Importance of Good Ol’ Backups for MSPs

Discussing the topic may seem funny. Backup is necessary, and every MSP knows that — and it is almost always part of the managed services offering. However, MSPs often see backup only as a way to recover the system in case of a failure, data loss or cyber attack. Backups are much more than that.

Useful data

The secondary copy of data can be used in a variety of ways. Starting from building reports and analytics on the type of data present in production systems without putting additional load on the production system, and continuing with using the secondary copy of data for training AI, looking for data modification patterns, and discovering unexpected and suspicious behavior of data modification. Comparing the data on a production system to a backup can help uncover hidden cyber threats — like ransomware gradually encrypting files on the production system and being unnoticed by security solutions.

Archive for investigation and litigation

Having a snapshot of data from the past can be helpful in multiple scenarios. After mitigating a cyber attack, the backup can be a valuable source of information for forensic investigation — to discover how the attack progressed and what happened in the process. MSPs frequently overlook the importance of an investigation after an attack as they focus on getting their customers back to productivity. However, not knowing how the attack happened may lead to repetitive attacks, and not knowing the full extent of the impact may lead to unpleasant surprises in the future.

Another application of backup in this context is archiving data for future litigation. Recovering documents and communications may be crucial for litigation and directly requested by courts.


Another valuable application for a backup copy is using the data for tests — recovering the data and systems to spare hardware or a virtual environment and testing updates and new software on a system that is an exact replica of a production system.


Another application of backup is the migration between hypervisors, physical servers, including those with dissimilar hardware, and on-premises to Cloud and backup. The backup and recovery process can be used instead of specialized migration tools, saving the IT budget, as no additional software is needed to accomplish the migration. The beauty of it is that migration and recovery are the same process. Thus, migration can also be used as a fire drill to check procedures for handling recovery in case of disasters.

As you can see, a backup is more than just a copy to recover if things go south. As data storage becomes cheaper, keeping copies for future use and covering additional scenarios of using backup to deliver more value for the customers makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *