Tip

Developing managed backup services

Developing managed backup services can be challenging. Given the cost and complexity involved with implementing and protecting data on an ongoing basis, data backup and recovery presents challenges for organizations of all sizes. For smaller organizations, managed backup services offer an alternative to the capital and labor-intensive, do-it-yourself backup approach.

If you're a value-added reseller (VAR) or systems integrator looking to launch and offer such managed data protection services, this tip will present you with key considerations to take into account. Your options for developing a managed backup service involve one of the following or a combination of the following approaches.

  • Managed service providers (MSPs) develop their own software to deliver backup services to clients. Some MSPs, such as EVault, sell their own software to VARs or integrators, or they provide managed services directly to clients via their own facilities.

  • Enterprise software from legacy backup software vendors, including IBM Tivoli, EMC Legato or Symantec, may be acquired and then configured by an MSP for use as a service by a VAR or integrator.

  • Backup services software vendors may design software specifically for service providers. Asigra is an example of such a company, which for 20 years has been in the business of supplying software that MSPs can rebrand and deploy as a service to businesses of various sizes.

  • MSPs use software via one of the previous examples

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  • and deliver service capabilities to resellers. For example, an MSP acting as a VAR or integrator manufactures a vendor's software, rebrands it with its own logo or perhaps adds a GUI or other value that resellers or service providers may offer.

  • Self-contained data protection appliances may be deployed with hardware and software to a customer's site, where that customers relies on managed service offerings that provide remote management and electronic transmission of backup data to a remote hosted site on a regular basis.

Manufactures of software for managed backup services include Asigra, Avamar and EVault, among others. Managed service providers include Iron Mountain, AmeriVault, Storage Elements, Hewlett-Packard, EVault and Arsenal. Other backup and data protection packages include those from Yosemite, EMC Dantz, Intradyn, FilesX, Vembu, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

Click for the continuation of this tip, Key quetions to ask when developing backup managed services

About the author: Greg Schulz is founder and senior analyst with the IT infrastructure analyst and consulting firm the StorageIO group. A 25-year IT veteran, Greg has worked as an IT customer, vendor, author and industry analyst. He has worked with applications, servers, databases, networks, storage, DR/BC, performance and capacity planning and associated management tools in IBM Mainframe, OpenVMS, Unix, Windows and other environments. Greg is also the author and illustrator of the book Resilient Storage Networks. (Elsevier) and has contributed material to Storage magazine and other TechTarget publications. Greg holds degrees in computer science and masters in software engineering from the University of St. Thomas.

This was first published in October 2006

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