September 26, 2022

How New Advanced Networking Features of Datto SIRIS Save Tech Time for MSPs

By David Weiss

Increasing complexity is leading to longer days for managed service providers (MSPs). The average MSP must now work with 17 vendors – often many more – to meet their customers’ needs.

Among the services sought from MSPs, business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) capabilities are in increasingly high demand, and for good reason: A recent report indicated that ransomware attacks rose 47% year over year in July 2022.

Many MSPs are responding with a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to data protection by configuring their own in-house BCDR system. Unfortunately, this adds to their vendor complexity, since these homemade creations can require them to deal with six or more suppliers, including:

  • backup software 
  • operating system 
  • storage hardware
  • DR hypervisor
  • public cloud for off-site DR and storage

DIY BCDR carries risks

DIY BCDR service may be able to get the job done when network architectures are relatively straightforward. However, MSPs using improvised BCDR setups will hit roadblocks once segmented networks enter the picture.

Today’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) typically employ network segmentation to realize benefits such as improved network organization, more efficient bandwidth usage, and enhanced security. This typically requires the configuration of advanced networking features such as virtual local area networks (VLANs), network interface card (NIC) bonding and internet protocol security (IPsec).

When MSPs create DIY BCDR services using separate software, hardware, and OS components, dealing with advanced networking features gets difficult. This is because configuring these features in their customer’s environment can be very complicated and time-consuming. In addition, vendors for components of DIY BCDR systems will often refuse to support MSPs for networking issues, declaring them to be out of scope.

DIY BCDR also presents risks, since a simple mistake during remote networking configuration may disconnect the device or even the entire environment, fixable only by an onsite visit. An MSP networking configuration error could also negatively impact a client’s overall IT performance, security and compliance.

The business perils of DIY

Having the wrong systems in place for clients who need advanced networking capabilities in their BCDR services can carry real financial consequences for MSPs.

Losing deals with clients who have these requirements is just the start. Personnel problems are also a factor, since MSPs often do not have advanced networking experts on staff, and struggle to hire these in-demand professionals. MSPs incur increased costs to hire advanced networking experts, such as those who are CCNA-certified, and face a long wait to train up existing techs in this skill set.

There are additional operational and business perils for MSPs whose BCDR networking is improperly configured or maintained. They may encounter service risks and even wider IT outages, security and data loss risks, lower-than-expected performance, or negative impacts on production IT operations.

All this drives complexity and total cost of ownership (TCO) for DIY BCDR services. It leads to unpredictable results and considerable distractions for techs who could waste up to 50% of their time making different systems parts cooperate instead of helping clients.

Vendor consolidation is key

There is an answer to this troublesome scenario: The most efficient MSPs are curbing the problem by consolidating vendors, both in their BCDR services and other offerings.

Vendor consolidation can help to cure the condition known as “vendor fatigue,” reducing the number of invoices and communication channels MSPs must deal with. This also increases the efficiency of their tech teams, who can spend less time juggling disparate solutions and more time working with customers. By leveraging true under-the-hood workflow integrations, MSPs can increase their profitability.

The benefits of committing to vendor consolidation come clearly into view with BCDR services. In contrast to the complexities of DIY, complete BCDR solutions make it easy to implement advanced networking features such as VLANs, NIC bonding, and IPsec. MSPs also save time and effort during the implementation and maintenance of the client environment when advanced networking features are built into the solution.

These benefits extend to the support side, since MSPs can count on the leading complete BCDR solution vendors to provide outstanding support and expertise with networking issues. In addition, the latest BCDR solutions offer the ability to automatically revert networking configuration if needed, which helps MSPs avoid on-site visits.

When MSPs choose BCDR solutions with built-in advanced networking, they flip the script on the negative technical impacts of DIY. These key capabilities allow them to deliver the highest performance to their clients, with outstanding security and compliance.

MSPs also see gains on the business side, maximizing revenue by winning clients who require BCDR that can capably support advanced networking. They also reduce costs by eliminating the need to have advanced networking experts on their staff when they use solutions where easy-to-configure advanced networking features are built in. Risks are significantly reduced by such solutions, which ensure that BCDR networking is properly configured and maintained.

Advanced networking capabilities are better for BCDR

MSPs building a complete BCDR service look to Datto SIRIS, an all-in-one solution for backup, recovery and business continuity. Built from the ground up for the needs of MSPs, SIRIS is now even more comprehensive with the addition of new advanced networking capabilities.

With this new feature, MSPs can offer leading data protection with ease for segmented networks. SIRIS saves techs time and eliminates complexity with simple VLAN, NIC bonding and IPsec configuration built into the solution. Equipped with SIRIS, MSPs will avoid the need to go onsite thanks to the ability to automatically reverse network configurations if the changes are not confirmed. Datto’s renowned 24/7/365 direct-to-tech support is on call, giving MSPs full confidence that they can always meet and exceed the performance, reliability, security and compliance requirements of their most demanding clients.

The expanded capabilities of Datto SIRIS help MSPs to build their business. MSPs can preserve and grow revenue by winning and keeping more clients, including larger widely distributed businesses with advanced networking requirements. Since MSPs can rely on Datto’s built-in, easy-to-use features and user experience, their techs don’t have to be trained in advanced networking, freeing them up to focus on client needs.

Giving MSPs an edge

Datto SIRIS now gives MSPs an even greater market advantage. With its advanced networking capabilities, SIRIS helps MSPs win more business by making it simpler than it is for their competition to meet elevated customer requirements.

MSPs can also beat out their competitors in cost savings, benefiting from easy features and improved user experience combined with outstanding margins and transparent licensing models. Staffing costs are also kept in check by reducing the need to hire experts across multiple IT fields.

Equipped with SIRIS, MSPs will know they have the most complete BCDR solution available. Its elite features include built-in VLAN, NIC bonding, IPsec VPN configuration, and more, saving time and eliminating complexity. SIRIS can also run DR on-site, eliminating the need to rely on separate infrastructure or the cloud in a DR scenario. While some solutions require an unwieldy command-line approach, SIRIS makes it easy with an intuitive GUI to configure VLANs.

The best protection means advanced networking

MSP responsibilities for protecting client data are becoming increasingly complex. As segmented networks grow more prevalent, MSPs must be prepared to provide the most resilient defenses against ransomware, natural disasters, and other threats.

Complete, all-in-one BCDR solutions are essential to provide maximum protection for clients. Datto SIRIS’ new advanced networking features ensure that MSPs are fully prepared to handle complex networking environments, while accelerating backup and restore operations.

Beyond providing comprehensive protection, the advanced networking capabilities of SIRIS help MSPs to grow their business by making it easier to win new business and retain it, reduce staffing costs, streamline support incidents and decrease on-site visits. That builds on Datto’s commitment to providing the most proven, reliable and secure BCDR solutions for MSPs.

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