N-able, Iron Mountain Solidify Managed Storage Services

The vast majority of successful MSPs say they now offer managed storage services. In most cases, I suspect, those services involve basic backup and restore capabilities. Still, a growing number of industry partnerships could help you leap from "backup" services to "contingency planning" services, which are far more strategic.

A case in point: N-able Technologies and Iron Mountain have inked a partnership that could empower managed service providers with Iron Mountain's LiveVault server backup service. The relationship comes only a few weeks after EMC and Symantec each said they were launching managed storage services for VARs and customers.

More than 70 percent of leading MSPs already offer some form of managed storage, according to our recent MSPmentor 100 report. In order to stand out from the crowd, a growing number of MSPs are coupling automated storage management with on-site contingency planning and other services.

When designing a contingency plan, MSPs typically assist customers with:

  • The overall plan
  • Contingency triggers
  • Monitoring strategies to ensure identification of triggering events
  • Roles and responsibilities for contingency preparation and deployment (including updated contacts, contact mechanism and numbers)
  • Status reporting processes and protocols
  • Instructions to carry out contingency
  • Coordination strategy with local and regional organizations
  • Required resources and estimated costs
  • Agreements and assumptions with suppliers on whom each contingency is dependent
  • Communications strategy
  • Business resumption strategy
  • Validation/testing strategy for contingencies and business resumption
  • Validation/testing plans
  • Validation/testing results (Assessment of capability of contingencies and business resumption)
An online storage services, of course, provide a way to marry contingency planning services with recurring revenue. The N-able/Iron Mountain relationship, for instance, gives MSPs a server backup tool to remotely monitor and manage customer data.
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