NetApp Shuts Down Its Spot PC VDI Business
Joseph F. Kovar
‘We continue to sharpen our prioritization efforts to focus only on those high value and growth areas of the business, which is why we’re exiting the Cloud Desktop product category, which includes Spot PC. We’re confident these moves will bolster NetApp’s dominant market position, and help our customers take full advantage of the cloud,’ says NetApp in a statement to CRN.
Storage and cloud management technology developer NetApp has quietly shut down its Spot PC virtual desktop technology business, CRN has learned.
NetApp Friday confirmed the move to CRN via an emailed statement not attributed to any executive.
Spot PC, which was unveiled in July 2021, brought together two 2020 NetApp acquisitions into a new cloud-based desktop-as-a-service offering targeting MSPs.
[Related: NetApp CEO George Kurian: Dell, HPE Are ‘Doing What We Did In 2014’]
They included Spot, which drives continuous workload optimization in a public cloud while ensuring that applications follow customer service-level agreements and service-level objectives. It takes advantage of compute spot instances available from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Those spot instances gave the company its name.
The second is CloudJumper, which developed cloud software for managing virtual desktop infrastructure across AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
Spot PC was formally released last May.
In the statement, NetApp said it continues to make portfolio decisions related to its hybrid multi-cloud to set the company and its customers up for further growth and success.
“NetApp is prioritizing investments and efforts in product areas of high value and growth, and innovating to support our customers’ evolving business needs. Our Spot by NetApp suite of CloudOps products is a central element to helping our customers optimize their cloud investments, and a growth engine for our business. NetApp is extending the value of its Spot portfolio by integrating the capabilities of its recently acquired CloudCheckr product line into the Spot platform. At the same time, we continue to sharpen our prioritization efforts to focus only on those high value and growth areas of the business, which is why we’re exiting the Cloud Desktop product category, which includes Spot PC. We’re confident these moves will bolster NetApp’s dominant market position, and help our customers take full advantage of the cloud.”
The decision to shut down Spot PC comes as NetApp is looking to reorganize its resources to enhance future growth.
NetApp last month said it is laying off 8 percent of its workforce to sharpen its strategy to focus on the areas of its business best positioned for growth.
NetApp CEO George Kurian, when discussing NetApp’s third fiscal quarter 2023 financial results earlier this week, also said that NetApp is taking other actions to optimize costs, including reducing investment in products with smaller revenue potential like Astra Data Store and SolidFire.
“The results of this focus are visible in our ability to maintain our free cash flow, operating margin and EPS guidance despite lower revenue,” Kurian said during the quarterly financial conference call.
Shutting down Spot PC makes sense for NetApp, said John Woodall, vice president of solutions architecture West at General Datatech, a Dallas-based solution provider and longtime NetApp channel partner.
“Just look at George Kurian’s comments this week when he mentioned Astra Data Store,” Woodall told CRN. “NetApp shared where it is spending its resources. The company just went through the workforce cut. They are looking at their resources, and if the uptake in Spot PC didn’t match expectations, they have to make changes.”
Woodall said his company has done work with virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, and has had conversations around Spot PC for cloud-based VDI.
“But a lot of VDI is being done on-prem,” he said. “So dropping Spot PC as an offering makes sense for NetApp.”
NetApp continues to see the value in the cloud and in user experiences, Woodall said.
“Spot PC was able to leverage other NetApp storage an optimization technologies,” he said. “But if customer uptake wasn’t there, it doesn’t make sense to continue focusing on it.”