According to the recent comprehensive Disaster Recovery as a Service Attitudes & Adoption Report, 80 percent of the ActualTech Media enterprise survey respondents continue to use yesterday’s technology for disaster recovery or do not leverage the cloud. This poses both an opportunity as well as a challenge for value-added resellers (VARs) and managed services providers (MSPs) that provide cloud services in terms of delivering the right corporate data backup solutions for their clients. The opportunity of delivering solutions and services cannot be met unless they fully understand what to look for in data backup vendors.
Of course, having knowledge of the basics of corporate data backup options as well as key features is foundational to understanding the needs of corporate clients. However, the backup options and needs of corporate clients today have become far more diverse in the last several years. That requires a much broader and deeper understanding of how corporate clients structure their data and IT infrastructure for specific uses. For many, a hybrid approach to backup is growing more common—but not in every instance.
Ultimately, understanding a diversity of needs and approaches is the only way to choose vendors that provide superior levels of automation in the data backup process. For many corporations, the addition of robust communication and collaboration tools and solutions is also key to a strong crisis management continuity program. With that in mind, here are three broad areas of things to look for in corporate data backup vendors:
1. End-to-End Hybrid Cloud Backup
For most corporations, having access to an end-to-end hybrid cloud backup and recovery solution that can adapt to protect a variety of data platforms is crucial. As data recovery as a solution (DRaaS) becomes more prominent in this end-to-end solution arena, more corporations are looking for software that supports all of their service IT infrastructure components.
2. Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Capabilities
Cloud-to-cloud backup that can protect and recover software-as-a-service (SaaS) application data is becoming a greater need among corporations that utilize enterprise-wide SaaS solutions. In many cases, these enterprises are utilizing multiple cloud solutions across the enterprise.
These enterprises are updating their data centers and delving further into virtualization and SDN, among other changes. This means that VARs and MSPs must deliver corporate data backup solutions that can meet the needs of uninterrupted operations across all types of different IT infrastructures.
In these types of corporate scenarios, VARs and MSPs can seek out DRaaS providers that can deliver virtual-machine replication technology that can easily integrate with a broad range of production data center computing platforms. In addition, it must be capable of dealing with replication for disk-based subsystems such as direct-attached storage, network-attached storage, or storage area network.
3. Real-Time Crisis Management and Communication Support
Corporate data backup is about more than just the backup process. Many of these enterprises need to have strong crisis management protocols in place to deal with worst-case scenarios for business continuity and disaster recovery.
Additional real-time support for crisis management that enables workflow management via a mobile communication protocol and software system is one example. Not all enterprises will need or desire this level of support. For at least a subset of corporations, this additional support can aid in bolstering internal crisis-mode protocols for displaced workers and remote workers around the globe.
Ultimately, it’s about the completeness of the solution, its flexibility, and its degree of automation and scalability. The goal for VARs and MSPs is to choose corporate data backup vendors that can support a wide variety of technologies with organizational business continuity planning automation, IT service continuity, and availability management.
On top of this, having IT workload automation, auto discovery of application IT infrastructure, and application interdependency mapping is likely a must in most settings. Because no single backup and recovery vendor can be all things to all clients, VARs and MSPs must have a well-defined business plan that guides their choice of vendors, services, and market clients.