Life is imperfect and unpredictable—it’s a sentiment that applies as much to businesses as it does to individuals. Sadly, even the most robust security systems may not be enough to protect sensitive data from being lost or stolen. In fact, some of the biggest data breaches of the 21st century have involved household names with plenty to spend on their security. This includes eBay, Adobe, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Equifax, and many more.
While there may not be any surefire way to prevent a security breach, there are ways of ensuring data isn’t permanently lost if a breach or other unplanned event does occur. Properly preserving data is perhaps even more important for MSPs, whose customers will need access to critical files and folders in order to stay productive and meet deadlines. When data is lost or becomes corrupted, MSPs need a robust server backup solution in place to prevent delays in recoveries—which could lead to customers suffering subpar business outcomes and feeling less than satisfied with your services.
Although backing up your data is important, it may not matter if you do not store backups in a safe location. On-premises or local backup appliances are often vulnerable to physical damage, which means your security precautions may fall short in the event of a natural disaster or flooded server room. Fortunately, there is a way of mitigating this risk—encrypted off-site data backup software.
This guide will demonstrate how your business can benefit from off-site backup software, in addition to outlining the basics of off-site data backup and how it works.
What is off-site data backup?
Off-site data backup is the process of backing up critical business data from workstations, servers, applications, and Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) and storing those backups securely off-site, in a private or public cloud location.
Traditionally, many IT professionals have relied on on-premises hardware to store backups of confidential and sensitive data. One of the issues with this approach is that it requires a business to have staff in place to manage that local storage. It can also leave backups vulnerable to physical damage, in addition to requiring a significant investment of time and money into purchasing and maintaining hardware. For MSPs working with customers in many locations, maintenance of customer-local hardware requires travel time that can negatively impact productivity.
Off-site data backup is the safer and more efficient alternative to on-premises backups. Off-site data backups store past and current versions of sensitive data in the cloud, allowing you to access it from any location. With an off-site backup solution, MSPs can remotely maintain off-site data backups for their customers. This means that if production data is corrupted, lost, or stolen, MSPs can help their customers quickly restore data from the backup. This minimizes the impact on business productivity, which helps maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.
How does off-site data backup software work?
A cloud or off-site server backup solution helps protect physical and virtual servers, business documents, and workstations by taking regularly scheduled backups and securely transferring those backups to cloud data centers. Multiple restore points, including long-term data archiving, provide flexibility at recovery time.
If an issue does occur, you may need to recover data from the off-site backup. Depending on the software you choose, you may have access to the following options:
- File-level restore
- Folder-level restore
- Bare-metal recovery
- Physical-to-virtual recovery
Enterprise off-site backup software ensures that even if the worst happens, you can be sure that essential data can be restored quickly and easily.
Four reasons your MSP needs off-site backup storage
Managing data storage and security for numerous customers can be a complex task, even for the most experienced MSP. Off-site backup software can help you simplify this task in the following ways:
1. INCREASED EFFICIENCY
Backup software designed for off-site data storage sends only a very small portion of protected data in any incremental backup. This is usually achieved through data compression, WAN optimization techniques, and deduplication.
2. CENTRALIZED OVERVIEW
An effective cloud-based backup solution provides you with a single source of information on the current state of your backups, across all customers and data sources. A unified, web-based console makes it easy for MSPs to check backup status, schedule backup jobs, and perform troubleshooting activities as needed.
3. DATA SECURITY
Your customers will no doubt want assurance that your off-site backup solution doesn’t expose their data to risk or vulnerability. This is of crucial importance because your reputation as a company is on the line if a breach does occur. A robust off-site data backup solution should offer end-to-end encryption, ISO-certified data centers, and other compliance-based security measures. This will allow you to reassure your customers their data is in safe hands, both in-transit and at rest.
4. REDUCED COST AND TIME
Managing backup appliances can be a time-consuming and expensive job. In addition to the upfront cost, they also require ongoing capacity upgrades, routine maintenance, periodic firmware and software updates, and repairs. These costs add up over time and can have a significant impact on an IT budget, especially the costs that come as a surprise, like unexpected repairs. Off-site backup solutions alleviate these hardware issues for MSPs and their teams.
Why should MSPs provide off-site backup storage?
Off-site backups serve to protect MSPs and their customers from the unexpected issues that are bound to occur at some time or another, to disastrous effects. They can help MSPs provide added protection against a complete system crash or hardware failure—and help them quickly regain customer data if there is a breach. No matter which of the benefits listed in this guide most appeal to you, the right off-site backup solution can help you achieve and deliver a more secure and effective data backup strategy.
Choosing the right off-site backup solution
Finding a cloud backup solution that maximizes efficiency, reduces costs, and simplifies your backup processes can feel overwhelming. There are so many options available in 2020, each with its own unique approach. To save you from frustration in your search, we recommend SolarWinds® Backup.
SolarWinds Backup provides MSPs with multiple ways of rapidly recovering data stored on servers, workstations, applications, and Microsoft 365. For example, you can use SolarWinds off-site backup software to restore files or folders, or to conduct a full bare-metal recovery to physical or virtual environments. This easy-to-use and dynamic platform also offers continuous recovery through a standby virtual server, allowing you to achieve the fastest possible recovery of critical machines and data.
This solution takes a multi-pronged approach to data storage security and leverages advanced security measures. It uses end-to-end AES 256-bit encryption, and encrypts data both during transit and when it’s at rest. Once data reaches its destination, SolarWinds ensures that security remains a top priority. SolarWinds makes use of 30 global data centers offering the highest level of reliability, availability, and security—allowing you to keep customer data in region, no matter where your customers are in the world. MSPs can also use SolarWinds Backup to create their own private encryption key or choose to have one automatically generated during the deployment process.
When choosing an off-site backup solution, efficiency is a key consideration. MSPs managing numerous customer accounts won’t want to have to visit offices in-person or waste time on manual and repetitive processes. For this reason, choosing a solution with a centralized and user-friendly dashboard is essential. SolarWinds Backup allows you to perform all backup activities from a single, integrated console. This includes scheduling backups and recovering data for physical and virtual servers, workstations, documents, and Microsoft 365. This tool even allows IT professionals to automate backup deployment based on device profiles.
The web-based management console for SolarWinds Backup can be accessed from almost any location, at any time. All backups are sent directly to SolarWinds private cloud, eliminating the need for expensive local appliances. You also have the option of creating a local copy which can be kept using the storage medium of your choice and can make recovery even faster. This off-site data backup solution was built for the cloud and designed for quick data transfer over a WAN. This means it delivers speed and efficiency without the extra costs associated with traditional backup solutions providing cloud “add-ons.”
If you’d like to try SolarWinds Backup before committing, download the free 30-day trial today.