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Datto Targets MSPs With New Cloud-Managed Networking Switches

LinkedIn: Datto Networking VP John Tippett
Datto VP John Tippett

Datto launched a new line of networking switches today, furthering the data protection company's push beyond backup and disaster recovery for MSPs.

Datto already offered its E-Series switches. Next up is the L-Series switches, which deliver cloud-managed layer 2 functionality with Power over Ethernet (PoE) at an exceptional price point, John Tippett, VP of Datto Networking tells ChannelE2E.

“Offering a lower overall power budget enabled us to further reduce the cost of the switches and to introduce a compact, fanless design in the L8 model,” he says. “The power budget of the L-series expands our lineup to cover the majority of SMB applications our MSPs are seeing in the market.”

Datto Networking Switches: What's New

Tippett says the design for the new switches was inspired by direct feedback from partners following the release of the E-Series. According to Tippett, the E-Series filled a gap in the market by introducing a high-powered cloud-controlled PoE switch, capable of powering devices in demanding environments.

“The E-series has been very popular, and our partners asked for us to extend the line and offer a solution that could fit environments that did not require the power of the E-series but retained all the benefits of Datto Networking,” he says. “They also asked for a compact 8-port model that could be easily deployed in areas that were not intended to house a switch, like a desktop or a bank of cubicles added to an area with inadequate wiring.”

Datto Networking Switches: Deployment

Initially, the L-Series will include two models: the L8 and the L24. Each delivers power capabilities for every port up to PoE+ and offer full Layer 2 management functionality. The company says partners can also deploy the models in environments that don’t currently require PoE, thus future-proofing the customer and the MSP from potential power requirements in the future.

“Deploying L-series switches in these environments makes future expansion into powered Ethernet devices seamless for their clients,” says Tippett. “The L24 is also a perfect fit for applications that have many wired devices, but only a few ethernet-powered devices and may expand in the future.”

Datto Networking: Designed for MSPs

Datto jumped into the networking market with home-grown products and the Open Mesh acquisition earlier this year. Tippett joined Datto in May 2017 to help drive the networking effort.

While most SMB networking hardware is designed for VARs, Datto wanted its networking push to align 100 percent with MSP models in the SMB sector.

The company also intends to compete against Cisco Meraki in the midmarket. But that could be a tall order given the strength of Cisco, HP Enterprise and other entrenched companies in that market.

Datto says its networking business has grown considerably since launch, though we don't know exact growth rates.

Datto Business Ownership

Datto is venture backed and profitable. The company had a $1 billion-plus valuation when it raised funding in late 2015.

When Timothy Weller arrived as chief financial officer (CFO) earlier this year, it sparked ChannelE2E speculation that the company might be marching toward an initial public offering (IPO). Still, some sources say a potential M&A deal involving a strategic buyer might be the more likely next step -- though we haven't heard any firm rumors in that area.

In the meantime, the company isn't resting on its laurels. Datto will host its annual European conference -- DattoCon17 London -- in October. Tippett says the company has some exciting announcements on the horizon. “There are a lot of great things in the works,” he says.

Pretty vague... but we wonder if some of the effort may somehow involve Datto Desktops -- the company's potential VDI offering specifically for MSPs.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.