Data Center Backup
For managed service providers (MSPs), it’s important to spend time researching data centers. Backups are a crucial tool for MSPs, who must safeguard data for a variety of clients and safeguard against a variety of vulnerabilities. With carefully planned backups, MSPs can protect their networks against potentially catastrophic data losses, whether the source of the disaster is a virus or bad weather.
So, when researching data center backups, how should you decide among different vendor solutions?
How to Convince Decision-Makers
The work begins in a discussion with organizational decision-makers. MSPs must make their case for IT investments, convincing decision-makers that a robust solution is well worth the cost.
As is the case for other IT services, decision-makers may initially balk at investments in data centers. Finances may be limited, and IT can seem like the least pressing worry.
But MSPs know better. There’s a strong business case to be made for backups, and a few numbers can help in this discussion.
You can start with the regularity of data loss. According to one global survey, over the course of a year, about one in five organizations suffer an outage with some permanent data loss. This kind of risk is pervasive. According to the survey, only about 25 percent of organizations are well prepared for data disasters.
And yet, the opportunities for data loss are increasing. Cyber security incidents number about 42.8 million per year.
Still, data loss doesn’t only result from attacks. Security experts have found that a significant proportion of breaches are the consequence of human error.
Financially, data losses can be catastrophic — one of many reasons to support investments in data center backups. With the loss of critical applications, organizations can face costs of more than $83 every second. Those numbers add up.
Which is why savvy MSPs know that they must be prepared for disaster recoveries.
Benefits of On-site Storage
Some organizations prefer to back up their data on-site. This comes with its own costs and benefits. Though, according to experts, small and medium-sized businesses are better off with offsite storage.
With onsite storage, administrators perform regular backups on local media, such as hard drives with a large capacity. One benefit of this approach involves bandwidth. Because backups take place locally, administrators can eliminate the bandwidth required to send large files to the cloud. This is useful when organizations have capped bandwidth allowances.
In a similar vein, onsite storage offers the benefit of speed. Because data isn’t sent to the cloud, transfers aren't reliant on the speed of Internet connections.
Onsite storage may also seem more trustworthy to some organizations. Organizational data is kept in house rather than entrusted to a third-party vendor. This can be a benefit for organizations that want greater control over their data.
The Costs of On-site Storage
The costs of onsite storage can be high, though. First, locally stored data faces increased vulnerabilities. Onsite facilities may lack the tight security of dedicated data centers, whose staff dedicate their attention specifically to security.
Local storage — without redundant backups elsewhere — also faces threats from nature, such as floods or fires. Similarly, a local server may crash, or it may be stolen by an angry employee. In each case, organizations risk losing their one source of backups.
Perhaps the most important issue is cost. Onsite storage can be prohibitively expensive for small and medium-sized organizations. Maintaining servers can require significant staff time, and expanding a server’s capacity grows more and more expensive with each new hard drive. This cost can place a ceiling on the amount of data that organizations can back up.
Why Choose Off-site Storage
These costs explain why off-site storage has grown so popular among businesses. The numbers bear this out: in a survey in 2014, cloud storage was found to be in use among 59 percent of IT and business professionals. For those using off-site data center backups, the benefits of the cloud come down to price, the ability to expand and efficiency.
First up is cost. Cloud storage saves organizations from having to invest in server equipment. It also saves in the cost of server maintenance. Instead, these costs are outsourced to third-party vendors.
Because hardware is off-site, cloud storage also addresses scalability. Many off-site data centers offer near infinite storage capacity. Organizations don't need to spend limited finances on the expansion of their own servers. At the same time, cloud storage offers a far lower storage cost, when measured in dollars per gigabyte, as compared to local storage.
Cloud storage can also increase the efficiency of data migrations. Onsite systems tend to be refreshed in three-year windows. But even so, this process can be a major time drain. In fact, researchers have found that, on average, 84 percent of data migrations are more expensive and time-consuming than expected. Cloud storage eliminates these time drains for organizations, and preserves server uptime.
The Costs of the Cloud
As with any IT resource, cloud storage can come with drawbacks. One involves bandwidth. While onsite storage saves on bandwidth, the cloud requires that organizations expend bandwidth while uploading files to the cloud. This can be an issue for organizations with strict bandwidth allocations.
Security is another consideration. Some vendors may not offer industry-standard security. Because of this, organizations have to ensure that security risks aren’t merely transferred off site.
Despite these costs, experts maintain that cloud-based storage is the best solution for small and medium-sized businesses — the kinds that MSPs tend to work with. But with offsite data centers continuing to boom, MSPs have a host of vendors to choose from. So, why does SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow) continue to be their preferred choice?
The Best Backup Solution for MSPs
With our 99.999 percent uptime guarantee and our simple remote management dashboard, our platform is built with the specific needs of MSPs in mind.
MSP Backup & Disaster Recovery keeps businesses running, with functions that include:
- Block level changes. With True Delta, your cloud-based data is tracked at the block level, allowing for lightweight, low-bandwidth backups.
- Rapid recoveries. When disasters strike, MSPs have to respond quickly. With MAX Backup & Disaster Recovery, you can recover to virtual servers and physical servers. Recovery windows are small as five minutes.
- Quickly back up large files. True Delta tracks changes for database files at the block level. Backup windows are reduced on these files between 60 to 80 percent when compared to file-level backups of the same data.
- Ironclad security: We feature 24/7 protection at our data centers, which are distributed across the globe. All of our data centers are either SSAE compliant or ISO certified and offer military-grade encryption for your data.
Not Just in the Cloud
MSPs face the challenge of variety. Some clients may prefer cloud storage. Others may prefer onsite storage.
MSP Backup & Disaster Recovery makes both scenarios a breeze. If you have a client who prefers onsite storage, you can implement our software-only version, which maintains flawless onsite data center backups. Features include:
- Rapid storage. With True Delta, you can narrow the windows of data backups, while benefiting from compression and deep duplication.
- Bare metal recoveries. If the needs arise, you can restore to the bare metal quickly and efficiently.
- Virtual server recoveries. Our software-only version allows you to restore to a standby virtual server quickly.
Best of Both Worlds
It doesn't have to be one or the other. With MAX Backup & Disaster Recovery, you can take advantage of our hybrid cloud recovery, and store data both locally and in our secure cloud servers. Functionalities include:
- Flawless syncing across servers. Both local and cloud servers remain perfectly synced, saving you from any potential headaches or data mismatches.
- Automated restores. If a data disaster strikes, MAX Backup & Disaster Recovery will automate the recovery process, and automatically select the fastest recovery option. This is important for organizations with both onsite employees and telecommuters.
- Flexible local storage. Your local data tier can include network attached storage, a user's workstation or USB drives, among other options.
Take It for a Test Drive
Data center backups are part of an important strategy for layered security. They offer organizations peace of mind, knowing that, if a disaster strikes, their valuable files won’t be lost — and business operations won’t come to a grinding halt.
Take MAX Backup & Disaster Recovery for a risk-free, 30-day test drive and see why MSPs continue to choose intelligence with SolarWinds MSP.
About SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. SolarWinds MSP's MAX products including Risk Intelligence, Remote Management, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Mail and Service Desk – comprise the market’s most widely trusted integrated solution.
Deployed on millions of endpoints across hundreds of thousands of networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market. SolarWinds MSP provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as LOGICcards, the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
SolarWinds MSP's passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT.
For more information, visit www.solarwindsmsp.com.
Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council: http://drbenchmark.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ANNUAL_REPORT-DRPBenchmark_Survey_Results_2014_report.pdf
Business News Daily: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6294-benefits-of-online-data-storage.html