What Small MSPs Should Look for in Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions for Their Customers

APRIL 27TH, 2020
If you’re a small MSP, chances are you apply a lean-and-mean philosophy to everything you do. Like any small business, every choice you make impacts your bottom line, your reputation, and your ability to find and keep new customers. For a business whose sole purpose is to put technology to work—and keep it working—no product category is quite as crucial to an MSP as backup and disaster recovery (BDR). With ransomware threats growing every year, and company downtime costing thousands of dollars per minute, creating and implementing a BDR plan should be your first priority when working with any client. But what makes a BDR solution a good fit for a smaller MSP? And, how do you find that perfect blend of reliability and flexibility so you can provide effective services to your clients? Here are some of the important things to look for.

Reliable Backup and Recovery

Small MSPs are often price-conscious, but when it comes to protecting client data—one of their most crucial assets—reliability trumps all. A backup you can’t restore is useless. So, as you evaluate solutions, look for vendors with a solid track record of building reliable products, then dive deep into the technology itself. To get a feel for how reliable a technology might be, find out what kind of backups the solution takes and how it takes them (for example, image-based vs. file-based backups). Ask the vendor if there’s anything unique about snapshot drivers or other technologies that promise a more dependable backup. And, for mixed environments, don’t forget to consider how the solution handles backups for virtual machines (VMs) because you need reliability across the board. Last, look for options that prioritize recovery as highly as they do the backup itself. The best ones will provide you with a way to quickly test and validate backups so you can be completely confident that your clients’ data can be restored.

Ease of Deployment and Management  

For smaller MSPs, simpler is often better. A backup solution that’s easy to deploy and manage can save you tons of time and headaches. BDR appliances like StorageCraft OneXafe Solo are designed for less complex environments that smaller MSPs typically manage. OneXafe Solo is a powerful option because it combines storage and sophisticated backup and recovery abilities in one plug-and-play box. When it comes to management, it’s easy for an admin to kick off, manage, and even replicate backed up data to the cloud for added protection—all from one console. But even if you don’t use a dedicated BDR, it’s still important to consider how easy it is to deploy and manage a solution. Look for solutions that give you a single, cloud-based pane of glass for managing backups across multiple locations so you can streamline every part of your backup and recovery plan.

Flexibility for a Tiered Service Offering

As nice as it would be to roll out the same solution for every client, each has different needs and requirements. That’s why most MSPs offer a tiered model. Tiers allow you to offer data protection options that fit most clients' needs and budget. Just make sure any backup and disaster recovery solution you use is flexible enough to support the tiered model. Find out how easy it is for you to start with the basics like on-site backup and on-site recovery. Next, make sure it’s easy to add more sophisticated data protection like off-site backup and recovery, mirroring, and so on. Not every product makes it easy for MSPs to provide these features, so look for the solutions that make it push-button simple.

Find a Partner, Not a Vendor

The products you use are important, but so are the people who build and support them. That’s why MSPs should personally evaluate the solutions and the vendors. Small businesses know the power of relationships and the value of excellent customer experiences. That’s what you strive to provide your clients, and it’s what you should expect from your vendors. Try to understand the resources each of the vendors you consider can provide to help make you more successful. Support, documentation, and partner programs are all signs that a vendor is committed to your success. If you’re looking for a trustworthy partner in data protection, consider how the StorageCraft Partner Success Program can help you develop the perfect disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions for your customers.

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