By Mike Byrne, director of MSP, Quest Software, Network Management Division
What is the most significant trend in networking right now that VARs should be aware of?
Infrastructure virtualization and its impact on networking continues to be an important trend as many, if not most, organizations have virtualized at least some hardware to achieve significant cost savings. This is especially true in the SMB space as those organizations are moving away from local IT assets and more frequently leveraging the cloud. For VARs and MSPs, the ability to manage virtual infrastructure (whether local or off-premise in the cloud) and network traffic between environments is important.
Any new vertical markets networking VARs should keep on their radar?
VARs and MSPs have traditionally performed well in the healthcare and legal sectors, smaller organizations that have data-heavy IT environments and unique IT needs with limited resources. Within the healthcare vertical, VARs can anticipate increased demand for networking and IT management services as a result of increased technology adoption supported by Federal incentives. The American Relief and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides more than $30 billion for Health IT (HIT) investments. VARs could support healthcare organizations as they implement new software, such as electronic medical records, and ensure that organization satisfies HIPAA requirements for patient data, privacy, and security. VARs may also see an increase in the retail sector or any vertical that must comply with PCI security regulations. The industry in general is seeing increased regulatory compliance mandates, which VARs can help organizations achieve.