Actual photo of customer's building after hit by a tornado near Birmingham, Alabama

Admit it, you’ve thought about being a superhero—what special power you might have, what kind of outfit you would wear, the special gadgets you would create, and even perhaps a sidekick or secret hideout.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) may not have special outfits, sidekicks, or hideouts, but they are certainly considered superheroes when they’re able to quickly restore lost data for one of their small or medium-sized business (SMB) customers. This is first of a series of blogs to feature stories about the many ways SMBs lose data and the MSPs who save the day.

If you’re a business owner who has experienced server failure, you know that loss of data combined with loss of work and customer business can be a fatal combination. A 2010 University of Texas study found that 43% of companies who suffered a severe data loss from a disaster never reopened their doors, and 51% closed within two years. Some SMB owners think such a disaster won’t happen to them. Fortunately, the business in the following example planned ahead before encountering one of the intense tornados that tore through parts of the United States this past spring.

Tornado Ripped Off Roof, Sent Backup Appliance to OZ

Near Birmingham, Alabama in May 2011, a powerful tornado caused severe damage for a business in the utilities services industry. The tornado pulled the roof off of the office building and ripped the onsite backup appliance right out of the server room. The building was destroyed, and the business could have been as well. However, the business’ MSP had properly prepared for such an event with the Axcient backup, business continuity and disaster recovery solution. The MSP simply contacted Axcient, got another appliance shipped out, and plugged it in at the business’ temporary location. The data was fully restored and the business was able to continue, even though rebuilding their original office will take some time.

Not all MSPs get to be such heroes. In the above example, an MSP using only onsite backup would have suffered complete data loss for its customer. Those using tape for offsite backup might find that the tape was also damaged or failed to restore, as is the case with many tape backup restores. Even with a successful restore from tape or other backup methods, it could have taken days to get the business back up and running, leaving a costly gap in service before business could continue as usual.

The only data protection solution that enables MSPs to be truly heroic is one that offers the triple-protection of onsite backup, cloud-based disaster recovery, and the ability to sustain business continuity while doing complete server failover and restores without any loss of work. The MSP with such a solution truly has a superpower that will help them save the data and save the day.

dmortensen