Managed versus self-managed or unmanaged backups

Wednesday 26th July 2017
by Simon Golding

Simon Golding

Managed versus self-managed or unmanaged backups

With the continual evolution of the cloud and enhancements in data security and encryption, organisations now have the option to work with external partners or Managed Service providers when it comes to data backup management. Traditional methods of backup (tape) are largely of the unmanaged variety and usually administered by an internal staff member who may or may not be part of the IT team.

Firstly, what does each mean?

With managed data backups or Backup as a Service (BaaS), a third party takes care of everything, from ensuring the backups are complete and verified to performing test restores on a regular basis – all of which will enhance regulatory and compliance requirements.

An unmanaged backup environment relies on an internal process and a set of manual tasks to ensure backups are complete, tapes rotated and removed securely and test restores carried out at regular intervals. This requires a series of manual tasks which are both time consuming and prone to error.

Which should you use?

Here is a checklist of items to consider:

  • Staff resource and competency
  • Level of control needed and access required
  • Customisation required
  • Current environment
  • Future requirements
  • Security
    Compliance and regulation
  • Storage location (hardware/cloud)
  • Price you are willing to pay

That all sounds fine you think, I can do that myself because it will cost less. What is very important to note is that having confidence in the restoration process and the integrity of the data backup being restored is far less risky in a managed backup environment. Using a data backup supplier with an unmanaged backup service works fine until right up to that moment when something terrible has happened and you need to restore your data quickly.

Using a Managed Services Provider (MSP) means that they have complete visibility of the data backup and restoration process and in a proactively managed and tested backup environment issues simply do not arise.

If you want a solution that will fix your business problems and meet regulatory requirements without giving you extra work, then a managed data backup solution is for you.

Managed data backups benefits

Delegating data backup to a reliable third party means that you no longer have to worry. Your MSP takes care of everything – monitoring, management, testing, security with offline or offsite data copy, all of which contribute to attaining regulatory and compliance requirements.

  1. The biggest advantage of managed backups is peace of mind knowing that the data can be efficiently restored.
  2. Then, there is the removal of stress and hassle from your IT team and the regulatory/ compliance worries from your directors.
  3. Security is also a huge benefit in managed data backups. You know your data is secure with a third party and you know that you are meeting GDPR requirements.
  4. Cost. Do you know how much 1 hour’s downtime would cost? Forrester Research found that the downtime average cost per hour for a medium sized business was almost $350,000. Using Backup as a Service provided by a third party, you simply pay a monthly fee. As a result your business saves on the upfront cost of having to purchase software and servers to do the job in house as well as the cost associated with the delay in getting the data restored.
  5. Maintenance. Another major benefit is the relief of not having to maintain it. When you hire a third party to manage your data backups, you are giving them the data to host and paying for them to maintain it. It not only saves on the cost of IT personnel, but also removes the worry if in-house servers are working properly, along with having to manage constant software updates.

Are you convinced? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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