Every company should have a back up and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, and because of that it can be difficult to take a step back and have a larger view of BDR across multiple industries. To complicate things even further, not all companies have the same requirements for backup and disaster recovery; for example, clients in the healthcare vertical must maintain HIPAA standards across all servers and endpoints; financial institutions must adhere to multiple compliance regulations; and other industries may not have any regulations at all, other than the ones that are self-imposed at the organizational level.

Because of this, some information about the state of BDR may be surprising. A third-party survey commissioned by Continuum in 2014 talked to 400 people across the IT industry, and a few key facts emerged that were rather interesting.

Let’s test your knowledge on just a few of them! Don’t worry, you won’t be graded, and there won’t be a final exam.

Question #1:

On average, how long do most SMBs need to retain data?

  1. 1–3 months
  2. 4–6 months
  3. 7–12 months
  4. 1–3 years
  5. 3+ years or more
Click to see answer

While there is plenty of information to suggest that clients require access to data that’s been backed up from present day up to and including the one-year mark, the need for data retention after that time drops sharply. And, while there is demand for data backed up longer than one year (i.e., legacy data that’s intended to be preserved for two years, three years, or even longer), clients should strongly consider exactly what data needs to be backed up for more than one year. This is just another example of how BDR needs can and will vary per industry, and being able to accurately pinpoint the right solution for an SMB is what drives customer satisfaction and business growth.

Related: My Friday the 13th BDR Horror Story

In many cases, there may be a chance that your client requires less cloud storage space than they initially thought, which can be a boon for MSPs managing pooled storage on a public cloud BDR platform, where profit margins can scale along with client needs.

On to the next question!

Question #2

Which operating system is your BDR solution being applied to most frequently for backup?

  1. Windows 7
  2. Windows 8
  3. Windows XP
  4. Windows 95
  5. Linux Ubuntu
Click to see answer

For those of you who guessed A. or B., you may be rather surprised! While Windows 7 and 8 both rated high among those surveyed, Windows XP edged them out. Launched in late 2001, XP was a stalwart OS for the better part of a decade, despite numerous efforts by Microsoft to bring users onto newer platforms. Until it was finally superseded in 2012 by Windows 7, XP was the number one most widely used OS, and to have a loyal following of users to this day, even though it is far less secure than modern operating systems. Users like XP so much that they continue to use it even far after the support expiration date expired, making it massively vulnerable to newer threats and hacks.

Related: Don't Let Clients Rely on Luck When It Comes to BDR

Given this much love for XP among SMBs, it may not be that shocking that many systems still exist out there that require BDR solutions. It’s a prime example of the fact that SMBs often are not focusing on IT concerns—they are focusing on their business. As an MSP, if you are servicing Windows XP systems, it might be time to point your clients in the direction of newer operating systems—systems that can take advantage of the full benefits of managed IT services, including modern RMM and cloud-based BDR platforms.

For those who guessed Ubuntu, we salute you for your creativity and ingenuity, but it just does not have the market penetration of Windows operating systems.

For those who guessed Windows 95—we’re a little concerned; a lot has happened in 20 years!

We’ll have more interesting BDR facts soon—thanks for playing!

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: The Keys to Effective Backup & Disaster Recovery