Hosting providers should see backups as a managed service

Nick Cavalancia

If you’re a hosting provider, you see the world through the lens of “what services can I provide on the web in a more cost-effective, scalable and reliable manner than the customer can do them selves.” So thoughts of web applications, web servers, database servers, email and a number of other types of services come to mind immediately.

But what about backups?

BackupYou, no doubt, already back up your customers data, files and operating systems, but are you missing the boat on an opportunity to both provide better service and increase your revenues? By providing managed backups as a service, you take the burden off of your customers and allow them to focus on running their business.

Now, you might say “I already provide backups” – yes, that comes with the hosting territory. But the opportunity exists to provide additional levels of backup service – at an additional cost – that include the following:

  • Backup frequency – today, you backup at some interval (let’s say daily). A Managed Backup service can allow for more frequent backups that align with the customers’ Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective for a given application or server.
  • Backup selection – taking advantage of the customized backup frequencies, you can allow for specific data sets, applications and servers to be part of each of those new backups.
  • Additional security – You have the ability to add increased encryption and selection of host country for storage to the menu of choices as part of a Managed Backup offering.
  • Recovery SLAs – keeping with the RTO and RPO angle, your recovery SLAs can be tailored to the specific needs of the client and each subset of their data they want backed up. 
  • Complete management – This seems a little redundant, given we’re talking about Managed Backups, but it’s an important distinction. Today, you simply backup everything so it’s backed up and the customer needs to manage any additional layers of backup protection. By offering Managed Backups, you take over that responsibility from the customer, telling them “we already are the experts in hosting your applications and data, so let us keep those applications running.”
  • Cost-effectiveness – Your business is built on the concept of being more cost-effective than having the customer do it themselves. C’mon – you can do this.

Where to go from here

This is a no-brainer for hosting providers. The question becomes can you effectively provide backup granularity? That is to say, do you have the right backup solution in place that can isolate just SQL Server or just Exchange or just a specific set of files so you can meet the backup selection, backup frequency, and recovery SLA features mentioned above?

Find the right solution, and you have the opportunity to provide your customers a better backup offering, ensure their data, applications and systems are recovered more quickly, and are completely managed and worry free.

Thoughts and ideas are always welcome! Feel free to leave a comment below!