Insights on Making Your MSP Business More Profitable

According to Statista, the total amount of data created, captured, copied and consumed in the world is forecast to increase rapidly, from 59 zettabytes in 2020 to nearly 150 zettabytes in 2024. A zettabyte, for anyone who doesn’t know offhand, is expressed as 1021, and equals one trillion GB. This creates significant demand for data protection.

Today’s businesses are contributing to these massive volumes of data and looking for new ways to leverage it and grow their revenue streams. They’re also storing and backing up more data than ever. Many struggle to manage their data and are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) for help, leading to the growth of MSPs’ data protection services, like backup/recovery and disaster recovery.

Other factors driving the growth of MSP data services include cloud migration and data loss. The increasing complexity of hybrid cloud environments have left businesses struggling to find IT professionals with the right skill set to handle on-premises and cloud infrastructure. MSPs offer an easy way to augment over-burdened IT teams with knowledgeable resources.

Data loss is also a growing area where IT leaders have turned to MSPs for help with data protection, whether it’s to recover from a ransomware attack or to absorb the impact of investment in physical hardware that requires frequent replacement.  

The data protection as a service market is growing fast. According to IDC, the current market size is $8.1B with a 14% CAGR, and expected to reach $11.6B in 2023. To capitalize on this opportunity, MSPs need the right technology that will enable them to optimize their data protection service offerings, while ensuring high system availability and performance. Data protection is an area ripe for MSPs to expand their profitability.

In addition to data protection, MSPs are in a unique position to help customers with other IT challenges. These include:

  • Virtualization sprawl – because it’s so easy to just spin up a new virtual machine, networks and storage are being overprovisioned to avoid performance issues.
  • Skyrocketing storage costs – although storage is still relatively inexpensive, the exponential growth of data is forcing increased purchase of storage resources.
  • IT management complexities – with new technologies and lack of experienced IT staff, it’s challenging to manage everything. Adding more people isn’t really the answer since this creates budget inefficiencies.

These same issues also affect MSPs themselves – poorly allocated resources strain budgets, impact performance and reduce profitability.

Control your environment

Many IT teams still don’t have a clear picture of everything that’s occurring in their vast on-premises or hybrid cloud environments. An MSP can employ a comprehensive monitoring tool to help customers take control of their IT infrastructure and avoid downtime and performance issues.

Fortunately, there are technology tools available that can help increase profitability – both by making MSPs’ own data centers more efficient and by optimizing the data protection services they provide to customers. These include solutions that will:

  • Automatically identify and reclaim under-used resources to prevent over-provisioning
  • Automatically balance workloads for optimal performance before migrating to the cloud
  • Forecast the impact of changes to avoid costly surprises

A tool like Quest® Foglight® Evolve increases visibility into issues like VM sprawl, effectively unlocking hidden resources and making them available for work elsewhere.

Foglight Evolve provides performance baselines and cost information that serves as a foundation for optimization before a cloud migration. With workload information, it will also do modeling and provide recommendations as to how best to position the workload in your cloud environment. This gives MSPs a clear picture of how customer workloads will perform and how much they will cost before they’re migrated.

Once in the cloud, Foglight continues to monitor and optimize CPU usage, storage and cost on a daily basis. This helps avoid unpleasant surprises and keeps budgets in check. The same holds for on-premises environments where Foglight will monitor physical storage and critical infrastructure to avoid downtime and will make recommendations for better performance.

Slash backup storage requirements

Rapidly expanding data volumes require equally large backup sites – or do they? With the right compression and deduplication solution, you can cut backup storage requirements by up to 95%, regardless of the backup software in use.

Quest QoreStor® is a software-defined secondary storage platform with client side deduplication and replication algorithms that make backups faster and smaller. MSPs using QoreStor can dramatically reduce backup windows and network traffic because only unique blocks are sent to the storage repository. MSPs can also use QoreStor to set strategic retention and storage policies for cloud tiers.

In a recent webinar, representatives from Quest discussed the challenges facing MSPs, and how tools from Quest can better position them to offer data protection solutions to customers to boost profitability.

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