If you own or work for a managed service provider, you may have noticed a surge in demand in certain industries because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With an unprecedented number of people working remotely, the capacities of MSPs were put to the test. The ones that didn’t manage to upscale or provide business continuity and adequate backup quickly enough found themselves unable to meet their desired service levels.
As you’re doubtlessly aware, the challenge for most MSPs is not merely to just back up data. The real trick is to deliver the fastest, most reliable, and most cost-efficient way to do it. Employing backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions is almost mandatory in the current era, and choosing a robust BDR appliance is, perhaps, the most straightforward way to do just that.
The Importance of a BDR Appliance
Compared to how the world was in 2019, there are now millions more working remotely and using data for many other purposes. Even considering the world after COVID-19, there is little chance that offices will be as densely packed as they used to be. In scenarios where you have hundreds or thousands of users, downtimes of just a few minutes can cause a good number of your clients to switch to more reliable service providers.
For better or worse, we are now living the decentralized future of workplaces that was envisioned decades ago. This means old ways of doing things simply won’t suffice anymore. Compared with how things were just a few years ago, far fewer users will tolerate noticeable downtimes and even fewer will tolerate serious data losses.
With so many options available to your clients, you want to give them reasons to stay. By any measure, 24/7 access to data, stability, and headache-free data backups are very powerful reasons for choosing you as an MSP—if you can deliver. Thankfully, BDR appliances with superb computing power paired with proper tech and IT support can go a long way in helping MSPs retain and attract customers in an increasingly competitive environment.
To sum up, here are the two biggest benefits of investing in a robust, better-sized BDR appliance:
1.) Scalability and Reduced Need to Upgrade Appliances
Providing backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity solutions doesn’t have to be difficult and labor-intensive. Yet, many still choose to make it so by failing to even consider acquiring a properly sized BDR appliance that can scale according to demand. Better BDR appliances won’t just improve speed and uptimes for your customers. They can also help you reduce the need to upgrade your appliances in the future. Your team will be prepared for a surge in demand should another black swan event happen.
2.) Improved Overhead and Cash Flow
Your MSP business will also have improved overhead because the need to constantly upgrade appliances has been removed. You’ll no longer have to upgrade once or twice every year, or upgrading whenever you sign on a new client. This reduces disruptions to your business and allows you to run your business consistently. Your staff can also focus on servicing clients rather than exhausting resources to upgrade appliances. Plus, a robust BDR appliance can help you meet your targeted service levels more reliably, which reduces customer attrition and helps your business maintain a steadier, more predictable cash flow.
What to Look for in a BDR Appliance
Not all BDR options available in the market are created equal. Regardless, you’ll want to make sure that the BDR solutions you’re looking at can deliver the following:
As previously discussed, the BDR appliance should be scalable so you can properly handle a surge in demand. The more powerful the appliance, the better. The best kind of the BDR appliance should have the capability to operate as a production server while other servers are down. Not only does this help protect your client’s business, it’ll provide business continuity to your MSP business as well.
2.) Ease of Use
A better user experience will almost always translate into cost savings in the long term. A smoother UX saves time, reduces training costs, prevents serious familiarization issues when transitioning team members to the system, and allows for full utilization of the tool.
3.) Simple Remote Management
It’s one thing to manage one BDR appliance on site, but it’s something else entirely to manage a dozen or more, especially if they’re in different locations. While not all MSPs will require this kind of functionality immediately, those considering expansion should look into how well appliance settings could be maintained and customized remotely.
4.) Aligning with Long-Term Goals
This point relates to the scalability capability of the BDR appliance. One recurring issue many MSPs have when acquiring BDR appliances is that they are so focused on meeting current demand that they neglect to consider where their business is currently headed. Make sure you thoroughly understand the size and capacity of a BDR solution and how that helps your business’s direction and long-term goals before you commit to it.
5.) Security and Architecture
In today’s security environment, ransomware is ravaging businesses, organizations and entities large and small. It is of utmost importance that the BDR appliance’s architecture can prevent ransomware from infecting the backup data, or else, even your business can be brought to its knees.
Investing in a good BDR appliance can help you improve your bottom line because you can offer better service and security for your clients and to yourself. If you’re exploring ways to meet these goals, be on the lookout for BDR appliances that are robust, secure, and easy to use.