Cloud Backup Solutions: 6 Key Considerations for MSPs
It’s a double-edged sword really. The more customers you have means increased revenue and profit. But it can also mean you have many more and different IT requirements to address, especially if you’re managing the backup and recovery of their server environment.
30-day Retention Period
For instance, one customer may have over 500GB of files on Windows Server 2008 that need to be backed up daily and retrieved quickly when needed, while maintaining at least a 30-day retention period. They also have six satellite offices connected with site-to-site VPN on 100M cable ISP.
High Daily Change Rate
Another client has two servers and 30 workstations, with a combined 4TB of data and a daily change rate of 60GB. Your big kahuna has 60TB of data on physical and virtual servers including SQL and Exchange, and their backup strategy must meet HIPAA regulations. And that’s just three of your clients.
Picking a Solution
There are a lot of MSP cloud backup solutions available on the market. An important choice is whether to use one or two that give you the most features and capabilities that’s affordable, or opt for multiple vendors that address specific niche needs. Here are some key considerations for evaluating a cloud server backup provider:
- Enterprise vs. consumer-grade. Enterprise-class cloud backup solutions are built to handle high volume file servers & large application databases, as well as provide the bandwidth throughput expected from customers running backups & restores on enterprise networks. Consumer-grade solutions are designed for small workloads such as your computer’s My Documents directory; this means that they can struggle when backing up a filer or SQL database. While they generally claim to not throttle your connection, it is not uncommon to find a consumer backup solution having problems saturating a large internet connection since these solutions are designed for consumer-grade upload/download speeds.
- Differentiated offering. Let’s face it – cloud backup is not a shiny new technology innovation, so being able to offer a unique solution that stands apart from the pack can help drive more business. Find a provider that gives you a competitive advantage with their solution. Ask the question, what makes your backup solution truly different from all the rest?
- Third-party accreditation and security measures. Look for a backup provider that is SSAE-16 Type II audited in both their operations and data centers. It is especially important that their operations controls adhere to a rigid access control policy & stringent security measures. Data should be encrypted in flight and at rest, as well as stored in a secure Tier 4 data center with compartmentalized security zones and fault-tolerant site infrastructure.
- Track record of customer retention. For MSPs especially, it’s important to not only have a strong customer base but be able to retain those customers. Long term customer retention in a crowded industry is a sure sign of a product that does what it is supposed to do and a support team ready to help their customers succeed.
- Comprehensive backup capabilities and ease of management. Make sure the provider can support cloud and local backup for a wide range of operating systems and business applications, as well as both physical and virtual servers. To guarantee scalability for deployment and management (not to mention your sanity), look for the ability to centrally manage, monitor, and report all of your clients’ backup environments in a single management view from any anywhere via a web browser.
- A Service & Support team that walks the talk. Partners hear the same story from many providers who claim to offer 24×7 support. While it’s hard to know exactly how true that is until you need to use it, look for a provider that offers responsive, 24×7 knowledgeable, US-based engineer level support. For more information on how Zetta can address all your backup and recovery needs, contact us.