BDR (backup and disaster recovery) has become so important to businesses that it should be part of the IT services that you, as an MSP, provide. Your customers rely on your expertise for technological direction and cyber security. They expect the safety net you provide will keep their business running even through the worst-case scenarios. Here are reasons why you should test backups to ensure that data is protected:
Limitations of Data Protection
Even under the most secure conditions, no one can ever guarantee that data will be completely protected because failures in hardware, software, and humans can’t always be predicted. Just because someone thought they backed up data, doesn’t mean all the data was copied to a storage medium. If you don’t bother to test the backup, then you have no idea if your backup system is useful or not.
Sometimes, even backups fail to provide access to data, due to misconfigurations or other issues. Many times, data is only partially backed up. Another problem may arise once storage capacity has become saturated. For these reasons, it’s important for MSPs to test backups to make sure they can restore data.
Importance of Testing Backups
The whole point of testing backups is to make sure you can return a business to its normal operation in case of a disaster. If you don’t bother doing any testing, you run the risk of losing data in a breach or power failure. Any data loss will create an instant fallout with customers who entrusted you to protect their data. If data is held for ransom from a ransomware attacker and you’re unable to restore access, it can damage your firm’s reputation.
Ideally, the only time you find out a backup doesn’t work is during a test. Testing increases the probability that 100% of data will be restored during a disaster. It gives you a sense of confidence that important digital assets will be preserved regardless of what happens. Peace of mind for you and your clients is the end reward for effectively and regularly testing backups.
Why MSPs Should Be BDR Experts
Businesses rely on your IT services and consulting as an all-in-one solution for their technical needs. The last thing they expect to hear about from you is data loss. That’s why you should make BDR one of your top priorities to define the quality of your MSP business. Part of this expertise involves understanding all the technology involved with data recovery.
Virtualization is a key component that’s helpful to the backup process. You must have a bootable VM and be able to virtually boot a backup image in any situation that involves extensive downtime. Using a virtual machine will ensure that the client has access to computing while other machines are repaired.
Another dimension of technical knowledge that’s crucial for MSPs to learn involves the many reasons why backups fail. Many times, it’s due to cheap hardware or improper settings. Your BDR plans should provide options between affordability and extra steps that provide the highest level of data protection. You should be able to accurately predict how long downtime will be before business continuity is restored in an emergency.
Steps MSPs Can Take to Ensure Continuity
• Implement a virtualization solution for emergencies
• Develop a BDR strategy
• Regularly test a wide range of files
• Filter out problems and refine BDR strategy
• Regularly inspect hardware, software and storage capacity
• Conduct “fire drills” with staff to prepare for emergencies
MSPs must make backup testing an important part of their IT services to protect data as much as possible. There are multiple reasons why data may not get backed up properly, which is why it’s essential to test backups. Paying close attention to the health of the hardware and software involved is a proactive aspect that adds to peace of mind.