MSP Today Expert Feature
February 27, 2013

Tornado Season is Upon Us, and Cloud Backup is Essential for MSPs Offering BDR and Business Continuity Services

March marks the official start of tornado season in the U.S., and perhaps not coincidentally, the film "Oz the Great and Powerful" will hit theaters March 8. The new flick is a creative take on the classic "Wizard of Oz" story but also begins with the same jarring event that set the original picture in motion - a tornado.

Tornadoes are a fact of life for much of the world, and the National Weather Service recorded 936 tornados in the U.S. in 2012. For managed service providers (MSPs), particularly those located in the infamous "Tornado Alley" areas of the central U.S., preparation for tornadoes is not only a matter of business survival, it's a matter of life and death. With 90 percent of tornadoes happening in this portion of the country, service providers and their customers simply can't afford to ignore the consequences of these devastating natural events.

Coming up with a solid and comprehensive backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan is a surefire way to ensure your business operations will run smoothly in the event of such a disaster. A business continuity plan that encompasses keeping your everyday operations on track and also covers backing up and securing your valuable data in the event of a power failure or server shutdown is an absolute necessity. MSPs can put this backup infrastructure in place and offer it as a service to protect their customers in the event of a problem.

BDR and business continuity provider Datto recently published a blog highlighting some of the steps service providers can take to make sure business runs smoothly during tornado season. For Datto Partner and MSP Team Logic IT out of Memphis, there are a number of special considerations businesses can take to protect their data and ensure business continuity in tornado hot spots.

"We’re talking about a catastrophic event that, in seconds, takes out two miles of urban or rural property," said Drayton Meyers of Team Logic IT. "I tell [customers] the only way to keep their data safe from this level of destruction is by employing the kind of full business continuity that you can only get with on-site and off-site cloud backup."

Meyers added that many of his clients have an attitude that this type of disaster won't happen to them or their business. In those cases, he said he explains that trying to restore data when primitive file backup methods are used is difficult and time consuming with the end result of possibly losing critical files and information in the process.

"Bandwidth is also a big issue," added Meyers. "Full business continuity is difficult to achieve when the pipeline is too small to push the data through efficiently. The nature of a tornado makes it difficult to prepare for, with maybe just minutes to spare."

Experienced MSPs understand the importance of cloud backup and can explain to their customers what is necessary to design and implement the proper business continuity and BDR plan to meet their needs. For service providers in tornado alley, this is not only a business opportunity, but an absolute necessity.

Edited by Brooke Neuman