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Asking the right questions will win you accounts, says StorageCraft VP

28 Nov 2014

Greg Wyman, StorageCraft vice president Asia Pacific, offers some questions to ask customers to win accounts.

Listen to the hype from any backup vendor, and learn about the ‘best’ backup product, the ‘fastest’, the ‘easiest to use’ or perhaps the best for the ‘modern’ environments.

So how do you choose when they all make similar claims? Clearly the decision should not be based on marketing hype, eg company X are/were the ‘global number one backup product’, or number one virtual backup product?

Instead, a reseller should consider which vendor focuses on what is critical to their customers. In essence, which technology delivers the solution to recoverability problems?

Let’s focus on backup vs recoverability in a virtual world. Resellers should ask an end user some questions, the correct answers to which will almost guarantee a disaster recovery sale, and likely win new accounts.

What is the RTO? - Minutes? The recovery time objective is key. Ask the customer how long they are happy for users to sit idle and deliver near zero productivity if a server or SAN crashes? Usually the answer is minutes.

What is the RPO? – Minutes? How much data do users want to re-key in after a crash or problem? Example: if a file server crashes at 17:01 today, 100 users will each lose eight hours of data, 800 hours in total assuming daily backups. Even backing up hourly they will still need to re-key 100 hours of data.

What is their TRO? – Daily? Ask any end user how often would they like to test the recoverability of their backups in an ideal world? Would they like to test recoverability every day?

The killer question is: can their existing product deliver recovery objectives? Can their backup restore servers in minutes to within a few minutes ago, and test for recoverability every night at, say, 2am?

For the first time, it is possible to have complete confidence that every customer’s virtual and physical servers can be recovered,as their recoverability has been tested overnight.

Unquestionably it is better to protect virtual machines at the guest level if you are using sector-based backup that has its own VSS provider.

By protecting at the guest level, backups can occur as frequently as every 15 minutes, even on databases such as Exchange, SQL, SharePoint and Oracle, helping to minimise data loss to less than 15 minutes after a crash, corruption, virus or problem.

File or block-based products really need to work at the host level, which often restricts their recoverability to hourly, or worse, once a day.

Sector based imaging/recovery solutions are designed and deliver the maximum recoverability at a very aggressive investment to help ensure maximum recoverability and minimal data loss for virtual environments.