RES Software, which develops Windows Desktop management software, has launched a service provider program to assist partners with hosted virtual desktops. The RES Service Provider (RSP) program is for partners that participate in Microsoft's SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) program and the Citrix Service Provider (CSP) program. The addition of RES Software allows service providers to track application licenses in real-time and only pay for actual end-user usage, RES claims.

No doubt, numerous MSPs are trying to master desktop as a service (DaaS) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) initiatives. mindSHIFT, a major MSP acquired by Best Buy earlier today, has made VDI one of its core areas of focus for late 2011 and 2012. And nearly 50 percent of MSPs participating in our fifth-annual MSPmentor 100 survey say they now offer VDI.

In addition to centralizing desktop resources on a server, VDI can help tablet and smartphone users to access their desktop applications.

Still, VDI can be extremely challenging because of bursty customer needs. For instance, network demands can spike when numerous users attempt to sign into a VDI system as the workday starts. Also, VDI often requires MSPs to carefully consider their licensing and pricing models, since end-customer user demands can rise and fall based on hiring practices throughout the year.

RES Software sounds eager to help MSPs address those challenges. The RES Service Provider Program comes shortly after the company partnered with  Citrix Systems in order to integrate the RES Workplace Manager with the Citrix CloudPortal, which lets cloud providers automate different business operations.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.