If you're a hosting provider that's already recognized and seized the market need to offer clients back up services, you're halfway there. How are you truly ensuring that your solution is better than your competitors? Are your clients getting the maximum value from your business continuity platform?
Backup systems for hosting providers vary widely across the industry. With the variety or workloads, system designs, and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs), it’s no wonder why we see so much variance in backup system design. So which one is right for you? Look for a platform with these five features!
1. Self-service restores
As the name indicates, this functionality allows your end users to restore backups on demand. As a hosting provider, you should look for backup solutions with self-service restores because they cut labor costs. Also, since your clients can restore at will, they'll be able to immediately respond to disaster scenarios, improving their Recovery Time Objective (RTO). With increased reliance on the Cloud for business processes, your end users may expect to access their hosted data through multiple channels. They may also want to be able to obtain the data you've backed up for them in a similar manner. With self-service restores they have this ease of accessibility. Keep in mind that this backup feature also comes with its caveats, however. When you place control in your end user's hands, the likelihood for user error increases. Similarly, unmanaged restore executions may impede overall backup performance.
2. Ample recovery points
As you know, the RPO measures the number of available recovery points. Look for a backup platform that gives you enough recovery points. How many is enough? It will vary depending on your server workload and customer preferences, but aim for multiple daily recovery points as well as a monthly recovery point. In order to optimize your RPO, opt for Continuous Data Protection (CDP) to conduct high-performance backups in any-time intervals with little impact on server or disk performance. This will let you back up efficiently and regularly!
3. Restore speed
You want to be able to provide clients the fastest recovery time so that you can minimize downtime. That's what they will ultimately prioritize when evaluating backup vendors. Your solution has to protect their critical data and keep them up, running, and profitable. You'll be able to restore their backups quickly with flexible data recovery and Bare Metal Restore. With these core components, you can find recovery points quickly and restore entire servers efficiently without having to reinstall the OS. Now, beware of the solutions that trade a higher restore speed for increased hardware expense and additional storage requirements.
4. Long-term data archiving
To deliver unparalleled backup service to clients, you may choose to offer long-term archiving. This is a different service from backing up. Archives are designed for long-term data retention. You may have clients that want to store information for decades, without a set restoration point. Unlike with backups, they don't need a lightning-quick recovery speed. Archiving is just another way of managing clients' sensitive or valuable information and one less thing they have to worry about.
5. Data Security
Your clients turn to you to protect their critical data. There are a lot of BDR players on the market that claim to meet this standard by offering encrypted backups. While this makes sense on the surface, encryption of the data at rest is usually unnecessary from a security perspective. If the source data is encrypted on the server disk, then it should be encrypted in the backup storage as well. However, encrypting data in the backup storage but not on the source server does little to improve security.
Hosting and cloud providers from all over have flocked to San Diego, CA this week for HostingCon 2015. Having just kicked off Sunday, the event's already going strong, and we're so excited to be a part of it. As a Gold Sponsor of HostingCon, we'll be chiming in with our own outlooks for the latest news, trends, and technology impacting the hosting provider industry. Join Product Director Ben Thomas today, July 28th at 10 am for his session, What Does Your Backup Service Look Like!