Backup to the Future Part IV: How the Cloud Will Continue to Impact BDR ServicesA few years back, everyone was welcoming you to the cloud. Now that we’re all “here,” cloud services are evolving. For MSPs, this affects everything from pricing and packaging BDR products to everyday service delivery. Let’s explore a few ways that the cloud has impacted and will continue to impact BDR for managed IT service providers.

Cloud Architecture

When modern cloud architecture started taking hold, it was assumed that at worst, cloud services would threaten MSP service delivery, and at best would unify service offerings into a simplified BDR solution. However, neither predictions ever panned out, and the reality was far more complicated.

As cloud platforms began to crystalize into tangible services, BDR services became splintered based on client needs, data retention requirements and pricing details. Private cloud architectures, as it turned out, were best suited for certain requirements, while massive public cloud architectures were better suited for others—namely, large enterprise-level storage requirements. Of course, local backups did not disappear either, and were well suited for specific objectives for some SMBs.

The result is that MSPs today are now able to competitively utilize a hybrid environment that is best suited to meet the needs of SMB clients. Through employing a mix of public, private, and on-site backup technology, MSPs have gone forward to be successful in BDR service delivery. This type of hybrid utilization of cloud architecture also enables BDR solutions like Continuum BDR to successfully and effectively cater to the backup requirements of SMBs.

Storage Options

Before the cloud, storage was expensive, limited to physical disks, labor-intensive to set up, and prone to failure. The advent of the cloud changed all of these issues, providing access to a scalable solution for MSPs to enter the BDR sector en masse. However, with availability comes choice, and MSPs today must navigate an often-confusing range of options for client data storage in order to provide the best solution for their clients while preserving the best margins on their service.

It’s easy to think of storage costs as if they were smartphone data plans—it appears easiest and the best value for MSPs to just go with a flat fee unlimited storage plan and move on to other issues. However, just like with mobile phones, there’s no such thing as true unlimited storage. As they say, the devil is in the details, and aside from performance limitations or additional fees, MSPs risk losing the profitable edge on BDR services if they pay too much for cloud storage that is underutilized month over month.

Pricing and Packaging

In order to maximize margins, it’s important for MSPs to pay attention to their cloud storage utilization and seek a BDR platform like Continuum BDR that emphasizes an active approach to client data usage. In the case of Continuum BDR, the solution offers multiple flexible packages to best cater to the way your clients back up their data, allowing you to realize a more profitable BDR offering month over month.

And, just like with mobile phones, many BDR solutions require lengthy contracts that put the MSP at a disadvantage in terms of cloud storage utilization, requiring MSPs to pay for space that may never go used. A solution like Continuum BDR changes the rules of cloud storage options. It employs the benefits of modern hybrid cloud architecture and empowers MSPs with a contract-free plan that allows for the flexibility to change storage plans month to month, allowing MSPs to keep an eye on their cloud utilization. We will be discussing more about cloud storage and the options available for MSPs in an upcoming “Backup to the Future” article.

In the past few years, the cloud has evolved significantly. As MSPs adapt to the ever-changing IT landscape, there is no doubt that the cloud will continue to change, and the ways it can be used to deliver effective and profitable IT services will move forward as well. Therefore, it’s important to keep one eye on the past to see where cloud systems have merged, while looking to the future to see where the next paradigm shifts will occur.

“Backup to the Future” is a blog series that explores the state of the backup and disaster recovery as a service today—and the challenges that come with offering it—and looks forward to the ongoing new paradigms that are dramatically transforming the sector into tomorrow. Click the links to check out part one, part two and part three!

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