Introduction to Managed IT Backup and Disaster Recovery Services

Backing up company information and ensuring business continuity in the event of an incident are crucial corporate responsibilities. But variation exists in how to achieve this. This analysis piece will discuss how using a managed services provider can be a wise approach to accomplishing these tasks.

But first, why is data backup and disaster recovery important?

It may seem obvious, but data backup and disaster recovery capability can help an organization preserve important information, quickly restore operations, and avoid long-term or even permanent disruption to the business.

While many disruptions are relatively minor—such as a computer’s hard drive failing, a natural disaster, fire, or even burst pipe could destroy a substantial amount of valuable assets and data, or even completely ruin the business. Without data backup and disaster recovery competence, these possibilities are very real.

Figure 1: Disaster plans are one component of disaster recovery capability

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/Rockefeller_University_Disaster_Plan.jpg

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/Rockefeller_University_Disaster_Plan.jpg

How do managed services fit into data backup and disaster recovery?

Managed IT services are a defined set of IT services that are managed and provided by a third-party. These services may be supplied proactively or as the provider determines they are needed. When it comes to data backup and recovery, a managed services provider takes on responsibilities for the tasks surrounding these objectives. Sometimes these responsibilities complement significant efforts of the client itself, while other times they cover the overwhelming majority of duties in this arena.

Why is a managed approach to backup and disaster recovery a good idea?

There are a number of advantages to having a managed services engagement for data backup and disaster recovery. First off, this type of arrangement can be much less costly than an entirely in-house situation.

For example, when it comes to backup the provider can supply one or more cloud servers built on your specific backup needs. Should these needs change, the service provider can easily add these capabilities to your account. You will pay a higher monthly fee, but won’t have the huge up-front cost associated with making a capital investment.

This type of setup also provides ready-made expertise in the areas of backup, restoration, recovery, and planning. Planning is key for disaster recovery in particular. While there are sample disaster recovery plan templates and documents, none of them will be an exact fit for your specific business. Partnering with a vendor lets you receive expert and customized guidance in critical areas of planning.

A third advantage to using a managed services vendor for backup and disaster recovery is resources in the event of an outage or disaster. Many vendors can provide temporary facilities, employees, communications assistance, and other fill-in services and resources to help businesses continue to run—even in the most serious of conditions.

What’s another advantage of a managed services provider for backup and disaster recovery?

A managed services provider can also provide valuable input when testing a disaster recovery plan. The vendor will have gone through the process many times before, and can help troubleshoot any glitches that arise.

The vendor can help its client test the various elements of disaster recovery, including the plan trigger, call tree, and team response. It can also provide guidance around simulation of calls and notifications, as well as performance of IT and data recovery to virtual systems.

Working with a managed services provider on a long-term basis can help ensure the plan is tested periodically, as well as each time changes are made.

3 takeaways

  • Data backup and disaster recovery are important considerations for all businesses, considering that efforts in these areas can impact the business’s viability.
  • Using a managed services provider for at least some elements of data backup and disaster recovery can help organizations save money, gain expertise, and acquire necessary resources.
  • A managed services vendor can also help clients test their disaster recovery plans periodically, suggesting improvements as needed.