More and more, businesses are dependent on their data to operate. Todd Creek is President of Dura-Tech (Manteo, IL), and he’s a member of the ASCII Group. Creek has provided disaster recovery (DR) services since beginning his business 24 years ago and shares his insights on how to successfully keep data accessible and secure.
What challenges, if any, did you have to overcome to implement disaster recovery solutions?
Creek: One of the many challenges is in the initial design of the solution. There is no “one size fits all.” You have to work with your client to ensure you can meet expected Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). We run into a lot of instances where vendors are selling a one size fits all solution that does not meet the client’s needs.
What features of a disaster recover solution are most important — how do you build the best offering?
Creek: Obviously, reliability of the solution is most important. We are constantly evaluating new products and solutions we offer as part of our DR solution. We look at ease of use, support, cost, security, and what I call cloud ability, (how easily can we sync data with a cloud resource). We build our offering to include the software, hardware, cloud storage and monitoring of the solution. We try to standardize our solution hardware and software offering to keep training, support and our overall solution costs down for us and our clients. Our solutions have to follow the industry standard 3-2-1 rule for data backup.
What benefits do your clients receive from a disaster recovery solution?
Creek: They receive the peace of mind that their data is secure and available in the event of a disaster. We offer a turnkey solution so there is nothing the client needs to do or monitor it is all provided in our solution offering. They also know that they can keep their business, school or government agency running if they are ever compromised as their data will be secure and available with a well built and monitored DR solution.
What have been the benefits to your business?
Creek: Many don’t understand what RTO and RPO in data recovery mean. Many businesses have no idea how they would recover the data and get back into business after an event. They believe they have the data backed up somewhere but never think about the recover phase of the solution. Some of these cloud backups can take days or weeks to recover your data. Can a business wait that long to get access to their data?
What advice would you give a new MSP about offering DR?
Creek: You have to standardize your offering and realize one size does not fit all. You have to intimately understand your solution and its capabilities and know what the limitations are. Research and test your solution over and over to ensure you can recover data as you promise your clients. Sometimes the industry big name solution is not always the best solution. Avoid being drawn into the hype of a product until you can test and verify it. We have found many times that products do not always work as promised.
About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com.