There are a lot of backup solutions out there, and a lot of choices to make when deciding which specific cloud backup solution will best suit your clients’ needs.
Long gone are the days when backup was limited to simply making copies of files! While making backup copies is certainly still relevant, so is providing comprehensive protection against data loss caused by outages and malware. And being able to offer clients the option of engaging with their data in multiple environments and on many platforms is also now considered a basic tenet of any cloud backup solution worth its salt.
If you’ve been shopping around for backup solutions, you know that it can get overwhelming. Often, you have to dig deep to uncover the most important differences between various systems. That said, the right fit is a lot simpler once you know what to look for.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when your managed service provider (MSP) business is in the process of selecting a cloud backup solution to include in client offerings.
1. It should follow the 3-2-1 backup rule
In addition to cyberattacks and accidental deletions by employees, hardware crashes and myriad other disruptions are also common causes of data loss. So solutions that use the 3-2-1 backup rule to protect files is always a plus. The strategy saves different copies of data on different levels, devices and locations. Specifically, it requires the user to have three copies of all data—their production data and two backup copies. The data is stored on at least two different devices, with one copy kept on an offsite device for disaster recovery purposes.
2. It should protect applications, servers and local data alike
Applications can’t afford significant interruptions, which is why your clients require backup solutions that can generate consistent backups as well as minimal downtime from critical database and other enterprise products. Likewise, whether clients’ servers are on-premises or in the cloud, they require rapid recovery in the face of a user error or a ransomware attack. One BCDR system that works for all computing environments (Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.) may be the way to go.
Finally, your clients need meaningful protection for their local data, and the right cloud backup solution can provide off-site backup that is not vulnerable to the same risks as local backups. Data encryption, for instance—both while data is being uploaded, as well as while it is stored—can take overall security to the next level.
3. It should include backup capabilities for mobile devices
Remember when employees only used desktops or laptops that were permanently stationed at the office? The reality is that employees today access and process business data from smartphones, tablets and every other device under the sun—from public and home networks. Some use personal devices for work, which means business data is cohabiting with personal files.
Long story short, your cloud backup solution needs to be designed to handle mobile device backups. In other words, it should provide automatic and incremental backups, file-level backups, selective backups and easy restore features to ensure that data is protected and easily recoverable.
4. It should allow backup automation
The scale of datacenters, combined with constantly changing cloud environments, makes manually maintaining a list of systems requiring protection all but impossible. Backup automation is a crucial feature of cloud backup solutions because it ensures that backups occur consistently without the need for human intervention, reducing the risk of errors.
Automated backup processes are designed to handle large volumes of data efficiently and can be configured to meet specific needs, such as different data types, backup frequencies and retention periods. All in all, automation can boost both reliability and flexibility in a cloud backup solution.
5. It should offer scalable solutions
Fact: data volumes continue to grow. Backup solutions need to back up data rapidly—without overwhelming the network. You want to look for solutions that use deduplication and compression as ways of minimizing the strain backups tend to place on network and storage.
Scalable backup solutions allow organizations to only pay for the storage capacity they need at a given time, thereby reducing costs and upping efficiency. This means they can easily scale their storage up or down depending on their changing needs. By offering scalable solutions, cloud backup providers can help your clients meet their changing storage needs without incurring excessive costs or losing data.
6. It should be compliant with industry standards and government regulations
Backups in sensitive industries need to conform to regulatory requirements. It’s simple: cloud backup solutions that adhere to applicable standards and regulations will help your clients stay compliant, thereby helping them avoid costly fines and legal penalties. Not to mention, backup solutions focused on compliance have strict security data protection protocols in place such as encryption, access controls and secure datacenters. It should go without saying that it’s easier to build trust and credibility with your clients when you offer them compliant cloud backup solutions.
7. It should provide self-service, so clients can access data as needed
Self-service backup solutions allow your clients’ database administrators to manage their backups independently, on their own schedule. This is particularly useful for businesses with complex backup requirements or multiple locations. With self-service backup options, your clients can also quickly restore data on their own without waiting for assistance from support staff, resulting in quicker recovery times and less downtime overall in the event of data loss.
8. It should have reporting capabilities
Reporting capabilities allow businesses to see what data is being backed up and how often, monitor the performance of backups and better plan for future storage needs. Backup solutions with reporting capabilities also provide reports on backup activity and storage, which can help your clients verify that they are indeed meeting all applicable regulatory requirements for data retention and backup. A boon to any offering you make!
Find the right cloud backup solution for your MSP’s clients
Need a little guidance to help you choose the right backup solution for your MSP offering? Sherweb can help! Our cloud marketplace carries leading backup solutions to fit a variety of client needs.