Is your backup still lurking in the dark ages?

Efficiency is the life blood of successful MSPs—if you’re having to manage multiple legacy backup environments, you could well be hindering the growth of your business. Carrie Reber explains.

Carrie Reber, senior product marketing manager at N-able.

As MSPs begin to grow and mature their businesses, resource efficiency is a common area of focus. It makes sense: if you want to deliver the same high service level (or better) to more customers without making huge investments in staff and equipment, efficiency and standardization are clearly the way forward.

Backup is an area that is especially ripe for improved efficiency for most MSPs. Three adjustments can make a big difference: standardizing on one (or at least fewer) backup tools, going cloud-first, and choosing a backup product designed for MSPs.

Standardization: less is more

Many MSPs find themselves with multiple backup products. As new customers come on board, it’s easy to just keep using whatever backup product they’re already using. But over time, these “special cases” can add up, putting an unnecessarily large administrative burden on your team. Logging into and out of multilpe products, or multilpe instances of legacy image backup products, can consume hours every week.

N-ableTM Backup customer Luke Fairbank, of Fred IT, summed up the change when they standardized on one backup product: “It’s a dramatic decrease in labor cost. It’s gone from at least one to two FTEs per day (and we were getting behind) to just something one person fits easily into the rest of their day.”

Babysitting backups is no one’s favorite job. Why not standardize and enjoy one consistent process across all your customers and data sources? You’ll be able to support more customers with the staff you already have, and will likely improve your team’s quality of life by freeing them to work on more interesting projects, rather than spending hours every week on tedious checks.

Cloud-first: move your backup into the modern era

Traditional legacy backup products were designed for a world where there was one data center to manage, with servers sitting beside banks of data storage devices, and hours of downtime every night to perform backups. Those days are long gone, but too many IT professionals are still using tools designed for that bygone era. Some legacy products have bolted on the ability to send backups to the cloud for safe storage, but the underlying efficiency just isn’t there. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Products like N-able Backup, that were built cloud-first, are a better fit for today’s requirements. Because incremental backups are lightweight and small, they can travel quickly to remote storage locations, allowing you to back up more often and deliver against more demanding recovery point objectives. With this architecture, keeping a local copy of your backups becomes optional, meaning you don’t have to keep buying more and more data storage over time.

Another key advantage of N-able Backup is that the backup process is not dependent upon an expensive proprietary appliance. That means your backups go on, uninterrupted, even if a local data storage device suffers a hardware failure or gets full.

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Backup for MSPs: your needs are different

In many ways, the job of an MSP is more difficult than that of in-house IT professionals. With multiple different client environments and requirements to support, and a requirement to make a fair profit in order to stay in business, efficiency becomes critical.

These requirements point to several key criteria for backup:

  • A multitenant management console for at-a-glance status checks across all customers and data sources
  • Cloud storage included in the price, and ideally, archiving at no extra charge, to keep the cost of service delivery predictable over time
  • Straightforward ease of use so even junior staff can handle routine tasks, freeing your senior technicians to focus on more challenging (and billable) assignments

CRS Technology Consultants is a great example of how MSPs can profit and grow through efficiency and standardization. They share their secrets to success in a free on-demand webinar, available here.

Carrie Reber is senior product marketing manager for N-able.

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