As a managed services provider, it’s a given that you need to rely on multiple IT automation tools to perform your job. But, keep in mind that these solutions need to be validated from time to time, too. MSP business co-owner Andy Harper learned this lesson the hard way after a financial services customer’s server went down last year. “We were regularly backing up their data to a well-known BDR vendor’s appliance and were expecting a two-hour recovery time,” says Harper. What the MSP discovered instead was worse than the initial crash and only complicated matters.
“The BDR vendor’s automated alerting system had been giving false positives, indicating successful backups over a week and a half period, when really there were errors that should have created an entirely different alert,” he recalls. “This, combined with a glitch with a recent software update to the BDR, which caused the bare-metal recovery process to take considerably longer than when we tested it, meant the data recovery time stretched over the whole weekend rather than just a couple of hours on Saturday morning.”
Following the incident, Gaeltek added a step whereby an engineer would manually check each customer’s backups, but this proved to be a major time drain. The MSP eventually researched and found a new BDR vendor with a more reliable monitoring history.
However, no matter how good you think your BDR solution is, it’s a good idea to perform a data restore from time to time to verify that everything is working properly. In a VMware or Hyper-V environment, this check can be performed remotely with minimal disruption to the end-user. And, it’s one more activity that separates the value of a managed services provider from a freemium cloud provider service. Be sure to check out the rest of Gaeltek’s story: “Sell Cloud BDR You Can Count On.”