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Backup & Disaster Recovery

Protecting your data is essential. Backing up data at the proper intervals and being able to quickly restore it in the event of a disaster is a key competence your MSP needs. Most MSPs offer backup services, but not all offer disaster recovery services. Backups are critical when data is corrupted or lost, or if a system  is infected. Disaster recovery is a plan to ensure your IT systems  and data are back up and running should your IT assets (e.g., data center) be destroyed by a major disaster, such as a fire, a hurricane, or even a major data breach. More advanced MSPs use sophisticated automated technology backups for most network equipment, ensuring faster recovery in case of a failure.

Mike:     Hi. I'm Mike Matchett with Small World Big Data, and I'm talking with Jeremy Kurth who's the CTO of Logically. Right now, we're talking about backup and disaster recovery. It's a topic that's much deeper than at first sounds like. I mean, at first it's like, "Okay, yeah, I make a tape backup and if there's some sort of disaster I can restore that tape and get my system going." Maybe that was the case 30 years ago. No longer the case. 

Now we've got hybrid systems, heterogeneous systems, we've got clouds in there, we've got distributed users, we've got data laying everywhere. If you're an IT guy trying to do backup and DR and cover 100% of your thing, it can be ... I won't say a nightmare, but it can be a real challenge, and I don't really know too many companies that internally can manage the whole problem by themselves. Jeremy, tell us little bit about your view on what backup and disaster recovery should be for somebody. What should they expect out of a good backup and DR Process?

Jeremy:    Oh, boy. Management, number one. I've been often told that, "Well, backup, we can just kind of set it and forget it and we're good to go." And the analogy, I spit back to them is I say, "How many backup products are there in the market?" "I don't know, 10,000?" Why don't you just pick the one that you can set it and forget it and then you're done? I guess the analogy I'm leading in with, and the reason that backups can't be just set and forgot is they all need that management piece, Mike. And in addition to the importance of data backups, it's gotta be an hourly or daily or real time management effort to keep things running. 

Mike:   So it's not just something you set and forget. It's not something you just find one vendor and click the box. I mean, they all say it, but we know it's not true, right? And we certainly never get 100% of our data covered. Is it true then that if I bring in an MSP into my IT organization that the MSP can really pick up and run all my backup and DR and bring all that management to me? Is that something I could expect if I engage one?

Jeremy:   Absolutely. I think most MSPs today that have been around for at least a handful of years, it's really considered the IT 101 of our space, and it's probably of all the things made, the most progress in the past five or 10 years from the early on BDR or backup and disaster recovery devices to today's augmented local plus hybrid solutions. There's quite a bit the of improvement in the industry for us as a whole and the offerings that we can provide to our clients. 

And as you mentioned, it can go not only locally now, but also sprawled out to environments or demographics within the organization or up into cloud and tie right into that data set. It's an important asset to also think of when backing up is 0365 data or what have you, NET Suite information and making sure that you've got a real comprehensive solution. And MSPs today have a lot of options at their fingertips, which is great. 

Mike:   Yeah, I've got to increasingly backup the stuff in the cloud as well as on premise and be able to restore it. And then, there's this great thing about disaster recovery as a service or at least bringing my ... In case of a real disaster or something can bring it up, an MSP is somebody who's got a lot of experience in that, I think. 

Jeremy:   Absolutely. How I think about disaster recovery is the data's one thing, but when you're thinking of a true DR Situation for an organization, it's going to extend beyond just the IT systems. It's going to include the people, the power, if we did have a localized event and/or regional event, how do we truly get this organization back up and running? And what are the protocols? Having a disaster recovery plan without access to technology can often be one of the biggest challenge of implementing it. 

How do you get to your contacts list if everything's literally ... and your contacts on your ERP system or what have you? For us, as an MSP, really the maturity model of a DR plan is not just around the data's and the systems themselves, but really working tightly with the organization to have that three 60 degree view, to really be able to get them back up and functional should a horrible event occur. 

Mike:   And when we were talking about some of the other segments and services you offer, this idea of applied expertise, learning automation and encapsulating that and bringing it back to your customers keeps coming up. Tell us a little bit about Logically and what do you guys do in this backup DR space to help do things better? 

Jeremy:    I think this stems from the fact that we've been around the block for a little while. Our managed services in its current format have been sold in this way as a deliverable since 2003, and we've learned a lot, Mike. Some of the challenges that we've learned are that no solution or software platform is perfect, number one. That our people, as well, make changes and change control and auditing is a very challenging thing to do.

Early on, when we brought on our development arm to start developing OpLogic, which really ties systems together that MSPs use to make them smarter or more intelligent, is around that change management and auditing capabilities. We've experienced things over the years that we've had to really fix. For example, adding a virtual volume to a server. And if there's not a change management behind that, if your platform software that you're running for your managed back ups or your RMM doesn't pick up that activity, that volume could go unprotected for a period of time. Our Up Logic platform catches things like that. 

Another small, quick example is, if you're relying on your backup software to alert you when a backup fails, what happens if that backup software stops altogether? So you've got to have a Big Brother approach to managing backups. It's just super important and not something that you can rely on just one solution to do for you. 

Mike:   I mean, I'm sitting here thinking, if there was one thing that I'd want to have in my back pocket, if I was running an IT enterprise, it'd be a really solid backup and DR plan run by somebody who knows what they're doing. I think that's a great way to start a conversation with folks, Jeremy. 

Jeremy:   Absolutely. Thank you, Mike. 

Mike:  Well, thanks for explaining that to me today. I'm sure we're going to be back and talk about some more segments here shortly. Thanks. 

Jeremy:   Excellent.