Where The #$%* Is My Server Replacement?!

What if…

Your customer’s main server failed?

It took (what seemed like) forever to get a working replacement?

You had to run off your backup for an indeterminate period of time?

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, Zach Ramsey thought maybe he was being punished for every bad thing he’d ever done in his life.

Things didn’t seem so awful at first. One of Ramsey’s many public-sector customers, Iowa’s Fayette County, experienced what seemed to be a straightforward problem. Its main fileserver, from a large, well-known vendor, failed.

So Ramsey—technical lead at Solutions Inc., Fayette County’s MSP—jumped into action. He remotely took the failed server offline and activated the Datto backup that Solutions and the county had been wise enough to put in place months earlier. As a result, the county’s employees could continue working while the server was replaced.

Then things got weird.

First, the server vendor said the problem was the motherboard. So their local techs replaced the motherboard, and Ramsey brought the server online again. But it still wasn’t serving. So Ramsey reverted to the Datto backup again. The vendor then tried replacing the NIC—again with no success. So back Ramsey went to the Datto backup. Finally, the vendor agreed to replace the server. But for some reason they took their sweet time about doing it.

Having a client run their IT operations off a Datto backup for an extended period of time proves that the technology is rock-solid—and the technical support is superb.
Zach Ramsey
Solutions Inc.

All in all, the well-known and respected server vendor’s foot-dragging meant that Ramsey had to keep his customer running on the Datto backup system for an extended period of time.

“Our experience with the server vendor, which has otherwise been a great partner for us, was a nightmare,” says Ramsey. “Datto’s technology—and Datto’s people—really got us through what could have otherwise been a disaster.”

Reputational Risk

Solutions Inc. specializes in delivering IT-related services to public-sector clients. The upside of this vertical market specialization is that Solutions has been able to build a successful business—currently counting more than half of Iowa’s 99 counties as its clients.

The risk of that kind of specialization, however, is that bad news can travel fast in such a close-knit community. So Datto did more than just save Solutions’ relationship with Fayette County by keeping its IT services up and running despite the extended technical support nightmare. Datto’s marathon backup performance also protected the reputation upon which Solutions has built its business over the years.

The calls started at 6am, County employees were unable to access the server. It was at that moment I was grateful we took Solutions’ advice and moved from tape backup to Datto. Only with Datto could we keep the County operational while waiting for the server to be replaced. Where our server failed, Datto was Fayette County’s saving grace.
Ruth Ann Kearney
Fayette County Deputy Auditor

“The counties work with us because they know they can trust us,” says Ramsey. “Datto made sure we didn’t violate that trust—even though our server vendor failed to solve our problem.”

Datto: More Than a Partner

Datto’s marathon performance isn’t the only reason Ramsey is a fan. He recognized the quality and the marketability of Datto’s solutions as soon as he saw them. “Datto lets you create backups and execute restores for your customers quickly and reliably,” he says. “It sure beats loading a tape drive and praying that it works.”

Ramsey also appreciates getting emails from Datto every day that verify the integrity of his customers’ backups—as well as having a portal that allows him to quickly assess the overall state of Solutions’ backup business across all of its customers and drill down on any specific site.

Perhaps most of all, Ramsey appreciates the extremely responsive, high-touch engagement that has developed between Datto and Solutions. “When I call Datto, I can actually look forward to talking to someone like Chris or Layne or Vic who knows me and my business,” he says. “That kind of first-name basis relationship is something every MSP is looking for in a partner—and it really pays off when you have a business problem you absolutely have to solve now.”

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