Business continuity, MSP, Storage

Kaseya VSA 9.4 Emphasizes Remote Network Control, Cloud Backup

Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola
Fred Voccola

Kaseya has launched VSA 9.4 -- the latest upgrade to the company's flagship RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform for MSPs. Among the enhancements: Kaseya VSA 9.4 features new remote control capabilities for PCs, printers, switches and routers. Moreover, Kaseya is emphasizing cloud backup, which leverages software from Acronis.

VSA 9.4, available on-premises or as a hosted service, arrives at a key time for the company and its MSP partners. Kaseya largely stabilized its business in late 2015 and returned to growth mode in 2016. The company expects to deliver about 50 percent growth in 2017, CEO Fred Voccola told ChannelE2E in November 2016. He remained equally upbeat during a VSA 9.4 briefing with ChannelE2E last week.

Some of Kaseya's anticipated growth involves new MSPs leveraging the company's software. But Kaseya will also depend on existing partners consuming more and more of the company's offerings. A recent Kaseya study on MSP pricing emphasized that the best MSPs are selling a suite of services. Not by coincidence, Kaseya continues to round out its product suite for MSPs.

Kaseya VSA 9.4: What's In It?

Among the areas to track in Kaseya VSA 9.4:

  • Live Connect On Demand allows MSPs to conduct remote sessions with end users who do not have a Kaseya agent installed. A similar extension allows MSPs to manage printers, switches, routers and other networked devices remotely over a secure socket shell (SSH) from a single dashboard, the company says.
  • Kaseya also is evangelizing cloud backup -- including file, folder and full image backup for Windows PCs, Windows servers, Macs and virtual machines, including Hyper-V, VMware and Xen, the company says. The backup service leverages Acronis, though I believe Kaseya has written VSA code to further improve the backup experience for MSPs.

At first glance, backup and remote control are becoming commodity services for MSPs and the software vendors who support them. Nearly all of the major MSP software providers (Autotask, ConnectWise, Continuum, SolarWinds MSP and more) now offer some form of backup and remote control, either directly or through partnerships.

Still, take a closer look and you'll find continued innovations on both fronts. In addition to Kaseya's own moves, former Kaseya leaders recently launched Pilixo Remo -- a remote control platform that leverages HTML5 to speed deployments. And in the cloud-based backup market, vendors are introducing a mix of on-premises appliances and pure cloud services to give end-customers flexible data-protection options.

Kaseya: The Integration Picture

Overall, Kaseya has stabilized its business and returned to growth. But some more pieces of the puzzle still need to come together. For instance, the new VSA 9.4 didn't mention any new or deeper integrations with Kaseya Business Management Solution (BMS) -- a PSA (professional services automation) platform that the company acquired last year.

Over the past two years or so, established rivals (examples: ConnectWise, Autotask) and upstarts like Atera have evangelized PSA and RMM coming together into converged solutions.

In some cases, Kaseya runs its own business on third-party systems (such as Krow PSA and Zendesk) rather than BMS. Overall, CEO Voccola thinks MSPs should be spending less on PSA (BMS is therefore priced aggressively), while investing more on MSP tools that generate recurring revenue services.

It's a safe bet Kaseya will further describe its product roadmap during Kaseya Connect 2017 -- the company's user and partner conference, which is set for May in Las Vegas.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.