As the number of backup solutions on the market grows, it gets more and more difficult for a managed service provider to select the best online backup service. There are too many features to look at, too many technologies involved. Each backup vendor is telling you that their solution is exactly what you need. But what is the right decision that fits your needs?
A managed service provider may have their own set of requirements and questions to ask, such as:
- Should I keep my clients’ data on-premises, in the cloud, or both?
- If it’s the cloud, what kind of storage should I choose?
- If it’s a local server, how can I make sure that it’s 100% secure?
- Do I need to offer physical-to-virtual restore option?
In fact, these questions are related to only small details of your offer. What are the right questions to ask and to answer so as to find the best remote backup service? Let’s see.
1. What Type of Data Do I Need to Back Up?
- Do your clients have only laptops with files and folders or do they also have any servers with databases?
- Do you need to support primarily physical environment or is there any virtual infrastructure as well?
- Do your clients use any cloud services like Google Apps or Office 365 that need to be backed up as well?
Make your own checklist of the types of data to be backed up and look through it when searching for the backup solution.
2. What Are the Key Threats to Protect your Clients From?
Before selecting the way to protect your clients’ data you should find out what kind of threats await you behind the corner.
If it’s a simple application failure, then file-level backup would be enough.
If there is a risk that employees are deleting data that they have access to, then it’s a good cause to review who has access to what and to backup all the machines with sensitive data.
If your client is located in the area with high risk of natural disasters, then they would need to backup their data to offsite data storage in order to get a higher level of protection. In this case you should offer them a cloud disaster recovery plan that would imply restoring all the machines from scratch.
3. Where Will the Client’s Data be Stored?
When you are searching for the best online backup service, pay specific attention to the storage options.
If your client allows you to keep the data at the third-party storage like Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage or Microsoft Azure, it may be a really cost-effective and secure solution as huge storage providers maintain the highest level of data protection and have quite a reasonable cloud storage pricing.
4. Does the remote online backup service provider integrate with any RMMs?
If you use any remote monitoring and management system to control your clients’ infrastructure, being able to integrate the new service with your RMM platform can be very useful.
It will be much easier for you to monitor backup jobs together with all your other tasks from a single control panel. If you don’t have RMM in place, there are a lot of reasons to get some MSP RMM tools.
5. What Kind of Retention the Backup Provider Offers?
Your client may need to store the copies of their data for ages (it’s 7 years for any company, that requires HIPAA compliant backup, for example). Not all backup providers allow you to store the backups for many years, especially this concerns those backup solutions that go together with the storage. Also, the longer you keep the data, the higher would be the price.
The best remote backup service should allow you to backup data to the third-party cloud storage with no restrictions.
Ultimately this is a list of basic questions every MSP should answer. Of course, everything is not that simple with online backup services - there are dozens of points to look at. But as everything, choosing the right solution begins from the basics.