Client backups are the bane of many an IT consultant’s life. If you use traditional backup software and local backup methods, you only have to turn your back for a few days to find that, for some reason, a client’s backup is no longer working correctly.
Software crashes, unchanged backup tapes and unexpected increases in data can all result in “backup failed” alerts filling your inbox.
Encouraging your clients to sign up for managed online backup services can alleviate much of this stress.
First and foremost, if you decide on a reliable and well priced service and get as many clients as possible signed up, you can become fully versed in the use of just one backup system, instead of needing to familiarize yourself with several different quirky products.
This is just the first time saving, however. Using managed online backup means that you can now be the one in control of all your client’s backups. It is likely that this ended up being your responsibility anyway, regardless of any original plan!
On that basis, it is usually better to have full control yourself, charge for the service and be in a position to ensure all the backup jobs are consistently successful. This is surely a more productive and profitable arrangement than needing to call the client to once again reprimand them for failing to change the backup tape?
The steadily decreasing cost of cloud-based storage has meant the overall cost of managed online backup can often come in lower than the cost of traditional methods.
Read the small print on traditional backup media, and you will probably find that the manufacturer recommends that it is replaced once or twice per year.
Replacing a full set of media for a tradition grandparent / parent / child backup regime is never an inexpensive exercise. Add on the cost of backup software and devices, and the medium / long-term cost can end up exceeding the cost of a good quality managed online backup service.
Good managed online backup needn’t end with traditional nightly data backups. Many of the services available now use imaging technology, allowing them to act as the cornerstone of an effective business continuity plan as well as a way to restore an accidentally deleted file.
It is therefore worth investing your time in fully learning the intricacies of the managed online backup service you plan to sell to your clients. Building up your competence in everything from basic restores to full-blown disaster recovery simulations will increase your confidence in the service’s capabilities. The result? You can offer a fully managed business continuity service to your clients – and this is something you can charge significantly for.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of all, however, is the increased day-to-day peace of mind that you yourself can have from being in control and knowing that all your clients’ backups are being properly taken of. After all, regardless of culpability, we all know who they’ll call when something needs restoring.
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