MSP360™, the leading provider of multi-cloud data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions, is offering free MSP360™ Backup for Desktop for Windows and macOS licenses to MSPs and other users in addition to other zero-cost resources during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
All new Windows and macOS desktop operating systems endpoints installed through April, 30 are free for 90 days. After 90 days of usage, users are given the option to purchase or opt out of the software.
Sign up today and obtain your free 90-day license!
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:
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:
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:
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.
If you have a highly automated managed backup routine in place, it can be easy to adopt a “set it and forget it” mindset toward backups. In other words, you stop thinking about your backups, confident that your software is handling everything for you, and that you’ll be able to recover data from your backups whenever disaster strikes. Continue reading
In today’s world, the idea of physically sitting down in front of each system you support as an MSP seems almost quaint. Instead, most MSPs today rely heavily on remote management tools.
This is true even when it comes to data backup and recovery operations. Managed backup software offering remote management features greatly simplifies the tasks required to work with backup data. As a result, it saves time and personnel costs, while providing better results for customers. Continue reading
For MSPs, storage management is an essential ingredient in delivering managed backup services. The way in which you manage backup storage plays a critical role in determining the reliability, performance and cost of your overall backup services. Continue reading
Even when they must, many MSPs refuse to raise prices. Instead of generating more MRR to cover additional costs, these business owners settle for decreasing profit margins. They don’t have to, but they do. For them, they’d rather not have difficult conversations with clients about price increases. If this sounds like you, there are steps you can take to ease your way into these sensitive discussions. Continue reading
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
MSPs must perform a variety of tasks and processes -- such as accounting, payroll, sales quotes and invoicing -- to run the financial side of their business. Sometimes, it can be challenging to find the right software to help you manage all of these finance and accounting operations. Continue reading
Understanding profit margins is a key step in building a successful MSP business. And although profit margins may seem confusing if you don’t have a background in business, they are a relatively simple concept once you break them down. Continue reading
To be successful and useful, backup service offerings need to consider recovery efforts and objectives well-before a disruptive event occurs. And yet, many MSPs don’t focus on this end-goal. Continue reading