Whether they’re a stand-alone solution or part of a larger Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery strategy, backups are a critical component of every IT strategy.

At ServerCentral, Backup as a Service (BaaS)/Managed Backup is defined as ServerCentral-operated hardware and software that enable the backup, storage, and in some cases, the recovery of applications and data from a customer premise to one or more of our data centers.

It’s important to have a common understanding of a service so that everyone shares the same expectations. Nothing takes a conversation sideways faster than everyone working with different definitions of the same product.

For the past year, we’ve studied the questions our customers, prospects, and partners have asked about BaaS/Managed Backup solutions. We compared our findings with that of leading industry analysts to compile this list of 5 key questions you should ask about your next BaaS or Managed Backup solution:

1. How can I connect to the backup environment?

First, this question helps determine whether you can access the backup environment via 10 GbE (or faster) connections. Second, it’s to find out if those connections are redundant. It’s also important to know whether or not these connections are made via HTTPS, VPN, dedicated circuits, etc., as this will have a direct impact on deployment, speed, and recovery times.

2. What access protocols are are supported?

You’d be surprised how many times we hear, “We needed block support for this application and it wasn’t available.” A proper backup platform should support both file (NFS) and block (SCSI) access. This support is critical because it enables you to use whichever protocol is best for each of your application and data sets.

3. Are physical or virtual appliances/agents deployed?

You have to know what you’re walking into with any as-a-service offering. All too often, the need for a virtual appliance or agent to be deployed gets hung-up in security or compliance review and prolongs the project implementation. These unexpected delays unnecessarily increase costs and risk.

4. Is the backup environment production-ready?

In the event of a disaster, can you add compute resources to quickly deploy your applications or spin up VMs from the backup environment? At ServerCentral, these are called production-ready backups because we’ve architected all of our backup infrastructure to support this requirement. You never know when this type of support will be needed, but it’s far better to be ready than not. It is a must to know whether or not your backup environment supports the addition of compute resources for restore requirements well before they happen.

5. Do you store multiple copies of my data?

It’s worthwhile to ask whether or not your provider’s backup environment is actually backed up. You’ll be surprised by the answer. I guarantee it.

If you’re interested in discussing any of these questions in more detail or have questions of your own, don’t hesitate to contact us!