Even if I didn’t cover the BDR space, I think the message of backing up my data would be ingrained in my mind. After all, advertisements from backup vendors appear everywhere – mostly due to the prevalence of freemium cloud offers. A hard drive crash two weeks ago, however, reminded me of another important truth that more VARs and MSPs should be using to their advantage: data backups lose their value if they can’t be recovered in a timely manner.
Here’s a quick synopsis of my situation: My hard drive started acting as if it was running a data backup, Adobe PhotoShop, and InDesign all at the same time — lots of freezing up, lots of noise, and extremely frustrating. A “helpful” Windows message informed me I had a hard drive problem and should back up my computer right away. It was too late — there were too many bad sectors, and restarts and AV scans offered no relief. It was time to implement the recovery plan. And, that’s when I was reminded of an important IT truth: free cloud services offer no help when it comes to the recovery plan, and that’s where a VAR/MSP can differentiate itself and justify its more expensive service.
I had to wait two days for a replacement hard drive. Fortunately I have a second computer that I can use to access my business email and all my data, but not every customer would have that same luxury at their place of employment.
After the hard drive arrived, there were big decisions to make:
1. Do I attempt an image recovery from my latest good backup, or should I pull out the system recovery disk, do a fresh install, and then do a file recovery from the cloud?
2. Despite using image backup software and a cloud backup, I ran into several glitches along the way, including a corrupted user account (caused by stopping a slow data recovery and moving to plan ‘B’) and problems transferring my EFS certificate.
The bottom line is that I lost a good 8 hours of time getting everything set up and working properly. Even though I didn’t lose any data, it would have been way more cost-effective — even for a one-man shop like myself — to be on a managed services plan rather than attempting this feat on my own. I can only imagine the economies of scale for a 10-person shop that suffered a server failure.
Keep that in mind the next time a prospect tries to pit you against the latest free cloud backup service. When you move the topic away from backup — and onto recovery where it belongs — paying for your services is really a no-brainer.