Some clients may hesitate to adopt cloud-based backups; help them see the potential benefits of this approach.

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Backup and recovery are an essential part of an enterprise IT ecosystem. This isn’t just because of the threat of cyberattacks and ransomware, or even natural disasters that can destroy on-premises servers and desktop devices. While those are dramatic examples, businesses need to plan for employee error, as well. This includes accidentally deleting important emails, documents or even large amounts of data. (Remember when that Pixar animator almost wiped out Toy Story 2?) In addition to employee errors, corporate data is vulnerable to power outages, hardware failures and software glitches.

Effective backup and data recovery services require planning, employee training and the right mix of technology. When these are used in concert, these make backup and data recovery efforts easy to integrate into daily work routines and reliable enough so that companies can trust that their data is secure and readily available.

Increasingly, the cloud has become a destination for backups. The cloud makes it easier to back up files off-site and keep them safe in the event of a natural disaster, an attack or an internal error. In part, this is because corporate data has become more dispersed and complex.

A recent Barracuda survey, “Market Analysis: Closing Backup and Recovery Gaps,” found that the majority of respondents in the IT sector were being tasked with managing backups from multiple sites. And, in extreme cases, they were managing up to 26 sites. Additionally, it was discovered that many companies are adopting cloud-based applications and other systems. Because of this, remote management is important to keep in mind when it comes to BDR, because it can streamline processes and optimize IT resources.

The ability to protect data across multiple environments (both on-site and in the cloud) was listed as an important selection criterion by survey respondents.

Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (BDR) provides that capability. According to the report: “For those that do migrate, cloud backup can be a great way to manage risk across these environments. It can offer a more affordable, effective, reliable, and easier-to-manage option than many on-premises solutions.”

However, respondents to the survey were hesitant about that migration. A majority of respondents had no plans to migrate apps or file services to the cloud. And while the majority (64%) of global organizations said they back up data to the cloud, more than one-third still don’t.

This potentially exposes these companies to greater risk. Again, according to the survey report: “If they’re simply replicating to alternative sites, those facilities could all be taken out by the same natural disaster, especially if located in the same region. Industry best practice is to back up according to the 3-2-1 rule: at least three copies, in two different formats, with one copy stored offline or in the cloud. This is an important consideration, especially for those in highly-regulated industries.”

The Case for Cloud BDR

For MSPs and VARs, making the case for cloud-based BDR can be challenging. However, focusing on the following themes is an excellent way to overcome objections:

  • Office 365 assumptions. In some cases, companies don’t believe they need a BDR solution because they think Microsoft is backing up their data. While Office 365 users do have some backup protection, their data isn’t held for long and service agreements generally don’t cover many data loss scenarios. Explain the specifics of the protection these clients are receiving from Microsoft, and then point out how cloud-based BDR can provide greater levels of protection that will ensure data availability no matter what happens.

  • High cost concerns. Some companies are concerned about the potential for high fees or hidden costs when it comes to cloud-based services. However, cloud BDR provides access to leading-edge infrastructure at a low cost, and with no ongoing IT costs for on-premises hardware and systems. Those IT expenses can be converted from CAPEX to OPEX, offering further savings, and upgrades are part of the package. Additionally, the cost of data loss far exceeds the cost of BDR for most companies.

 Security fears. Cloud-based backups are inherently secure and safe from threats both small–an employee accidentally deleting important emails–and large–a ransomware attack. However, some companies question just how secure a cloud infrastructure is, given that it’s not directly under their control. Partnering with a reliable cloud provider that follows required protocols–encryption, authentication, etc.–as well as industry standards like HIPAA, PCI and NIST CSF can create an environment where the backup is much safer than if it were managed on-site.

Additionally, cloud backup is much more efficient in that the provider typically provides 24/7 monitoring as well as management of the required certifications (thus relieving internal staff of those duties). Cloud backup is also rapidly scalable and can provide faster recovery time for smaller data sets.

Cloud BDR solutions offer companies protection through a single product with a consistent interface across all data sources. Cloud backup also offers enhanced technical support, file-based recovery and other benefits. Educate your clients about the value of BDR and the enhanced level of protection and convenience that it offers, and it will be much easier to convince them to invest.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

 Chris Crellin is Senior Director of Product Management for Barracuda MSP, a provider of security and data protection solutions for managed services providers, where he is responsible for leading product strategy and management.

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