For IT providers today building a data backup strategy, the challenge is not the ability to find a data backup service. There are no shortage of backup options to choose from.
The challenge is instead finding a backup solution that offers the right features with the right support at the right price. That’s a lesson that On Call Computer Solutions, a Florida-based MSP, learned over the course of the journey that led it to choose Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage and MSP360 Managed Backup Services (MBS) as its primary data backup solution.
By adopting MSP360 MBS and Wasabi as backup infrastructure, On Call has slashed its backup costs in half — from $14,000 to just $7,000 a year — while gaining more features, flexibility and support than it achieved from other providers.
The Search for MSP Data Backup
On Call, founded in 2003, has substantial data backup requirements. They deliver managed IT services to more than 350 clients spread across a variety of industries in the southern United States. They service more than 200 desktop computers and 70 servers, and currently consume about 38 terabytes’ worth of storage.
As early as 2005, On Call Computer Solutions realized that they needed to add data backup solutions to the services being offered to clients. While a variety of enterprise-class backup services were available for large companies at the time, few catered to the smaller and medium-sized businesses that On Call supported, prompting On Call to begin researching backup tools that would allow them to offer a backup service to clients.
At first, the right backup solution proved elusive. Most of the offerings that On Call considered cost more money than their limited feature sets justified. They had “a poor interface, no multi-tiered management, no granularity in storage usage,” said Christopher Rowland, CEO of On Call Solutions. Despite the fact that most of the services were marketed for MSPs, few provided “a reliable solution at a low cost, making it significantly harder to find one that our customers would be comfortable paying for,” he added.
In addition, it was difficult for On Call to find an affordable cloud-compatible backup service. This challenge proved particularly limiting because being able to backup data to the cloud is particularly important in On Call’s southern United States market, where customers face a real risk of hurricanes or other natural disasters destroying local data centers. Being able to restore data from the cloud, rather than from local backup that may have been compromised in a storm, is a critical advantage following events such as these.
Experimenting with Backup Providers
At first, On Call experimented with a different backup provider. The offering’s chief attraction was its cost, which at $60 per year for 2 terabytes of data backup beat most competitors’ solutions.
Yet the tradeoff for that low cost was subpar features and service. “The promises of bug fixes and feature improvements gradually went unmet and we were left with a buggy, unreliable product that cost us time and money to monitor manually and fix problems that arose,” Christopher said. He mentioned “terrible support” as an additional factor that made the previous solution unacceptable in the long term.
Most of the other cloud-compatible backup solutions that On Call considered around the same time also lacked either the affordability or reliability that the company required.
Switching to MSP360 Managed Backup
After unsuccessfully experimenting with competing options, On Call adopted MSP360 MBS. MSP360 utilizes a bring-your-own-storage (BYOS) principle. Customers are free to choose any of the 30+ cloud storage providers. On Call chose Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage because Wasabi offers some of the lowest storage rates on the market, no charges for API calls and pay-as-you-go billing and with high performance. For On Call, the result was cloud backup costs as low as $5 per terabyte per month.
Cost-savings was only part of the advantages that On Call achieved by adopting MSP360 and Wasabi. The company also benefits from the rich feature set of MSP360. “The central management is great compared to our previous solution, as we can simply browse by customer and manage billing from one account instead of having to individually sign into each client’s account to see their statistics and manage them,” Christopher Rowland said.
In addition, MSP360’s automated reporting feature makes it easier for On Call to track clients’ backup cycles, and the ability to explore backup contents helps On Call staff identify files that were not successfully backed up, then determine why.
Finally, MSP360 Managed Backup allows white-labelling. MSPs can brand the solution as their own when they deliver it to clients. “The ability to white-label the solution is something I don’t believe I saw in any other offering and allowed us to look more professional to our clients,” Christopher explained.
All in all, by combining MSP360 Managed Backup with Wasabi storage, On Call has expanded the reliability and customizability of its backup services while reducing its backup costs to $7,000 per year from the $14,000 that it paid annually.