Aloha! It’s summer! When basking about lazily and catching some sun should be the order of the day. This is as good a time as any for MSPs to put the stress of tending to tickets on the back burner and get busy making delicious Hawaiian cocktails and celebrating life island-style. 

Drink. Sleep. Beach. Repeat. Right?  

Well, not exactly.  

Before the good times roll, MSPs need to consider the chaos surrounding modern client workloads. Today, data lives everywhere — on-premises, endpoints, clouds and SaaS applications. MSPs that fail to protect client data, corporate systems, networks and IPs generally end up facing the heat, and not the summery type.  

MSPs need to ensure they can deliver a robust backup and disaster recovery (DR) service without breaking a sweat. Here are five ways to spend less time on backup and DR and more time on your summer cocktails. 

 

1. More Pina Colada, Less Deployment: A Unified Platform to Secure All Workloads

Clients may be complicated but protecting them doesn’t have to be. Protect everything your customers rely on to keep their businesses running, regardless of whether the workloads are physical, virtual, deployed on-premises, at remote locations and home offices, or in SaaS applications.   

New technologies, such as cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure, have gone mainstream and can further complicate data protection. Moreover, legacy backup tools generally protect only a limited set of technologies.   

Today’s modern backup and recovery solutions break down silos and eliminate the fragmented approach to data protection by providing comprehensive protection for all workloads, regardless of deployment method or physical location.   

Using three different protection tools means three times the complexity and prolonging technician time to log in, monitor and troubleshoot issues. It also increases the risk of interoperability and recoverability when your customers need it most. A unified approach is the answer to this problem since it provides visibility into your entire backup environment, making it easier to protect data across silos and locations.   

2. More Sunset Punch, Less Manual Testing: Automate Backup Validation at Application & Services Level

Recovery testing is time-consuming and expensive, which is why many MSPs don’t (or can’t) prioritize it as an essential element of data recovery. Ironically, the only way to know you’re not wasting time, energy and resources on a recovery strategy for your customers is to test it regularly and see the results firsthand.  

A new generation of tools will automatically test and certify full recovery of simple and complex environments with minimal involvement from your techs. Using backup files, the entire infrastructure is recreated on the backup appliance, a sandboxed environment or in the cloud, to ensure all data and application dependencies are correctly recovered and functional.  

Detailed reports showing each step of the recovery process, Recovery Point and Recovery Time Actuals, as well as any potential recovery issues, are automatically sent to administrators via email. These reports can be exported or templated to present to clients. Since testing is fully automated, you simply have to set it up to run at the frequency that’s suitable for each customer. 

3. More Daiquiri, Less Stressing: Thwart Ransomware in Its Tracks

Ransomware is one of the most significant threats to any client’s IT infrastructure today. Attacks have exploded in frequency and cybercriminals are constantly inventing new ways to slip past traditional security and backup defenses. Recovering from a ransomware attack can take days or even weeks.   

New ransomware variants create an attack loop by building in periods of gestation or dormancy to hide their behavior in hopes of being backed up alongside legitimate data. Enterprise-class data protection solutions can quickly identify ransomware behavior by leveraging artificial intelligence.    

Newly developed algorithms and machine learning help identify anomalous patterns in backup data. Running against every backup, the AI looks at several heuristics, from rates of change, data entropy (randomness), encryption and more.   

Upon detection, email and dashboard alerts are sent immediately to administrators, and suspected backups are flagged with purposeful icons to prevent users from attempting to recover from infected files. In combination with Recovery Assurance testing, you can quickly identify your most recent, clean, fully tested point of restore. 

 

4. More Mai Tai Tiki Pops, Less Sifting: Global UI Provides Unparalleled Insight Into All Protected Workloads

A single, global dashboard should be mandatory to manage all aspects of backup and recovery, especially when managing several customers and locations. Jumping through different logins and having to enter credentials each time impedes technician efficiency and increases time to resolution for even common issues. Using different UIs as part of a stitched-together solution may mean that disparate applications have been cobbled together in a crude attempt to appear like an integrated platform.  

Conversely, a single user interface enables greater familiarity with the commands and fewer clicks to accomplish your goals regardless of whether you’re protecting customer data center assets, remote endpoints or cloud-based workloads.  

The UI should allow you to see, in a single glance, the complete health of all deployed appliances, sites managed and any risk exposure. Centralized management and intelligent alerting help quickly cut through the noise, enabling your technicians to focus on what matters most and ensuring all data is protected. 

5. More Bahama Mama, Less Troubleshooting: Self-Heal to Save Management and Maintenance Time  

Self-healing disks in appliances identify, diagnose and eliminate a variety of common sources of disk failure. The technology has been designed on the principle of predictive analytics, which automatically monitors and analyzes performance trends to predict and prevent hardware failures.  

Predictive analytics enables devices to understand what is within the range of normal performance and predict hardware breakdowns. As intelligent devices gain greater knowledge from analyzing larger volumes of data, they will more accurately predict failures, which means recovery tactics can be deployed before customers are affected.   

Advanced solutions are starting to bring more automation in the infrastructure use case as well. By monitoring and autonomously remediating environmental errors that could prevent backups from occurring, you can ensure client-side success criteria is met before backups are ever run. Self-healing technologies can be deployed via a no-touch SaaS model, which saves your techs time and effort in troubleshooting customer environments, without increasing management overhead. 

Learn how your MSP can detox client IT environments

Enjoy a Relaxed Summer With Unitrends MSP

You need a break and Unitrends MSP wants to make sure you enjoy your island cocktails while your clients run their business operations uninterrupted. Unitrends MSP Unified Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solution will ensure all hard-working IT technicians and MSP owners get the break they deserve without worrying about client backup and recovery. 

Find out if Unitrends MSP is the right fit for your organization. Talk to us!