Possibly the most important aspect of the Managed Service Providers job is protecting their customers from data loss, which can strike at any time and impact productivity and revenue.
In addition to cybersecurity measures that manage user authentication and access control, keeping critical data secure and available at all times requires a comprehensive, regularly tested backup and recovery strategy. Creating and implementing an effective backup system involves several considerations that range from frequency and retention policies to optimum replication and storage choices.
For absolutely critical data, for example, it increasingly makes sense to store a copy in a separate
geographical region to protect against unexpected incidents that could impact a large area, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack. A simple way to achieve this is by seamlessly pairing MS360 Managed Backup with a new feature from MS360’s cloud storage partner, Wasabi, called Bucket Replication.
Before we get into Bucket Replication, let’s take a quick look at some other considerations for context.
Data Protection Considerations
Data management and protection plans vary per customer and will likely call for backing up data at
varying intervals, depending on its type and criticality. For example, system and application
configuration data tends to change less frequently than user-generated documents and emails, so it may require backing up less often. For their part, user documents will often fall into multiple backup policy subcategories, too, because some files will be critical to daily operations while others may simply need to be archived for compliance reasons.
MSPs can help their customers determine backup frequencies based on their respective recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTO/RPOs) for each type of data. For each data set, they’ll also need to decide whether to perform full or incremental backups and how long each backup should be retained to balance protection with storage cost and avoid overspending.
Following the 3-2-1 data backup best practice of storing multiple copies in different locations is also
advisable. It’s prudent to make at least one data copy immutable to protect against ransomware. No
one—from system administrators to hackers—can change the contents of an immutable object or
storage bucket for the time period specified by the data owner. In this way, immutability keeps bad
actors from encrypting data and holding it for ransom in exchange for a decryption key.
When it comes to where to store backup copies, again, replicating critical data to a diverse geographical region protects it against unforeseen, potentially catastrophic events that could impact operations across a large area.
Adding Bucket Replication to the Mix
Wasabi, an MSP360 technology partner, offers this geodiversity option with the Bucket Replication
feature of our hot cloud storage offering. This data replication alternative puts geographical distance
between an organization’s data copies, adding an extra layer of protection in the event that an
earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, attack, or other wide-reaching incident compromises one or more data centers in a given region.
- Automated and simple. Users of the MSP360 Managed Backup solution can seamlessly access Wasabi storage and the Bucket Replication feature, as MSP360 is natively integrated with the Wasabi object cloud storage platform. Using Bucket Replication, you can simply copy objects from a storage bucket in a specific Wasabi region to a different bucket in another Wasabi region on the same continent. With this setup, businesses can fail over to the bucket in the secondary region if the primary storage region falls offline for any reason.
The feature makes geo-diverse replication simple. Once data replication policies have been configured, all newly added objects in the source bucket are automatically copied to the designated destination bucket in the storage region of the customer’s choice.
- Near-zero downtime. With two storage regions and automatic replication between them, downtime
can be reduced to seconds per year on average. The Bucket Replication feature has been designed using serverless compute technology, automation, and auto-scaling mechanisms that allow files, objects, and buckets to be replicated at the highest possible speeds.
- Immutability. Additionally, MSP360 users can replicate their backups that have been stored in non-
immutable cloud storage buckets to an immutable Wasabi bucket in another region. This allows them to keep two copies of their data, both are always accessible and the second one is completely immutable and resistant to ransomware attacks.
- Low latency. Replicating data across two storage regions also gives users the option of allowing
distributed users to access data from the location that’s geographically nearest to them. In addition to protecting data from outages specific to the region, then, this setup has the benefit of reducing distance-induced latency for overall faster response times and improved user experiences.
Flat Pricing and Access that’s Always Hot
There’s no charge for Wasabi Bucket Replication except for the cost of storage capacity for the
replicated data. This fee is calculated using the same flat, predictable, and highly competitive per-TB
pricing model Wasabi uses for its primary storage services. In other words, Bucket Replication carries no special service charges, network transfer fees, API request charges, or egress fees for accessing data.
Because the data replication is a function of the Wasabi cloud, there is no need for on-premises
compute, network usage or power consumption. In addition, unlike offerings from other cloud storage providers, all Wasabi storage is “hot.” There are no confusing pricing tiers; customers gain immediate, top-performance access to all data, regardless of how often it’s needed. This model makes it far simpler to budget for storage costs. In addition, though some data may not be used often, when businesses do need it, their requirements are often time-sensitive, making hot access a welcome feature.
As with Bucket Replication, there’s no premium or penalty for having hot access to all data with the
Wasabi storage platform. Wasabi hot cloud storage costs 80% less than traditional tiered solutions, such as AWS S3, which divvy data up into categories of hot, cool, and cold archive storage based on access frequency estimations.
While data backup, storage, and protection strategies vary from company to company, a few best
practices apply to all scenarios:
- Categorize data so that the most critical takes priority during the backup process.
- In addition to scheduling incremental backups of varying frequencies based on data set criticality, also schedule regular full backups.
- For data that absolutely can’t be offline for several hours should a natural or manmade disaster strike, consider creating automation replication buckets in a diverse region.
- When following the 3-2-1 best practice of storing multiple copies of data in different places, make one copy immutable so that it’s impervious to dreaded ransomware encryption.
- Perform regular tests to make sure you can restore data successfully.