Adding a new PC, endpoint or user is a common task for MSPs. As clients’ business needs change and evolve, they may take on new hires or expand their business portfolio — updates that require adding more machines to their existing network. Continue reading
What's new this week in the news for MSPs? We may be in quarantine, but that doesn't stop security breaches and malware attacks.
AWS offers hybrid service Outposts and accuses Pentagon of giving a do-over to Microsoft, Finastra gets hit by a security breach, and more. It's been a busy week! Let's see what's going on.
One of the biggest challenges in transitioning employees to a work-from-home environment is giving them access to the applications and data that they run on their workstations in the office. It's usually not practical (or secure) for employees to take their physical workstations with them when they switch to working from home. Trying to have employees install work applications on their personal, at-home computers is equally problematic.
When your agents spend all day taking calls from clients, other areas of the help desk, such as ticket escalation management, creation of documents and knowledge articles, and training, may suffer. Clients also become irritated when they desperately need support but end up waiting interminably in long call queues. Continue reading
Managing projects efficiently and effectively is essential for any managed service provider. A properly managed project will set the great MSPs apart from the rest. This standard operating procedure for managing projects will walk you through each phase, from beginning to end. Equal emphasis should be given to internal and external processes, the whole way through. Continue reading
At first glance, managed backup services may seem simple. You just copy data to a backup location, then recover it from there if disaster strikes, right?
Well, no. A reliable, cost-efficient backup and recovery strategy requires much more than this. Below, we offer an overview of what it takes to build a truly successful backup and recovery operation, along with links to further reading for more in-depth information.
Define your recovery strategy
You may think of data recovery as the last thing to think about when designing a backup management strategy. After all, recovery happens after backup takes place, so it may seem natural to plan for it after you have already designed your backup strategy.
The reality, however, is that you can only recover data effectively if your backup routine supports your recovery needs and goals. Toward that end, defining your recovery strategy should be the first step in designing your overall backup management strategy. It’s only by identifying your recovery goals that you can later design a backup strategy that supports them.
An effective recovery strategy should be:
- Tailored to fit your recovery plans and needs, which may vary from client to client or industry to industry.
- Designed to handle the specific types of disruption (natural disasters, ransomware and so on) that your clients are most likely to face.
- Communicated clearly to your clients, so that they know what to expect when recovery happens following a disaster (even if they don’t have any role to play in the recovery process).
- Tested, reviewed and updated on a regular and recurring basis.
For additional tips on designing an effective backup recovery strategy, check out our guide to data recovery for MSPs:
Further reading Data Recovery Best Practices for MSPs
Define your backup strategy
Once you have established your recovery goals, you can define your backup strategy. This strategy should take into account:
- The types of data you are backing up (such as system data, application data and operational data).
- The types of backup (full backups, differential backups and so on) you plan to perform.
- The backup methods you will use.
Your backup strategy should also reflect the type of backup storage you plan to use. In addition, if you are backing up special types of systems -- such as databases, virtual machines or file servers -- as opposed to general-purpose backup, your backup strategy should be tailored to fit those requirements.
For more guidance, check out our guide to backup for MSPs:
Further reading Backup Best Practices for MSPs
Define your backup storage strategy
There are a variety of ways to store backup data. Broadly speaking, they fall into two main categories: local backup storage and cloud-based backup.
However, planning backup storage is more complicated than simply choosing one or other of these backup locations. In many cases, you'll want to use both types of backup location simultaneously (to help meet the 3-2-1 backup requirements).
In addition, within each type of backup storage category, there are various specific approaches to take and considerations to weigh. When working with local backup storage, you could choose disk-based backup, a NAS device, a file server, tape drives or a combination of all of these. You also need to think about securing remote and physical access to local storage devices, as well as monitoring backup media and replacing it as needed.
In the cloud, choosing the right cloud storage provider and the right storage tier (hot, cold or archive) is important. So is setting up a data lifecycle policy that moves data automatically between storage tiers to help save money. And data security is an important consideration in the cloud, too.
For more information on these and other topics related to backup storage strategies, refer to our backup storage management guide for MSPs:
Further reading Backup Storage Management for MSPs
Define managed backup features
The market is flooded with managed backup tools that help automate backup and recovery operations. These tools vary widely in their pricing and functionality.
Key factors to weigh when selecting a managed backup tool include:
- Which operating systems does the tool support?
- Does the tool work with all of the backup locations and storage vendors (local as well as cloud) you use now, or may use in the future?
- Which automation features does the tool offer?
- Does the tool allow you to test recovery operations?
- Does the tool fit your budget?
- Which remote management features does the tool provide? For guidance on these, see our article on remote management features for backup and recovery:
Further reading Remote Management Features You Need in a Backup Solution
Crafting a backup and recovery plan that allows MSPs to back up their clients' data reliably and recover it quickly is hard work. It's even harder when you factor in the need to control managed backup software and data storage costs in order to protect the MSP's profit margin.
But by giving careful consideration to your recovery needs, the backup methods and storage locations you use and the managed backup software you adopt, you can design a backup and recovery strategy that exceeds your customers' needs, while also generating healthy profits for your business.
The typical MSP doesn't have an MBA or a background in business management. Yet running a successful MSP operation nonetheless requires careful management of the financial aspects of the business. Continue reading
While backups seem like a simple enough service offering to execute, there are a number of places MSPs make mistakes that will only cause problems in the future.
Whether you’re new to backups or have been offering them for some time, you’ve no doubt encountered customers that either already have backups running (likely from the last provider they used) or want you to do backups in a specific manner to accommodate their desires. Continue reading
Join David Gugick, VP Product Management at MSP360, and Scott Sanders, President & Founder IT Business Owners Group (ITBOG), for a discussion and adviсe on how MSPs can effectively manage their remote teams. Learn how you can keep your teams fully engaged and safe, manage your financials, and keep the lines of communication open with your customers. Continue reading
Have you ever been hit with ransomware? Last year we saw a lot of attacks targeting MSP businesses, especially at the end of the year. It's always the same — you are either "fully" prepared or yet you are not. Managed IT providers need to prepare themselves and their customers with the right approach and the right tools. Continue reading
This week’s guest is Yigal Behar with 2Secure out of the New York City area. Yigal came to the US from Israel where he had an IT consulting firm and also worked at a company providing security services. Taking his enterprise expertise to the US, he decided to open up a consultancy to help smaller businesses be more secure. Continue reading
When backing up a file that is being written, it is impossible to guarantee the integrity of a backup copy of that file. This is typical for backing up documents that are actively being edited, etc. To handle these scenarios, Microsoft Windows uses the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) technology that lets users make backup copies of files or volumes, even when they are in use.
Q1: Can I back up only changed files?
A: Yes, we support incremental backup by default, i.e. only new and modified files will be uploaded after the initial backup.
You can also use block-level backup for files that consist of blocks (e.g. Outlook pst-files). Continue reading
A: We have been running a free license program for 3 years without much success. Now Individuals related to non-profit and education are eligible for a 30% discount which is still substantial. Fill in the form to request a discount.
In very special cases, like a student from a developing country asking for a license, we can still consider granting it for free.
Also, a non-profit organization has to contact us directly, we don't grant licenses to individuals and companies serving non-profits. Although we can discuss certain discounts.
A: MSP360 Backup is a one-time fee product. For example, Desktop Edition costs $49.99 (US) and Windows Server Edition license is $119.99. You can find all the licenses under this link.
You also have to pay cloud storage and transfer fees separately. Check out our Backup Cost Calculator to estimate your costs.
A: 1TB or 5TB limit means that you can at any time have at most 1TB or 5TB of data on the cloud account managed by MSP360 Backup. E.g. you can upload 800 GB, then another 200GB, delete 300GB but you can't exceed the limit. Consider this way we are making our product affordable for users with lower storage requirements.
If you want to back up more data you will need MSP360 Backup Ultimate.
A: You can upgrade by paying the difference. We have an upgrade self-service that will allow you to get an upgrade link https://www.msp360.com/upgrade-license-release.aspx
Make sure to release the license in the Help menu before applying for the upgrade coupon.