One of the first solutions VARs sell when they want to expand into managed services is BDR (backup and disaster recovery), which is a perfect choice for a couple of reasons. First, every customer should be backing up its data. And secondly, even those that do currently have some kind of backup system in place, there’s a lot of companies that rely on outdated or overly complex systems, which leave them vulnerable to data loss.
In his recent article, Imaged-Based Backup And Disaster Recovery: 4 Keys To Keeping It Simple, Tom Fedro, President of Paragon Software Group Corp. proposes four steps VARs/MSPs should follow to ensure they’re providing an effective yet simple BDR solution:
1. Simplify Storage With Deduplication. Including native data deduplication can substantially decrease the need for storage, which may seem counterintuitive for the reseller who marks up the cost of the cloud storage. But, consider the benefits deduplication providers to your customer and you: Daily, weekly, and monthly backups can be retained longer and restored in a more granular fashion to a particular point in time. You may end up selling the same or more overall storage than if you didn’t dedupe it first, but the point is that you’re providing a more valuable service.
2. Simplify Administration with a Unified Management Console. Having a unified management console application makes restoring a machine just as intuitive as setting up a backup policy or pushing an agent to a desktop. This saves time and effort when focusing on recovery or creating backup policies.
3. Point And Click To Physical And Virtual Machines. Whether your customer is running strictly physical servers and workstations, operating in any of the popular virtualization environments, or taking a hybrid approach, creating backup policies for every machine on a network should be as simple as pointing and clicking from the console, including the process of setting up agentless backups for virtual hosts, or agent-based backups for physical systems.
4. Provide a Quick Recovery. One of the biggest mistakes resellers make with BDR is neglecting the time required to recover from data loss or interruption of an application. Ensuring business continuity is critical. Some traditional BDR systems can take days. At the other end of the spectrum, an image-based system can restore in minutes to virtual environments or in under an hour for physical systems. When backups are image-based, recovery tools (also managed from the console) can also be used to ease the deployment of virtual servers and desktops by replicating and restoring virtual machine images in minutes.
Keep these points in mind before selecting a BDR vendor partner to ensure your transition to selling this technology can be as efficient — and profitable — as possible.