How to make money with Cloud Disaster Recovery

Ben Taylor

Small and medium businesses often pay inadequate attention to disaster recovery. This is perhaps surprising, considering the huge impact a disaster can have on the day-to-day running of a company and its ability to make money.

Disaster-RecoveryAs the MSP responsible for a company’s IT provision, it’s down to you to make your clients aware of the risks they are exposed to and the steps they can take to mitigate them. The good news is that, in doing so, you can introduce a number of ways to make additional revenue for your MSP business.

Getting involved with disaster recovery can create four distinct streams of revenue for your MSP:

  1. Consultancy fees for producing business continuity plans and DR documentation.
  2. Ongoing commission streams for reselling cloud-based DR services.
  3. Fees for implementing your client’s chosen solution(s).
  4. Recurring fees for carrying out DR tests and simulations.

Some years ago, creating a comprehensive disaster recovery solution for an SME could be prohibitively expensive. Few smaller businesses could afford to maintain redundant hardware on a “just in case” basis. Thankfully, widespread use of virtualization technology and the emergence of a range of cloud based solutions means that MSPs can put a detailed business continuity plan in place with minimal spend.

Cloud Based Disaster Recovery

Cloud based disaster recovery solutions typically use a combination of system imaging (often with “bare metal” restoration) and virtualization, giving technicians the ability to mount a working copy of an entire client server in the event of a loss of hardware.

In combination with a fast Internet connection and cloud-based storage, these solutions give you the ability to quickly restore a client system in a range of disaster scenarios. This includes the loss of an office location due to fire or flood or a disaster caused by a serious hardware failure. DR solutions that are based on imaging can cut recovery times from days to hours, and data hosted in the cloud means that recovery can take place from a non-specific location.

In technical terms, there is no end to the ways in which you can provide managed disaster recovery to your clients. You can resell third-party providers’ solutions and earn commission, use turnkey / rebranded solutions, or even build up a datacenter infrastructure to offer a product entirely your own. Whichever path you choose, you will encounter plenty of companies keen to partner with your MSP and take a slice of the pie.

Disaster Recovery as Part of a Strategy

It’s best to treat disaster recovery as part of an overall strategy, rather than a half-hearted bolt-on service. A DR plan is only as reliable as its most recent test has proven, so customers should be encouraged to commit to an ongoing process, including regular simulations.

The new Virtual Disaster feature available with GFI MAX Backup provides an environment for you and/or your customers to perform regular, non-disruptive DR testing without a significant hardware, or time investment. The benefits are obvious; if you believe in your ability to quickly have a client back in business after a crisis; your life becomes less stressful.

Clients need only to have experienced a couple of days of serious downtime to know how horrendous the aftermath of a crisis can be. With these two thoughts in mind, it should seem fairly easy to sell the benefits to your customers.

If you would like to find out more about our new VDR feature and the other great features of GFI MAX Backup why not sign-up for a free trial!