Datto has finally expanded into the MSP networking market -- but in a bigger way than ChannelE2E originally expected. Indeed, the company has acquired Open Mesh while finally launching Datto Networking Appliance (DNA). The result is Datto Networking -- a family of MSP-centric, cloud-managed switches, routers and unified threat management (UTM) solutions for SMB customers. Financial terms of the Open Mesh acquisition were not disclosed.
The Datto Networking product family includes:
- Datto Networking Appliance: An appliance that features a network edge router, firewall, WiFi, intrusion detection and prevention, and fully integrated 4G LTE failover. A Datto-Verizon relationship provides that 4G LTE failover for free to MSPs.
- Datto Networking Switches: These, from Open Mesh, include Layer 2 management features. They're available in 8-, 24- or 48-port options. The switches are PoE+ (Power Over Ethernet) enabled.
- Datto Networking WiFi: These are mesh-enabled WiFi access points, created by Open Mesh. They support 802.11ac and encrypted mesh network connections.
- The entire suite is now available in the U.S.
- Portions of the suite are available internationally now, with additional international availability expected later this year. Check in with your Datto sales rep for details about your specific region.
Datto's goal for the networking suite: Deliver enterprise-class networking capabilities (a la Cisco) that offer SMB ease of use and MSP-centric designs, according to Scott West, senior product marketing manager at Datto.
Still, plenty of rivals are launching or reinvigorating their MSP-centric networking strategies.
Datto's Business Evolution
The Datto Networking business extends Datto's data protection and availability strategy from storage to networking and security. And it's all built for MSPs. Indeed, the Datto Networking portfolio involves a one-time purchase price and then ongoing service fees. Datto does not publicly publish its pricing. That approach ensures MSPs can set end-customer prices and associated profit margins.
The networking push isn't surprising -- but the blueprint has evolved from Datto's original plans of roughly 18 months ago. Indeed, Datto Networking Appliance (DNA) originally focused on WiFi routing. But as security emerged as a top MSP priority, Datto pivoted and expanded DNA toward Unified Threat Management (UTM) and security capabilities, West says.
Open Mesh, launched in 2007 or so, already manages more than 90,000 networks and serves "millions of wireless users" per month, the company asserts. The Open Mesh team, featuring roughly 28 employees, has joined Datto and will maintain its Portland, Oregon headquarters, according to Ryan Detwiller, general manager for Open Mesh.
Also of interest: Open Mesh will maintain its worldwide distribution networks. Existing distributor relationships apparently include Miro (South Africa), Mitel (Vietnam), MS Distribution (UK and Europe), Netmark (Vietnam) and others. (Side note: Datto has no plans at this time to sell its business continuity appliances via distribution, according to VP of Business Development Rob Rae.)
Datto Networking: What's Next
Datto's cloud-based management dashboard will gradually gain more and more capabilities to fully manage Open Mesh devices. But in the meantime, the Datto dashboard has connections and integrations to Open Mesh's own cloud dashboard.
Datto also plans to integrate its networking portfolio with third-party MSP management tools. Watch for potential RMM (remote monitoring and management) software integrations to emerge soon.
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