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By Rob Morrison, Director of Marketing at Bacula Systems
Cloud Backup Expert Tips: MSPs Look to Drive New Business While Reducing IT Costs
MSPs are challenged by increasing competition. They need to drive new business while reducing IT costs and complexity. That means changing their data backup strategy and giving serious thought to many different areas, such as potential cloud integration, overall infrastructure flexibility and cost advantage.
Cost reduction can be approached in a myriad of ways. Some MSPs attack it on the technical side, such as taking advantage of new opportunities in low cost access to high-speed networking within data centres. For example, having really fast networks for data movement, coupled with really cheap disk storage allows MSPs to pursue an infrastructure strategy that is successful purely by virtue of it just being bare-bones-simple and quick. This is because sometimes, when you need to scale really big – architectural simplicity is a very smart option. In parallel, a low cost disk strategy means traditional backup-to-disk remains attractive.
Some MSPs instead attack cost reduction with a change of policy. IT departments may intentionally become much more agile in their approach, choosing software architecture that can more easily be implemented and shaped. They favour solutions that offer more flexibility, customization and ease of use. They prefer software choices that help avoid vendor lock-in. In other words, having more options that allow a data center to arrive at an architecture that more precisely suits its own needs.
As open source-based backup software continues to evolve, shifting to such software may provide some of the options that are needed. “We have run into a couple of situations where, if we were working on a configuration and something is not working in the way we expect, we can look at the source and figure out exactly what that option should be doing. Also, we can look at different ways to utilize its flexibility” says Matt Iavarone, Manager of Systems and Storage at TriCore Solutions, a managed application, cloud and infrastructure hosting services provider.
Having the additional choice to integrate a portion of its data backup to the Cloud can be important to a data center. “Instead of going to tape with our disk backups, we migrate to Amazon Glacier” says Mr. Iavarone, in an indication of how a backup solution’s flexibility can be reflected in its integration capabilities, such as to the Cloud: “Our ‘Full’ backups are typically over 200 TB’s, and copying all that data to tape can take two days to finish. When the ‘Daily’ then starts the day after, it just gets queued up behind the Full backups. And if a copy job fails, it could get further and further behind, and we would end up using more disk space. So taking the Daily’s and putting them in AWS will give us more opportunity to solve those issues” says Mr. Iavarone.
Data backup and recovery is designed in many different ways for many different uses. Competition continues to heat up in the MSP and data hosting industry, and as a result, these data centers are thinking out of the box. As such, they are good places to find examples of new approaches to problems that revolve around data volume, backup and data recovery.
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