One thing MSP and StorageCraft partner, Guy Baroan, noted in our recent ebook “Making Disaster Recovery Easy” is that yes, it is possible to have 100 percent up time, if you’ve got the money to plan and pay for it. Most small to medium-sized businesses won’t have the resources to have the redundancies necessary to create that level of uptime, and to be fair, it’s simply not worth it for a lot of businesses. Typically, we suggest that partners be flexible when they’re thinking about formulating service offerings. A tiered method can make sense for an MSP (even StorageCraft uses tiered service levels for our cloud offering), but it must be one that’s inclusive of all types and sizes of clients.
You’ll certainly want to illustrate the importance of protecting data to your clients, but it’s also true that somebody in a geographical area that’s extremely low-risk for natural disasters probably won’t need to put the same amount of money into their disaster recovery plan as somebody in tornado alley. Yes, to maximize uptime you need to plan for everything imaginable, but actually paying to have every single system in place gets extremely expensive extremely quickly, which is why identifying the most critical systems and data is first. For many businesses, the critical data may be the only data they can feasibly afford to save, while others won’t be able to part with any of it (people working in the medical and legal industries likely fall in this category).
In order to provide clients with the level of disaster recovery service they need, it’s best to use a backup solution that’s flexible. If a client needs a handful of desktops backed, you should be able to do it for them. If a client wants a server backed up to a NAS device then replicated offsite, they should have that option as well. Perhaps you’ve found a way to sell clients a home-built BDR device with backup software pre-loaded—that might be another option. Some clients might even want something simple like a “poor-man’s cloud” option and use hot-swappable drives, leaving one drive onsite and taking the other home—a decent way to protect the most critical data a smaller business has. You’ve got to work within realistic boundaries that weigh true needs and budgets in the balance.
Ultimately, you’ve got to consider every angle when you’re helping clients determine how much of their budget their willing to allocate to something like a backup and disaster recovery plan because every business is going to be different. There are certainly dozens of options at every price point to fill the needs just about any partner might have, you’ve just got to make them available.