What should a managed service provider include in a disaster recovery (DR) checklist?

How an MSP protects its customers' sensitive data as well as its own remains paramount for service providers of all sizes. 

Ellen Rubin, CEO of network storage provider ClearSky Data, told MSPmentor she believes DR planning for MSPs requires "complex preparation and flawless execution." 

"Customer needs, people, hardware, network, facilities and more are all variables that must be actively monitored and incorporated into an MSP's DR plans to minimize recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) and meet their customer's service expectations," she said.

In addition, Rubin pointed out MSPs should include the following in their DR plans:

  1. Aligning end user preferences with an MSP's DR RTO and RPO commitments in a service level agreement (SLA).
  2. Identifying opportunities to minimize their infrastructure investment while maximizing agility and delivering robust DR capabilities.
  3. Actively monitoring all aspects of their service delivery.
  4. Establishing and communicating a clear DR checklist to employees. 
  5. Providing customers with a dashboard for real-time communications - especially in the event of a service outage.

Rubin also said testing and validating these plans regularly is key for MSPs.  

"Disasters happen, and they happen a lot. As we've all seen, global disasters are becoming more frequent and it's important that companies of all sizes are prepared," she noted. "In today's digital economy, data is the lifeline of the enterprise. Protecting it is essential. Without a comprehensive DR strategy, companies risk significant financial loss, as well as compromise of their brand and trust with their customers."

What are your thoughts on DR for MSPs? Share your thoughts about this story in the Comments section below, via Twitter @dkobialka or email me at dan.kobialka@penton.com.