Across the MSP industry, the potential of missed backups remains a constant risk. Almost everyone working with backups has experience with data loss due to backup errors or missed backups, which is why many in the industry have been looking for a solution.
With more than 14 years of experience in the MSP industry, Patrick Verkerk, assessment administrator at Gflex, has seen how the business has grown and what options MSPs had to solve their backup needs. In 2022, he found his backup monitoring solution: Backup Radar.
Verkerk, the first employee at the Netherlands-based MSP, watched the team grow from just the owner and himself to a full team of 17 staff members. Gflex supports a full range of services for clients, from simple hardware management to server environments, and of course, backups.
Supporting businesses across the Netherlands, Gflex needs to be certain their support can be relied upon at any time of day. Verkerk said the restaurant industry represents a sizable portion of their client base and they need to be operational 24/7. As the MSP and their client base grows, staying on top of backups has become increasingly more complex and time consuming.
Verkerk and the team brought on Backup Radar to automate and provide consistency to their workflow. Allowing staff to focus on their work and minimize the risk of backup failures impacting clients.
One of the most common and dangerous risks to MSPs are backups that don’t complete and don’t give an error or failure notification. Because the backup doesn’t technically “fail” MSPs don’t receive notification of that issue to address manually. This can lead to some backups going weeks and potentially months without any successful backups.
Verkerk himself found this out as Gflex began using Backup Radar for the first time, as they found one of the servers had not been backing up for a week.
“We just found one a couple of weeks ago that wasn’t running for the first week before we started using Backup Radar. So that’s, in our opinion, the most dangerous one. The missed ones, the ones that don’t send the report out,” he said.
“We found out that the SMTP server was incorrect in this case, so that explains a lot of course. We also checked all the servers that we are running to make sure that all are enrolled in Backup Radar so that when the backup doesn’t run, we get a ticket output.”
If something goes wrong for a client and they need a backup, not being able to restore the data is a devastating blow. Both through the loss of data but also the time and effort it will take to recover from that loss and rebuild. Being unable to recover data, in the event of hardware failure or cyber attack, could also leave the client unable to operate for some time, directly damaging their business.
The invisible “missed” backup is the scariest risk, Verkerk said. In addition to the impact on the client, this scenario will likely lead to the loss of that client for your MSP and damage your reputation, making it harder to gain new business in the future.
Backup Radar was able to catch the server that wasn’t completing backups properly and the Gflex team was able to address that issue themselves.
By using automated backup monitoring, Gflex was able to parse through their backup environment with a speed and accuracy that no one could accomplish manually. That is the major reason why Verkerk views Backup Radar as a major solution to their previously time-consuming workflow.
Gflex uses Backup Radar to create a ticket in their PSA when an error occurs for a second or third time, or when a backup does not return anything, depending on what the backup target is. This allows them to cut down on ticket noise from backup errors that are resolved within 24 hours, while keeping up to date with the most important tickets.
Monitoring backups manually has become a massive task for MSP staff across the industry. It can take several hours each week of time dedicated to manually checking through an entire backup environment, which is the main reason why Verkerk brought Backup Radar to Gflex.
The task of monitoring backups manually had been passed around at Gflex, starting with Verkerk, but the drain on staff time was becoming a burden for the team. Verkerk’s colleague, who had been monitoring the backups, said the task was taking up too much of his day.
“The biggest issue was making the backup checks easier. It was taking just simply too much time. Every morning he opened his Outlook and was looking at a huge load of email,” he said.
“We had to memorize which error was just once or which one had occurred the previous day. It was just too much work and it took too much time. So we wanted to solve that issue so that it was going to be easier, and of course, take less time.”
Automated, accurate backup monitoring has saved hours each week they can now spend on more impactful tasks. Verkerk said his colleague that was on backup duty is now spending his time helping customers that are calling or enrolling new projects with existing clients.
“My colleague doesn’t need to spend four hours per day to check the backups. He’s now maybe spending 13 minutes or one hour. So that saves three hours and in that case, time is money because he can spend three hours helping a customer or doing a project for a customer.”
Consistent and comprehensive monitoring also benefits clients, Verkerk said. They can focus on their own customers, without having to worry about their own environment.
For Verkerk, restoring time back to the staff has given them a renewed confidence in their work and communication. They are more certain that backups are fine or if an error occurs they know their ticketing systems are accurate, because of the custom filtering options.
“We are now able to provide our manager with an email report every morning. We had some issues that some backups weren’t looked into properly. With Backup Radar, that issue has been solved. Also, because Backup Radar simply provides a report and says ‘the backup hasn’t run for two days. You need to look into it,’” he said.
“You cannot argue with it as well. So that’s quite helpful in our opinion. I think the most important [impact on Gflex] is just to be absolutely sure that everything is running fine. That’s the biggest part that’s helping me and I think also for my colleagues.”
With significant amounts of time restored back to the Gflex team, they can now focus on what matters most, providing top-tier service for their clients.
Get started with Backup Radar. Book a personalized demo now and tailor a package to suit your needs.