in Azure and accessible from any device through a browser interface. It’s like a virtual desktop, but only needs a browser-capable device and Azure subscription to access it – think Desktop-as-a-Service (DTaaS). NetApp has packaged this up with its Spot virtual infrastructure and cloud broking service.

NetApp’s EVP and GM for the Public Cloud, Anthony Lye, authored a blog in which he wrote: “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.”

He unveiled two new Spot services: Spot PC by NetApp, and Windows 365 with Spot PC. These are sold by managed service providers (MSPs) and a customer’s monthly DTAaaS subscription payments will be split three ways – the MSP, NetApp and Microsoft each get a cut. 

NetApp Spot PC graphic.

Spot PC by NetApp is for the Azure VDI service. Lye blogs: “Spot PC is a secure, optimised 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 … Spot automation and optimisation technologies to deliver cloud desktops at up to 50 per cent less than other market alternatives.”

The infrastructure includes storage and so could reinforce NetApp storage sales.

Windows 365 with Spot PC is also for MSPs. Lye said: “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.“

There are three other Windows 365v launch ISV partners for Microsoft:

  • Nerdio – so businesses can deploy and manage Cloud PC from a central console;
  • UKG – so HR and payroll can provision/de-provision Cloud PCS to employees;
  • ServiceNow – enabling users to request Cloud PCs through Microsoft’s Teams offering.


NetApp’s Public Cloud business is intent on getting recurring revenues from MSPs, with only faint connections to NetApp’s storage roots. This is like the fintech and adtech business sectors, where ever more companies seem to get ever thinner slices of the ultimate revenue-paying customer’s fees. Everything is fine for this chain of disaggregated component suppliers, as long as the market sector doesn’t shrink and customers think they’re getting better value from renting services than owning kit and doing it in-house.

It’s like calling Deliveroo for a meal rather than cooking it in your own kitchen, or junking your own car and using Uber from now on.

And it looks like relatively easy money for a supplier like NetApp. There’s no big product investment or gamble. It’s incremental stuff. Grab a stake in an emerging infrastructure with an existing product base, and coin it with recurring revenues for ever and ever, amen.

Lye says: “This is just the beginning. We are excited to partner with Microsoft to power the new hybrid digital workplace.” You betcha.