What MSPs Need to Know About the Future of BDRWhat MSPs Need to Know About the Future of BDR
The future of BDR is uncertain, but with a little help from an industry expert, businesses might be able to put a roadmap together.
August 20, 2014
Nobody — not even the experts at MSPmentor — can predict the future of data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) and business continuity with complete certainty. But if the market focuses on a few main areas of interest, an accurate forecast of what’s to come might be possible.
“When thinking about future problems it is important to look at both the expectation of end-users as well as the challenges they will ultimately face, and how the channel and vendors will address them,” says Ian McChord, product director at Datto, a Norwalk, Connecticut-based BDR and business continuity company.
According to McChord, there are three big factors in determining the future of the BDR and business continuity market: downtime, flexibility and regulations.
Downtime. “The first is the tolerance for downtime and threshold for an absence of web-presence,” McChord says. “Almost all small to medium-sized businesses have a public facing website and a large percentage of that group have an online store.”
For example, think about how customers view instant gratification from services. They expect Web-based services, such as Hulu and Netflix, to always be up and running. They believe the same goes for websites such as Amazon Prime.
“The reality is that all businesses are starting to compete with services like Amazon Prime which offers free two day shipping and processing in minutes and hours not days like it was years ago,” he says. “Businesses need to offer an always available IT infrastructure to be on the same level as those giants.”
He adds: “The trickiest part is that their budget for those services hasn’t grown much in the last decade so their challenge becomes even trickier as they require better technology for around the same budget.”
What does this mean for the future of BDR? Well, simply, customers aren’t going to be too happy with any downtime during a disaster. Products will have to accommodate this expectation.
Flexibility. Being able to install BDRs on multiple platforms will be a requirement in the future — a topic that’s even being looked at now. Multiple platforms range from a physical piece of hardware to a virtual appliance or software license.
“The ability to reuse and recycle hardware is critical to businesses as they push further into the virtual computational world,” McChord says. “In the past, one piece of hardware was used for one work station or server.”
But now with “virtual infrastructure like VMware and Hyper-V, users can leverage one piece of hardware to run multiple servers and workstations,” he says.
While having the local backup appliance as a virtual machine running beside other machines can offer consolidation of hardware, a problem arises. Running your production machine on the same motherboard as your backup appliace is poor redundancy, McChord says.
“The future BDR will address these problems simply and affordably,” he says. “Hybrid cloud and cloud to cloud will also be a part of flexible BDR programs in the future.”
Regulations. “Future regulations from associations and the government will only grow stricter with enforcement that has teeth,” McChord says. “This spells potential trouble for cobbled together solutions or traditional roll-your-own solutions as they may not have the proper protections or to get the certifications may make the operations unprofitable.”
To combat this, “BDRs will need to have certifications and scheduled testing in place at their implementation,” he says. Solutions providers who can autoamte or offload commitments to a third party for more consistent margins will thrive.
“The future of BDR is full of new challenges but very bright from the solution provider’s point of view,” he McChord says.
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