Article too long? Check out this quick summary:
When we talk about data protection and specifically “backup” people start to nod off quite quickly, mostly the ones that don’t may have already had a bad experience and realise the importance of the role of backups in the grand scheme of all things IT related. The role of backup is the same whether you are sole trader or a FTSE 100 global business, it’s the last line of defence in your data protection suite and more importantly it’s about getting you access to your data in the event of a problem. Whether that problem is a result of accidental or deliberate deletion, storage failure, ransomware, large scale targeted hack, or asteroid impact, the role of backup remains the same, recovery! Most people employed with the title of backup admin/tech/guru will likely never have dealt with a major DR restore, add to this the large variety of backup solutions on the market and the number of people that have dealt with major outages is relatively small and not the sort of thing you normally see on a CV. This is where engaging a Managed Service Provider has the advantage, as over time these teams of specialists are more likely to have seen and done pretty much everything related to recovering from a data access issue big or small.
For those that have had a bad recovery experience a Managed Service is ideal for you as you are benefiting from the combined experience of a bigger team that focus on backup/recovery. Depending on the size of your business you might employ someone just to look after backups, but over time you can guarantee they end up picking up other tasks taking away from their original intended role. This dilutes their ability to effectively manage the data protection, with a managed service this can’t happen, they remain focussed on the protection of your data. Having worked with a variety of businesses and public service providers, we can speak from experience too, that skill levels across in-house teams varies rather a lot. By employing a managed service provider, you are calling on decades of experience, both in designing, deploying, and managing data protection solutions. When you buy a Managed Service your costs are predictable, many customers overlook individual costs that are associated with doing this yourself, such as software, support renewals, true-ups/growth, hardware depreciation and maintenance. When purchasing a Managed Service these elements are included, providing customers with cost efficiency and total peace of mind.
“you are benefiting from the combined experience of a bigger team that focus on backup/recovery”
A lot of data protection deployments are often carried out by contractors who once out the door and billed are not really available to you as a resource, when you use a managed service provider, then the team behind it are available so there is an ongoing relationship. This means you are going to get far more value than someone taking a look at your environment like a point in time snapshot. As your managed service team spend more time in your environment, they will spot more and more things that can be improved, whether that’s for incremental increases in performance or savings in storage space (who hasn’t had a disk library fill up over Christmas?) this is another of the “value add” things you will get on top of the skill set and the freeing up of your time. Additionally, a Contractor might specialise in one or two products which is great if they are the product you were considering anyway, but an MSP will likely have access to more choices and can tailor a solution based on your environment and requirements. This means that perhaps a smaller organisation is getting data protection from an enterprise grade provider at a reduced cost and fully managed as well so a win, win. This can also apply for the enterprise user as well with MSPs being able to take on the management of your backups and additionally give added value with extra cloud hosted copies of your data and command and control VMs giving you the ability to recover in their environment in the event of a total DC or site outage.
“an MSP will likely have access to more choices and can tailor a solution based on your environment and requirements”
The biggest benefit when making use of a managed service provider is that it allows you to focus on your business and not worry about spinning that backup plate, and with one less plate to spin you are less likely to drop others. Ultimately, in the event of needing assistance with a full recovery, you can be more confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel.